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Kelowna  

Who bought the jumbo jet?

The jumbo jet that touched down in Kelowna last week is being repainted at KF Aerospace for its new owners.

The Boeing 747SP was purchased from the royal family of Qatar by CSDS Aircraft Sales and Leasing of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.

CSDS president Benedict Sirimanne confirmed the purchase Friday.

He said the company "got a great deal" on the VIP jetliner.

The Qatari royal family had been asking $18 million for the big bird, but CSDS paid $5 million for it after another sale to an African head of state for $10 million fell through.

"They had to sell it because the hangar where it was being kept had also been sold," said Sirimanne.

He said the aircraft will be updated and, while in Kelowna, will receive a complete paint job.

Ever wonder how many gallons of paint it takes to spray a jumbo jet? Sirimanne's not sure of the answer, but he said the paint will add about 800 pounds to the aircraft.

It's one of the largest planes ever to land at YLW, which attracted a crowd of plane spotters on May 18, when it flew in from Shannon, Ireland.

The SP designation stands for "Special Performance." It was designed for ultra-long-range flights and is similar to the 747-100 except for its shortened fuselage and larger tail.

Forty-five 747SP aircraft were built between 1974 and 1989, and only 10 are believed to still be in active service.

CSDS buys, sells and leases aircraft and helicopters to global clients.

Sirimmane, its founder, has a background flying Boeing aircraft including the 737, 757, 767 and 777. 



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