Jumbolair

When a 50 year old zooms down the road in a flashy red sports car, we think “midlife crisis”. When a young punk does the same thing, he’s “compensating”.

So what are we to think when a guy buys a 250,000 lb, 600 mph Boeing 707 jetliner?

I’ve known for sometime that John Travolta owns one. In fact, I flew out to Vegas one time and ended up parking next to (more like “under”) a gleaming 707 painted in vintage Qantas colors. Turns out it belonged to the disco king himself.

Built in 1964 for Qantas, it was later sold to Braniff Airlines. Frank Sinatra owned it in 1972, and Kirk Kerkorian purchased it in 1975. Travolta bought the plane in May, 1998. He had leased it back to Qantas for a promotional round-the-world tour, and in exchange Qantas repainted it in the original “V-Jet” colors and also put Travolta through training to receive his 747 type certificate.

So is a 747 on his Christmas list? Doubtful. You can pick up an old one for only a few million dollars–almost certainly within his budget. The real hurdle is the care and feeding. Fuel. Parts. Maintenance. Take insurance, for example. Imagine trying to find a company willing to insure an owner-flown jumbo jet for liability risks, especially in the post-September 11th atmosphere.

But the largest issue would probably be storage. Where does one keep a 747? Or a 707, for that matter? Travolta used to live at a well-known airpark called Spruce Creek Fly-In. Airparks are residential communities built around runways. Instead of a garage, your house has an attached hangar, and your driveway leads directly to the runway. For people whose lives revolve around airplanes, it’s heaven.

Spruce Creek is one of the oldest and most successful airparks, and the 707 was kept there for several years until Travolta was evicted because of noise complaints from his neighbors. It’s the first and only case I know of where airplane owners kicked a fellow pilot out due to airplane noise. But then, you’d have to hear a 707 on takeoff to appreciate it–it’s loud. The concept of “noise pollution” didn’t exist back in the 50’s. I think they were just glad to be able to move from 200 mph piston airliners to 600 mph jets.

Anyway, I’ve often wondered why he made this deal with Qantas. Sure, it’s a great promo for the airline, for aviation, and for his films. But I also suspect that the cost of owning and operating a 707 was steep, even for someone with his income. The 707 demands three pilots in the cockpit and a large team of maintenance personnel on the ground. It has four engines, and overhauling them is around a million dollars. Each. And as nice as his 707 is, there are not many places he can go with it. Either the runways are too short, or the noise ordinances are too strict.

Once he was evicted from Spruce Creek, I lost track of where the plane was based. Until now.

It seems that John has solved his real estate problem. He’s moved to another Florida airpark–a new one called Jumbolair. What an appropriate name! The airport and his $4.9 million estate are large enough to accomodate transport category airliners.

Here’s the Boeing jet parked in the driveway. Or, as I like to call it, “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile”:

Here’s the estate itself. Note that he has two planes there–the 707 and a smaller Gulfstream business jet:

And finally, one of the neatest architectural features of the house, a “control tower” on the roof:

44 comments

  1. Wow! I was about to type, “I gotta find a way to be his friend.” Then I remembered that he’s a freakin’ Scientologist. So screw ‘im.

  2. I live about 1/2a mile south of John here in Ocala,and I always know when they come home,I live in his flight path.My windows rumble,and my cat ducks under something,and I like to go outside and watch as the big jet flys by.I often think I could throw a rock and hit it,it’s so low.I don’t mind the noise,as a matter of fact,I think it’s pretty cool.What dose bother me,is he has never returned my invitations to come to my home for dinner,or just hang out and drink a beer,or come with me and my buddies when we ride our Harleys.I’m sure he is busy,but we don’t let just anybody ride with us.Anyway,he acts like such a nice guy when interviewed on TV,we thought,”What the hell”,it might be cool to let one of those Hollywood phoneys into a real life situation for a change and experience what life is really like for the rest of us sharing the planet.I admire him for acomplishing so much in such a short time,and accumulating so many toys,but I’m just sure he is surrounded by ass-kissing want-a-be’s,and people who tell him what he wants to hear,instead of whats real.Hey John,if you ever want to experience what life is really like here in Florida,meet some really great people,eat some home cooking,ride scooters off into the florida sunset,or just hang out and B.S.with some real people,give me a call,but don’t bring up that scientilogy crap,or I’ll kick your ass.

