Is That 747 Feeling Cramped? Saudi Sheik Orders Private A380

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Here's a story that could make you look around in the posh cabin of your Cirrus or Cessna and think, hmm, this is pretty shabby. Isn't it time to upgrade to a personal aircraft that has room for a few king-size beds and a hundred or so of your best pals? That is apparently the thinking of Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, a multi-billionaire and one of the world's richest men, who has placed the first-ever order for a private Airbus A380. At $300 million, the airplane comes with 6,460 square feet of empty floor space, which the prince can configure any way he wants. "Itís a huge canvas to work with," Doug McVitie, an aircraft consultant, told The New York Times. The prince could easily spend more on customizing the interior than it cost to buy the airplane, he said.

Currently, the prince flies aboard the world's only privately owned 747-400. He officially made the purchase during this week's Dubai Air Show.