How Much Does A Plane Cost?

How Much Does A Plane Cost?

At any time there are thousands of planes flying people to their destination of choice. Heck I’m writing this article on a plane right now. With flying being what it is that begs the question, how much does a plane cost?

Before we get into the specifics of cost we need to first look at all the different planes there are in our skies at any given point. There are small personal planes that people fly for either their own amusement or are going to a certain location. There are cargo planes that transfer goods to different people. There are passenger planes that take passengers to different locations. There are planes that assist in fire fighting that drop fire retardant to stop the fires. All of those planes cost different amounts and operate for different reasons. Let’s take a look at the cost of just some of those planes (there are too many to go through every planes individually).

How Much Do Personal Planes Cost?

The first category in our list is the cost of personal or private planes. Because there are so many I’m going to show you a list of a few private planes.

Piper Archer:

This is a small, single prop plane that is decently popular by wealthier people. When this plane was first released she cost roughly $302,000 US dollars. When it was released it was considerably more expensive than many other planes on the market and wasn’t quite up to some of the other plane’s standards. It can’t fly as high as other private planes and can’t go as far as some other planes, but it is a very solid and sturdy aircraft.

To buy a used Archer you’re looking at a price range between $70,000 to $145,000 US dollars.

Cessna 150:

Cessna is a very popular, and very trusted name in aviation. This is another single engine prop, but unlike the Piper Archer, this has a very affordable price for the average personal pilot. These planes are no longer produced, so you can buy them used from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the usage and quality of the plane.

Bombardier Challenger 300

This plane is a very nice, and very expensive, private jet. These jets are often used for business trips and excursions because it is very luxurious and flies very well. People have the option to either rent or lease this plane, or they can choose to purchase this plane. If you buy this Bombardier it will set you back between $7,000,000 to $13,000,000 USD.

How Much Do Cargo Planes Cost?

Companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL often ship packages and products by plane because it is faster to do. Planes are typically used when there is a time sensitive package that needs to arrive at it’s destination ASAP. There are many different cargo planes, here are some of the planes that are used:

McDonnell Douglas DC-8

This plane was one of the first jumbo jets, with the ability to hold almost 280 passengers. It has 4 powerful engines and got many people from point a to point b in a relatively short amount of time. It was retired in the early 70’s because the new DC-10 was introduced then (more about the DC-10 below).

The price for a DC 8 ranged drastically because of who ordered it and what they needed it for. Cargo and freight companies used these planes because they are relatively cheaper to fly and could fly almost 4,000 miles non stop, making it an intercontinental airplane. These planes typically costed about $6,000,ooo in late 1950’s. While DC-8s are mostly retired (except the few freight liners) you can actually buy a used DC-8 online for $4,000,000.

Lockheed L100

This beauty is the Lockheed L100 plane, also known as the Hercules.This freighter plane is primarily used by militaries across the globe. This freighter is capable of carrying a large amount of cargo and can fly for incredibly long distances. This big boy will set you back at least $3,000,000 USD.

How Much do Passenger Planes Cost?

Now we get to one of my personal passions; passenger planes. These are the planes that carry passengers, as well as some cargo, across the world. I have studied and done research just about any passenger jet there is. Let’s check out some of my favorite planes:

McDonnell Douglas DC-10

This is my personal favorite plane, followed closely by the Boeing 747. This baby is capable of transporting of almost 400 people and could do long hauls across oceans and continents very quickly. The DC-10 did have a few issues and a few crashes, but those problems were fixed and it became a serious work horse for multiple airlines. The DC-10 has a very unique look and is pretty recognizable when you see it. Unfortunately the DC-10 has been retired and is only flying as a cargo plane for FedEx as well as for a mobile ophthalmologist plane.

The DC-10 cost about $145,000,000 USD, which was actually cheaper than some other planes of that time.

Boeing 747

The 747 is the queen of the skies, as well as being my second favorite plane. The 747 held the title of  the biggest airplane ever until the Airbus A380 came out within the past few years. It is the first double decker airplane, and the top story is big enough to fit a 737 inside of it. The 747 is also widely used as a freight plane because it is so massive it can carry a lot.

The current cost of a new Boeing 747 is about $370,000,000. These planes are widely used by many different airlines are are still regarded as the queen of the sky because of the enormous size. These planes are exceptionally safe and have carried millions, if not billions, of passengers throughout the years.

Airbus A380

The Airbus A380 holds the current title of biggest passenger airplane. It is considerably bigger than the Boeing 747 and has a full second floor, unlike it’s 747 rival. As of this post (August of 2016) the A380 has not had any fatal incidents or crashes. The only issue the A380 has had is an engine that blew, which ruptured the hydraulic line in the wing. Luckily the pilot was exceptionally skilled and landed the plane safely.

This big baby is definitely expensive. A brand new A380 costs around $433,000,000 USD. 

De Havilland Comet

This plane is one of the first passenger planes built. It featured ghost engines, which were engines built inside the wings of the plane. This plane was prone to explosive decompression due to the square windows it had, as well as not using rivets along the body. This plane is believed to have cost around $398,000. Strangely enough I couldn’t find an actual price for this plane. These planes became popular after WWII and after many of the planes crashed from the decompressions the Comet quickly lost it’s popularity and eventually the planes were no longer flown.

Boeing 737

The Boeing 737 is the most popular plane there is. Many companies use the 737, most notably Southwest Airlines, because it is cheap to operate and is extremely reliable. The 737 has been produced since the 1960’s and will not slow down anytime soon. Over the years the 737 has had slight variations but has basically stayed the same.

A brand new Boeing 737 costs about $102,000,000 USD.


The world’s first, and so far only, supersonic jetliner. With a speed of Mach 2 you could get from London to New York in about 3 hours or so. Tickets to ride in Concorde were exceptionally expensive, costing thousands of dollars. While it had super speed there were quite a few drawbacks; it was very vulnerable. In July of 2000 Air France flight 4590 crashed from running over a small piece of debris that was on the run way. Everyone on board of the Concorde that day died. The debris flung up and hit the underside of the wing where the fuel was located. It also blew the tire. After that crash Concorde was never able to bounce back into the popularity it had before. In 2003 Concorde was officially retired.

The price of the Concorde was about $30,046,855.

How Much Do Aerial Firefighting Airplanes Cost?

Being born and raised in southern California I am no stranger to brush fires everywhere in the state. What I always enjoyed was watching the planes swoop in and drop either water or foam onto the fires to try to quell them. Here are some popular firefighting planes:

McDonnell Douglas DC-10

This plane not only serves as a passenger and cargo plane, but it is also very popular among firefighting planes. They can hold a lot of water or fire retardant, helping firefighters on the ground out. The DC-10s are also very sturdy and can operates many decades, as long as they have a good service team taking care of them.

Douglas DC-7

This plane is actually the DC-8’s predecessor. This plane is very commonly used to help fight fires because they can hold large tanks of the fire retardant or water. Many of these planes are 50+ years old and still operate well. The price range, when the DC-7 was brand new, was between $800,000 to $1,000,000.

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