  3. You’re a very generous guy, Alan. If he doesn’t take you up on it, let me know–I’ll fly out to Ocala and share a brewsky with ya. ;)

    Like you, I don’t mind airplane noise. Street noise is far worse. In fact, when I’m out at the airport working on my plane, I often think to myself that it’s a much quieter environment than my own home.

  4. its an absurd people dying because they have primary necessities and this persone yhat i admire making absurd things, life is very unfair

  5. I just got done flying a Piper J-3 Cub down in Ocala today. Took off from an airstrip right down the road from Travolta’s place. His 707 wasn’t there, so I wonder if he has a hanger somewhere for it. His gulfstream was there and he took it up as soon as we landed. Such a beautiful place. He’s got some empty lots over there, wonder how much it would cost to move next door. :)

  6. Enjoyed reading your input here.
    I wonder if you have looked at our site as we are attempting to interest aviation buffs and financiers into the project.
    Let me know if you want to comment further.

  7. If my schedule loosens up a bit, I will take you up on your invitation. By the way, the scientology isn’t all that bad. It got me to where I am today!!

    Look for a visitor soon……………….

    JT

  8. Hey, Where the hell is Jumbolair I know it’s in Florida, but where abouts and what is the nearest commercial apt?

  9. Jumbolair is in Ocala, Florida. The nearest commercial airport is Ocala International. Or to put it another way, it’s right smack in the middle of the state, about 50 miles west of Daytona Beach.

  10. Hello Folks,

    Don’t knock John Travolta. He is sincere about his interest in aviation and his interest in life (beauty) and not just life for himself but life for others by sharing the philosophy that has helped him achieve much in life. He is one of the few men of his generation or more senior ones for that matter, the names of several present day national leaders come to mind, who is providing positive leadership to Americans. He does this in his art and he models this in his lifestyle and his loving approach to others.

    I bumped into Travolta on the day of the Van Nuys, CA airshow back in 1999 or 2000 where I saw a pair of F-15’s take off and I also saw the departure of a B-52. Both were impressive.

    John was impressive in a different way, impressive in his humility. He’s no glory seeker. He exited the airpark at a remote back exit to Millionaire Aviation. There were hundreds of people at the main entrance where he could have made a big fuss. He was cordial and took a moment to speak with me, something which he didn’t have to do (if I had a few hundred million in the bank I might not have stopped myself). Another interesting thing to note is that he got into what I believe was a 1970’s Brown Rolls Royce. Now we all know the man is loaded. He buys used airplanes (G-2, older Lear, 1960’s 707 when 707-320s were produced into the late 70’s), where he has the resources to buy whatever he wants. Given that aviation is an expensive pursuit. that shows a measure of frugality and wisdom. Though he is well accomplished in one area of life he continues to improve himself in other areas of interest, achieving all of the higher aviation certificates.

    Don’t knock Scientology. The word means “knowing how to know”. I am a Jazz vocalist like Sinatra and I’m also a Scientologist. I’ve been acknowledged by Sinatra’s bassist of thirty years, a musician who toured with Ella for three years in the sixties, recorded on Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back and toured with Frank, Liza, Sammy and Dean in the 80’s. At one point my dreams and my abilities/capabilities were not in alignment. The philosophy and the practices of Scientology have improved my art and my life. It has increased my capabilities. During that visit to California I got a chance to sing with, and was also acknowledged as a peer by, Sarah Vaughan’s accompanist of twelve years. These guys are musicians I had once dreamed of working with. These musical artists are responsible for the most aesthetic and sophisticated style of popular music of the 20th Century, a quality of music that we simply do not hear these days because the society as a whole has sunk to a lower level of musical/spiritual interest. Scientology aims to reverse the dwindling spiral of society. My ability to reconnect spiritually and musically with those traditions, in a substantive way, is a manifestation of the success of the philosophy in my life.

