Elvis Presley and his private jets

Following the success of our previous post on celebrities’ private jets, here is the new opportunity to learn a little about another great star and his attraction to jets.

On 16 August 1977, 30 years ago Elvis Presley died. He has most probably been the biggest pop-rock star ever, he is still popular among millions of people. His house has become a shrine for pilgrims, his records are still sold and we still wonder his songs, his lifestyle, his career and I am sure that with his success story he is an idol for many young people.

So what do we know about his attraction to planes?

He owned 2 jets in his life.

  • a Convair 880 called Lisa Marie (named after her daughter Lisa Marie Presley)
  • a Lockheed Jetstar called Hound Dog II.

(the following pictures are not of Elvis Presley’s jets. They were taken from the manufacturer’s website and Wikipedia)
Convair 880

Convair 880The Convair 880 was a jet airliner produced by the Convair division of General Dynamics. It was designed to compete with the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 by being smaller, faster and safer, a niche that failed to create demand. Only 65 880s were produced over the lifetime of the production run from 1959 to 1962, and General Dynamics eventually withdrew from the airliner market after considering the 880 project a failure. Only 9 of these aircrafts are left in the world, none of them is airworthy and only one is preserved properly, Lisa Marie – the plane of Elvis Presley. It is parked in Graceland in Memphis and it is part of the Elvis museum.

Manufacturer: Convair
Maiden flight: January 27, 1959
Produced: 1959-1962
Number of aircrafts built: 65


JetstarThe JetStar originated as a private project within Lockheed, with an eye to winning a USAF requirement that was later dropped due to budget cuts. Lockheed decided to continue the project on their own for the business market. Noise regulations in the United States and high fuel consumption led to the development of the 731 JetStar, a modification program which added new Garrett AiResearch TFE731 turbofan engines and redesigned external fuel tanks to original JetStars. The 731 JetStar modification program was so successful that Lockheed produced 40 new JetStars, designated the JetStar II, from 1976 through 1979. The JetStar IIs were factory new aircraft with the turbofan engines and revised external fuel tanks. Both 731 JetStars and JetStar IIs have greatly increased range, reduced noise, and better runway performance compared to the original JetStars.
JetStar production totaled 204 aircraft by final delivery in 1978. Most original JetStars have been retired, but many 731 JetStars and JetStar IIs are still flying in various roles. A JetStar that was owned by Elvis Presley in his later years, named Hound Dog II, is on display at Graceland.

Maufacturer: Lockheed
Maiden flight: 4 September 1957
Produced: 1957 – 1978
Number of aircrafts built: 204

Both jets were sold by the family after the death of Elvis, but later they were bought back and parked in Graceland, Memphis and they serve as a part of the museum.

By Szafi

4 Responses to “Elvis Presley and his private jets”

  1. 1 vloca March 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    The aircraft were not bought back they are privately owned an arrangement was made with the owners to put them on display.

  2. 2 Jennifer Wooley December 23, 2010 at 12:29 am

    why is it that at the time of elvis’s death one of his jets was unaccounted for yet showed back up later?

  3. 3 bob evans February 24, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    hey what was elvis’s airplanes name

  1. 1 Day 6 – Memphis | 2013route66 Trackback on June 28, 2013 at 5:59 am

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