We all know what it's like to spend a lot of money on something we thought we wanted, only to see it gather dust in a closet for years afterward. It could be a piece of home exercise equipment, a surfboard, or a bicycle If you're a Saudi prince it could a $300 million custom private Boeing 747. And since you can't store a jet in a closet or a garage, this particular plane has been gathering dust untouched in a hangar belonging to a Swiss plane customization company for over a decade.
Of course, Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has a pretty good excuse for not using the plane – he died in 2011, a few months before his dream plane could be delivered.
Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud served as Saudi Arabia's Minister of Defense from 1963 until his death in 2011. Obviously the Sultan did not earn a fortune large enough to spend $300 million on a private jet thanks to a multi-decade career as a lowly public servant. He was also the 15th son of the modern founder of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud. Ibn Saud served as King of Saudi Arabia from 1932 to 1953, a crucial period when unimaginable quantities of oil were discovered just below the surface of what had long-been a dirt poor country made of endless sand dunes. This oil bonanza eventually created the largest source of private wealth in human history.
Thanks to his place in the family tree, Sultan bin Abdulaziz was able to amass a private personal fortune that by 1993 topped $4 billion ($8 billion in today's dollars) and made him one of the 40 richest people in the world.
Now you understand how, back in 2010, the Sultan could afford to spend $300 million on a private aircraft.
The customized Boeing 747 was supposed to be Abdulaziz Al Saud's private jet. Unfortunately, he died on October 22, 2011 of an unspecified illness (he had reportedly been battling cancer for some time).
At the time of his death, his plane was still being outfitted with its deluxe interior in Switzerland. And, incredibly, that's where the plane has stayed for the last 10+ years after nobody in his family wanted to keep it for themselves.
The plane is practically unused, with just 42 hours of incidental flying time.
Nevertheless, the Swiss company that performed the customization is sick of storing the plane. So the decision just came down to scrap it. At some point in the next week or two, the plane will be flown to the world famous Pinal Airpark in Arizona, where old planes go to die:
The plane's future is still a bit uncertain, with Boeing reportedly considering making a last-minute acquisition to save the beast from a scrap yard.
If someone out there reading this article is looking for a bargain on a practically new private jet… act fast!