    It is interesting to reflect that I did not become a pilot until after I started Scientology services, a dream that was deferred for a number of years became a dream accomplished. Incidentally, my interest in Scientology preceded my awareness that Travolta was associated with the philosophy.

    Give Scientology a try and give John Travolta a break. I think just his Staying Alive album alone sold 25 million or more copies. He’s brought a lot of good vibes into the lives of others around the globe and in the current global political climate we could use a lot more people like him. When you’ve positively impacted the lives of millions of people and understand and have done the work that goes into having that kind of impact then feel free to criticize and that goes for both Travolta and Scientology, both subjects are beautiful in their own unique way.

    Unlike some other philosophies that are based on controlling the individual Scientology brings out more of the beauty and individuality of the person. That’s a good and critically needed thing in a healthy society. Our American society is starting to emit very consistent and gross vibes into the world for the first time in its history. We are diverging from the truth/beauty of our traditional policies and political alliances, even some of the human rights policies (Geneva Convention/the right to counsel) which are the bedrock of our freedom and the true source of the strength of our institutions and our positive influence around the world.

    Our society can and does benefit from Scientology, there were Scientology Ministers in yellow shirts helping at Ground Zero. Our help has been acknowledged by government officials. Scientology works! It’s positive! Try it! Scientology can help this country get back to the truth!

    Re: the comment by JT – If it is the real JT please reply to this message. I would like to speak with you again. I think we have a very similar purpose as church members, artists and aviators – though my interest in the latter is just budding relative to yours. You have my name. CCNY has my contact information. I got to this page after doing some research on the Boeing Busines Jet. See ya around! I’ve got a cd that you might like to hear. I’d like to send it to you.

  11. Hello JT, Again I am Mike’s cousin here in Jacksonville. I recently delivered some packages out to JumboLAir. I am not positive but I believe they were your personal belongings that I picked up from Howard. I have sent business cards to your CA location and dropped some off with your stuff I delivered to near JumboLAir. All I want is for you or your assisstant to call me whenever you are in need of any type of courier work. I would be lieing if I said I didn’t want to meet you but I realize you are smothered and sometimes mobbed and just don’t need it. I figure oneday we will meet. That is if my cousin who I was loyal to for many years and still have great respect for would call me more often for work. I hope to maybe meet you at Mike’s office sometime.

  12. Hey John,
    I love Anthony, me and my husband just moved here, it’s awesome, I can see why you chose this place, we only live about 10 miles from you. I think you are awesome and we all have our beliefs, I am glad you have come through alot of challenges, so have I. Me and my husband entertain by Karaoke, it’s awesome, clean fun and it has made me learn how to be free. We have done it now for about 5 years. We would love the chance to show you what we can do, we have a proffesional system and we live right on 127th ave. Let me know if you want to have some clean fun. I would love a chance to meet you but hey, I know there is alot happening. Anyway, thanks for listening and hopefully one day we can share some victories! I also was born in 54.
    Email if you get a chance! :)))) Debbie

  13. Hey John…seems like you finally found the ideal airpark for you. Got the pix, thank you. How about your htoughts on my airpark idea?
    Sincerely,
    The husband of your #1 Fan.
    Evan

  14. I was just googling John Travolta and ended up on this site.
    I live in the Orlando area (NY transplant) and every time I tease my dh about me liking JT he has to mention Kelly!
    Boy I can’t win.
    Just kidding I would never cheat on my dh because that would make my marriage null and void.
    Not that JT would care anyway.

  15. Hey Mr. Travolta
    I Just wanted to say that u have a really nice house!
    I also like much of your movies! Maybe we will do one together oneday:-))

  16. I think that we all have it in us to achieve what John has achieved negative ernegy block pathways to positive achievements. Please stop being negative about John.

    I am a South African, i have a serious passion for flying, but i can’t even afford a plane ticket let alone my own aeroplane, so please, let John enjoy the fruits of his achievements, he owes nobody nothing !!

