Advertisement

SpaceX Buys Mysterious Aircraft

SpaceX Airlines

SpaceX has reportedly acquired a new aircraft — and we have no idea what it's for.

The Elon Musk-led company has bought a Boeing 737-800 jet, Business Insider reports, that once belonged to Air China.

A planespotter behind the X account Airline Videos watched the dark grey jet land at Los Angeles International Airport this week. According to Federal Aviation Administration records, its registration address of "Falcon Aviation Holdings" is an LLC registered to the address of SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

The strangely colored plane was bought by the space company back in July. Its life began in 2002 and around ten years later, it was converted into a freighter jet by Air China, according to public records.

Despite that wealth of historical info, we still have no idea what SpaceX is planning to do with the sizable aircraft.

Bigger Jet

According to Jack Sweeney, who famously tracks Musk's whereabouts via his personal jet's records on social media, the plane is a strange departure for the company. Four of the five jets registered to the same address as the new plane are Gulfstream private jets, like the one Musk uses to travel across the globe.

Sweeney also noted that SpaceX's jets are usually registered under "Falcon Landing LLC," like the four other jets — not "Falcon Aviation Holdings LLC."

Public flight tracking records show that the plane wasn't active between August and December.

We can only hazard a guess as to why Musk's space company needs a far bigger jet. Some have proposed the company is arranging a new way to ferry SpaceX staff from its California headquarters to other testing facilities in Texas and the Space Coast in Florida.

"It wouldn't surprise me that SpaceX would need their own 737 to get between Hawthorne and the launch sites," one X user suggested.

But then, why was it converted to a cargo plane last year?

"The question is was it converted back to passenger," Sweeney tweeted in a follow-up.

More on SpaceX: Former NASA Director Trashes Upcoming Moon Mission