Learning how to buy a fighter jet is a tricky and expensive prospect, particularly if you live in the United States. Countries like Canada do not allow private citizens to own any military aircraft, but the United States does allow its citizens to purchase and operate any military aircraft so long as the fighter jet in question is decommissioned. If you are interested in buying a fighter jet, then prepare to do a lot of paperwork and background checks, as the government pays close attention to those who own hardware that could be potentially dangerous.
- Any fighter jet that is still in use by the United States military (referred to as “on active inventory”) is off the table, but aircraft such as the F-100, F-104, or an older F-15 are able to be purchased provided you find a seller and that the plane has been properly decommissioned (stripped of its weapons).
- Foreign fighter jets are easier to obtain because the laws that govern the civilian purchase of foreign military hardware are not as strict as those that apply to local purchases. You will find there are more Soviet Migs in the hands of private civilians than any fighter jet used by the United States because of this.
- Naturally, the price associated with purchasing a fighter jet will be high. You can expect to pay upwards of 10 million dollars for an air-ready fighter jet, though most decommissioned foreign jets can be found for below 250 thousand dollars. You can shave a lot of money off the price if you decide to buy just the parts and assemble them yourself, but that is only recommended for serious enthusiasts.
- There are some private ventures that sell decommissioned fighter jets, such as Starfighters Aerospace and Air USA Inc., and those are your best bet for obtaining the jet of your dreams. Just be prepared to spend a lot of money and time to obtain one.