  17. I have had the honor of being a part of John’s flight crew and one of the things I learned is that knowing the person he is was much more rewarding that meeting the actor. He is a person that tries to give back as much as he can to everyone he meets but most of all he puts his family first. He is a great husband to Kelly and a wonderful father to Jett and Ella. If Scietology is what made him what he is then good for it. People mock things that they do not understand. I am not a scientologist but I am not going to put down another persons belief or way of life just because I don’t understand it. What people need to know about John is that he is a person with strong convictions and emotions and he is not afraid to express them. I am honored to have worked for him and met him as a person not a superstar.

  18. I worked with John about a month ago. I record sound for television and film and we did a video interview with John to be included on the DVD of his new film Ladder49, when the DVD comes out this fall. I found John to be very much like what others have said about him. He’s basically a regular guy. No star attitude at all. We all laughed alot, he told stories, we discussed different films of his, he talked about his house and jets and about how hard this new movie was to make.

    His 6400 square foot, $2.5 million house, which is on 9 acres, is outside of Ocala, Florida, on a 550 acre estate being developed by the former wife of the creator on Natilus gym equipment, but to protect his privacy, the numerical address is not given out. For those interested, John is real good about writing back to fans (he loves to sign autographs). You can send your letters to the following addresses and there’s a good chance you’ll get a response back:

    John Travolta
    P.O. BOX 3560
    Santa Barbara, Ca 93130-3560

    William Morris Agency
    151 El Camino Dr.
    Beverly Hills, Ca 90212

    Touchstone Pictures
    500 S Buena Vista St
    Burbank, California 91521

    And if you were to meet him, he would be very gracious and thank you. He’s actually quite a humble guy, despite the characters he sometimes plays.

    I look forward to working with him again.

    sounddude

  19. Hello John T, I saw you on Oprah recently and realized that you appreciate fine china. I heard your story about the gift you bought for Oprah. Again I would like to introduce myself as Mike’s cousin. You probably know about my delivery service because of the amount of business cards I dropped off with your stuff. I also have part ownership in a fine jewelry and fine china shop. We carry all fine china makers & silver serving pieces too. If you are ever in need I would be honored to cater to your needs. Maybe you would decide to buy some jewelry for your beautiful wife or maybe a tea set for a friend. My aunt sells jewelry I know and chances are you would get jewelry from her but if you need fine china or collectibles please tell me via this weblog and I will contact you. Sincerely, Ken

  20. John, I have a story to tell you. I will type it in later. I have to go to work for now. It has to do with my stroke in 1976, going to a biofeedback doctor and being involved in Brooke Shields movie and it giving me positive biofeedback results as a result of being in the movie. Mike’s Cousin, Ken PS: I figure that is the best way to identify myself even though Mike probably hates me for it.

  21. Hubby and I live on an acre left of the north end of the Jumbolair runway and enjoy JT’s planes coming and going. It’s fun to speculate what far off lands he’ll be visiting when “The Big Red One” rumbles down the strip and soars off into the wild blue yonder.

    We know the planes aren’t always piloted by JT but we send them all a ‘safe flight’ wave and we enjoy watching him circle the neighborhood in his ultralight on occasion, too.

    If JT comes back to this site and reads the comments I want to say, “Welcome to the neighborhood!”

    Peace and blessings to all.

  22. JT, Congratulations on being honored by the American Museum of the Moving Image. I enjoyed watching all the movie clips. I also got a kick out of the commercials you did in the 60’s (I think it was the 60’s) that was around the time I was born. I am surprised to learn that ‘Tony Soprano” was in Get Shorty. I had no idea. Also that you two grew up together. Take Care and tell Mike his cousin Kenny says hello.

