Into the Sky: Unveiling John Travolta’s Enthralling Jet Collection

John Travolta is much more than just a Hollywood star. The actor is well known for his love of aviation and has quite the history with flying machines. He began taking flying lessons at just 15 and earned his first certification by age 22.

Speaking to CBS News in 2008, he explained his love of aviation in ways all avgeeks can relate to,

“Aviation has always bailed me out of anything in my mind that is blue. I can look through an airline schedule or brochure and cheer up.”

According to the Air & Space Museum, Travolta is now the holder of eight jet licenses, including the Boeing 747, Boeing 707, Gulfstream II, the Hawker 125, the Lear 24, 25, and 36, the British Vampire Jet, and the Canadair CL-41 Tebuan jet. He’s won numerous awards, been inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation, written a storybook about a boy’s first flight, and been dubbed the Official Ambassador of Aviation.

With such a clear passion for flight, it’s little surprise that John Travolta has owned and flown some incredible aircraft.

Travolta has four airplanes registered in the USA

According to data from JetSpy, Travolta currently has four aircraft on ‘N’ registration in the USA. These are:

Dassault Falcon 900, registration N905FJ

Built in 1986, the Falcon 900 has a range of up to 4,000 NM and can seat around 12 – 14 passengers in a typical configuration. The little tri-jet has proved to be a popular business jet, with 177 aircraft built between 1986 and 1999. Almost 70% of those live in the USA.

Boeing 707-138, registration N707JT

The Boeing 707 is perhaps Travolta’s most well-known aircraft. Despite being built in 1964, he continued to use the jet until a few years ago. It is currently being restored with a view to flying to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society’s museum in Shellharbour, New South Wales. More on this plane is further down the page.

Qantas Boeing 707 John Travolta

Photo: Airliners | Wikimedia

The model 707-138 was a specially shortened version of the jet made solely to fit the needs of Qantas. The fuselage was reduced in length by 10 feet over the standard 707, which allowed it a lower operating weight and, therefore, more range, something that was important for Qantas given its relatively isolated geographical location. It was called the 707-138 due to Qantas holding the customer number ’38.’


Boeing 737-300, registration N327JT

Built in 1988, this little 737-300 has a rich history of airline service. It began life flying for British Airways, later flying for Maersk Air, Germania, and finally Delta Air Lines from March 1998 until August 2007. Back then, it was configured with 120 all-economy seats.

But, naturally, Travolta wants a bit more luxury in his airplanes. Having flown for Sands Aviation from 2007 until 2021, the airplane was given a Boeing Business Jet makeover into a VIP configuration. Travolta took ownership of the 737 in February 2022, and announced in March that year that he had received his license to pilot the aircraft.

Boeing Business Jet 737-700NG

The avid aviation enthusiast seems interested in adding the aircraft to his admirable collection.  

Eclipse 500, registration N500CE

The tiny little Eclipse 500, a very light jet, is the newest airplane in Travolta’s stable. Developed from the Williams V-Jet II, it was introduced in 2006 but was only built until 2008. However, in that time some 260 airplanes were made, including Travolta’s smallest jet.

Eclipse 500 on the runway

Photo: Dakins | Wikimedia

Unfortunately for Eclipse, the company massively undervalued the aircraft from the start. It was initially marketed at $775,000, but that ballooned to $1.4 million by 2006. In 2008, the company claimed to have a backlog of some 2,700 orders but said that it would need to raise the price to $2.15 million due to higher-than-expected production costs.

As you might expect, customers began canceling orders and requesting deposit refunds pretty swiftly. Without the capital to pay back all its customers, the company entered bankruptcy in November 2008.

Travolta’s past planes

As well as his currently registered aircraft, Travolta has a rich history of interesting aircraft. One of the most iconic is surely the Lockheed Constellation, registration N494TW. Travolta owned this Connie for a short period in the mid-1980s, before it was bought by Vern Raburn, restored and is still flying today.

He also owned a DC-3 Dakota, registered N7500A and built in 1943. It’s unclear when he relinquished the DC-3, but it went on to get a bright yellow paint job and continued to fly for some time. Sadly it was damaged beyond repair in Hurricane Wilma in 2005 at Opa Locka Airport.