  23. Hi to all my neighbors in the Ocala Nat’l. Forest. I run a rescue, in Ocklawaha, Fl., for domestic bred wolf dogs. IF JOHN T. OR ANY OF THE AREA’S AFFLUENT RESIDENTS HAVE ANY INCLINATION TOWARD PHILANTHROPY PLEASE CONTACT LOST WOLF RESCUE, INC. OUR SANCTUARY WAS SEVERELY DAMAGED DURING THE HURRICANES AND DESPERATELY NEED DONATIONS OF USED (OR NEW) FENCING……. AND THE ASSISTANCE OF COMMUNITY LEADERS TO ORGANIZE A FUNDRAISING EVENT. These animals are not wild but people purchase them from local & national breeders and when they realize that the committment of WOLFDOG ownership is more than they expected >>> the owners abandon these “domesticated” animals in the forest. They have no hunting skills and thus starve to death. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US IF YOU’D LIKE TO HELP >>>> OR >>>>>IF YOU KNOW OF AN ABANDONED WOLF DOG IN YOUR AREA. PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE http://www.lostwolfrescueinc.org.

  24. Stock tips? Wolf dog rescues?

    Let’s try to keep the messages on topic, folks. They’re getting kind of wacky and I’m starting to think this comment thread should be closed. :)

  25. My husband heard on the radio that JT wanted a blimp for Christmas. JT also said Kelly told him he couldn’t have it until Christmas Day.

    I went online to that big expensive store in New York — the name escapes me now — you know the one I mean, don’t you? Where you can buy a mink covered lint picker and stuff like that?

    (If anyone reading this can think ot the name please post it here for us.)

    Anyway…….I went to their online catalog and typed ‘zepplin’ into the search and it came up with a picture of one for $10,000,000.

    If he gets it and it’s at his house all I have to do is look over to the other side of the runway and see if it’s floating above the trees surrounding his place. I’ll let y’all know! LOL!

    He may get it and not even bring it here to his house in Ocala. That’s possible. But it’s exciting to think about it, isn’t it?

    We’ve been buzzed by F-18 fighter jets here, too. And JT told the host of that show The Actor’s Studio that he has 2 fighter pilot license ratings! So that probably WAS him flying them.

    He took “the big one” (the Boeing) out about 6 weeks ago and hasn’t come back yet. I know he’s been traveling around alot because I see him on different shows on t.v.

    I watched the Moving Image awards presentation last week. That was really nice. So many of these awards are given after an actor passes away that I’m glad they have acknowledged his achievements while he can appreciate it.

    This is a nice page you have here, Ron. Thanks for letting us come by and post our experiences with our new neighbor. It’s fun hearing other people’s stories about JT, too.

    Happy Holidays, everyone!

  26. Sorry about the “stock tip.” I made a little money and got a little excited. I will stay on subject. I just would like to know for sure if John does actually read these posts.

  27. In reply to Mr. Robert Smith’s question dated Dec. 23, it was Arthur Jones who invented the Nautilis workout equipment. He married a local gal here and together they built up the Jones estate that is now known as Jumbolair.

    For anyone wanting to see more of Jumbolair just type: jumbolair.com into your browser and visit their site. I think you’ll enjoy it.

    Turn your sound up so when the homepage comes up you’ll hear JT taking off and see a really nice photo of his Gulfstream is lifting off. Be sure and visit all the links associated with the site for a really interesting tour.

    There is a link on the site somewhere that takes you to the development portion if you are interested in seeing what’s available and for how much.

  28. I just talked with one of John’s pilots and he said that the blimp rumor is just a rumor. There is no plans to add any blimps to their collection. Sorry Kitty

  29. I am a big fan of John Travolta’s, this is what brought me to this site. I am also an aviation nut, i love jets,planes; if i could afford it, i’d be up there buzzing around too!! It is not a mystery WHY eccentrics take to the air,, its beautiful up there, and there is nobody up there imposing their anger, envy, opinions or beliefs on others.. I have read some of the emails on this site, some very self serving/self seeking stuff, people asking JT to buy their things, or show up here, or do this…. Yes, John Travolta has plenty of money, but he doesnt owe anybody anything, so leave the man alone!! Let him enjoy what he earned with his family, in peace..If you want to be a good neighbor, then be one, leave the man alone!!! Some of the emails said John is a nice man, i know he is, one can see this just by looking at his wife and kids, and his gentle demeanor, his faith has ALOT to do with the way he lives…He nor his wife or kids are in the news for drugs, infidelity,divorce,murders, etc…. Its a wonder that a family with all the pressures that MONEY brings, stays together, especially Hollywood business… and stays together wherever they go, as a family..I have a lot of respect and admiration for this guy, he definitely had many opportunities to do other things with his life, he chose to be someone that valued life to the degree of HAVING and living a faith [Scientology],, this has brought goodness to him , his family…. a lot of people SAY they have a faith, but live and act contrary to what spirituality and love stand for….Anyways, i recently did some real estate work for a friend that bought a horse farm in Ocala so she could “get out” of the rat race of big cities,,I saw Johns 707 overhead the day i was in Ocala,,,what a beautiful sight,, i pictured seeing John and his son up in the cockpit, and the rest of the family sharing their journey TOGETHER,, with love and happiness, as God intended..all i could think, feel and visualize was “what a beautiful thing”, a man has the resources to live with his family in comfort on this planet, AND TO LOVE THEM THE WAY HE DOES….i have far far less money than JT, but i have a great wife, and dog,,,and we live a life that a lot of wealthy people envy…the old saying , “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”,,,,”wealth is in the eye of the beholder” as well..the man that seeks to gain for himself usually fails miserably at LIFE 101….the harder i try to help others, the better my life becomes….John, if you ever read this,i am a big fan of yours,,.i dont have to meet you to know you,i am honored to know that there are guys like you and i in this world that are on the same wavelength..we have love/passion in our hearts,Why?? Our Italian heritage?? .I had tears in my eyes the day the black guy on Oprah gave you the “N707JT” call number for your 707, he’s another with passion in his heart…..Anyways, just wanted to say hello to Rapp,and to JT ,if your listening…,i am also born in 54 ,,October,,Your a blessed man John, keep up the great work!!! Next time your over Wellington, give me a “wing up”!!!

  30. Just got this info and wanted to share it with you all. Our local paper ran a casting call ad for JT’s new movie. Here’s what info I have:

    Area residents who are interested in being in The Lonely Hearts movie starring john Travolta should send headshots to: Lonely Hearts c/o Kimberly Mullen/Mark Mullen Casting, Universal Studios Plaza, Building 22A, Orlando, FL 32819. The 40 era drama about the hunt for a pair of serial killers is set to be filmed in Jax this spring.

    And in case anyone is keeping tabs, “The Big One” (the Boeing) came in about 1:00 a.m. this morning and the little one (the Gulfstream II) went out at 6:00 this evening, headed toward Tampa.

    Both planes have been gone since before Thanksgiving so it’s good to have him home again.

  31. Mr. Travolta, I was on the Orient Express last year in April. I passed you in the corridor, and later passed a compartment where you were sitting. I stopped and spoke with you for awhile. You asked me if I would like to be a Flight Attendant for you. You set up a meeting with a gentleman who works for you. I met with him and gave him my contact information. I was very honored to have met you and was very excited and looked forward to hearing from you. I know that you are a very busy man, but I am very disappointed that I never heard from you. If you read this message please contact me. Edna

  32. Hi Mr. Travolta,
    I live near a hotel on a local island you visit and we just want you to know we love when you are here and you have a huge fan base here. If you are ever in the mood for a home cooked meal then just drop us a line.
    Love to Kelly and you

  33. When I drive through the Ocala National Forest on Rte. 40, I usually stop in the little diner in Anthony. The people there say that you are a nice person and very nice to talk to.

    I visit someone over near Thunder Ranch.

    Carl

  34. i seen an article while i was visiting st petersburg fl,john had some pictures painted on his walls.in his house.i hate airplanes and i am scared to fly,i love seeing pictures of johns planes,i beleive he could talk me into rideing with him.or i should say fly.after hearing that he shops at wal mart in the am,he is the man.but i hate dennys,for a ride john,ill drive from va to fl.contact me.but i want a parashute..

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