Business jets have seen plenty of action in Travolta’s ownership as well. In 1992, Travolta narrowly avoided a catastrophe over Washington when his Gulfstream II suffered a total electrical failure. The star managed to land the aircraft and avoid a midair collision with a nearby Boeing 727.

In the past, Travolta is known to have owned a Canadair CL41 Tutor, which he donated to a university, and a Lockheed Jetstar, which he has since sold. When he was interviewed by BJT in 2013, he also said he owned a Bombardier Challenger 601, a Soko Galeb G-2 fighter jet and two ultralights.


The first non-test pilot to fly the Airbus A380

With a Boeing 707 maintained by Qantas, Australian-born Travolta has always had a close relationship with the Flying Kangaroo. In June 2002, he became an ‘Ambassador-at-Large’ for the airline, and this close relationship led to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Hollywood star.

John travolta A380

Photo: Airbus

John was given the opportunity to fly the first Qantas A380 on a test excursion, back in the very early days of the aircraft’s development. In fact, he claims to be the first non-test pilot ever to take the controls of an A380. Speaking to Business Jet Traveler in 2013, Travolta said,

“The Qantas chairman of the board said to me, “If I could finagle a test flight for you, would you want to do it?” I said, “Are you kidding?” So she was out dining with the manufacturers, and at the appropriate time she said, “It’s really important to me to have John fly tomorrow.” She leveraged them and they said yes.”

He reportedly flew as a co-pilot, and later told press at the Paris Air Show that it was a very easy aircraft to fly.

“I did fly that A380 you know. I was the first non-test pilot to fly that and I’m telling you it’s a very easy plane to fly but technically complicated.”

He regularly appeared on Qantas inaugural routes with the Airbus A380, such as Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth in 2008, where he donned a cowboy hat and fake beard for the occasion. Even ‘Matilda,’ the Qantas kangaroo, was wearing her cowboy hat.  

Qantas A380 tail

A house with an airport

Those who have followed Travolta over the years know about his home in Ocala, Florida. The house, built in the 90s in the Jumbolair Aviation Estates, is now worth more than $10 million. Travolta’s house is one of many surrounding Greystone Airport, a private airport featuring two runways. John Travolta and his late wife, Kelly Preston, who passed away in 2020, were the first to build a home there.

An aerial view of John travolta's house in Florida.

Photo: Google Maps

Before her passing, Preston told Hello Magazine that Travolta had a lifelong dream of having his planes in his front yard,

“It was always John’s dream to have planes in his front yard—to practically be able to pull up to the house—so that when you wanted to go to dinner, all you’d have to do was step out the door, get on the plane and whisk off.”

Preston added that she and Travolta frequently flew in and out of the airport and that he flew to and from work every day when shooting a movie in Tampa.

Travolta’s old Boeing 707

Perhaps the actor’s most prized possession was the Boeing 707-138B that he picked up over 20 years ago. Travolta initially acquired the 707 from Qantas on a rental agreement before the airline handed him the jet as part of his brand ambassador role.

A Qantas Boeing 707 flying in the sky.

Photo: Carlos Ponte | Wikimedia Commons

The 150-seater former Qantas jet was revamped to carry just 15 guests and boasted two bedrooms and a full-size bathroom.

The 57-year-old Boeing 707 was donated to Australia’s Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) in 2017. But getting it to Australia is not proving to be easy. The 707 requires some extensive restoration work at its home in Georgia, USA, before it will be in a condition to make the long trip to Shellharbour.

HARS has sent representatives to the US to meet the contractors working on the aircraft, and it is reported to have spent nearly $1 million in a bid to make it airworthy. They had set a target date of March 2024 to get the airplane back to Australia, but that date has passed. Nevertheless, HARS is on a promise that, when it does fly, it will be Travolta in the pilot’s seat for the trip.

Before it was parked up, Travolta used his Boeing 707 for humanitarian causes. In 2005, he flew the jet to New Orleans after the hurricane disaster, bringing with him food and medical supplies. In 2010, he operated a similar trip to Haiti after the earthquake, carrying volunteers, supplies and doctors with him.