By Angel MedFlight Contributor
To many, nothing is more exciting than getting into a jet and rocketing above the clouds — whether you’re flying on a passenger airliner or an executive aircraft for an important business meeting. Most people who are frequent commercial fliers have a basic knowledge of the common aircraft. They can pick out 737 from the 747 or an A320 from the A380. But did you know there are several different types of aircraft used for business aviation as well?
Let’s take a look as some of the different choices available in the world of executive aircraft:
Turboprop Aircraft – Turboprops usually seat between 6-8 people and their interior is usually the size of a large SUV. These airplanes are less quiet and spacious than turbo engine jets but they’re more economical. A turboprop is best for flights up to 1.5 hours. Manufactures of turboprops include Cessna, Hawker-Beechcraft, Piaggio and Pilatus.
Very Light Jets – The very light jet seats up to 4 passengers and is best for flights up to two hours. Very light jets (or VLJ’s) have a lower operating cost than conventional jets and are able to operate from runways as short as 3,000 feet. VLJ’s are designed to be flown by single pilot owners. These jets are also known as entry-level jets or personal jets. Manufacturers include Cessna, Embraer and Eclipse Aviation.
Light Jets – Light jets seat 7-9 passengers and fly up to 2,500 nautical miles. Their cabin size is just over 4.5 feet wide and just about five feet high. The Eclipse 550, Syberjet SJ30 and Embraer Phenom 300 are just a few examples of light jets.
Midsize Jets – Most midsize jets seat 8 passengers and have a range of three to five hours. The Learjet 60 is a good example of a midsize jet with its improved headroom. Other examples of midsize jets are the Hawker 800XP and the Citation Excel.
Super Midsize Jets – The super midsize jets can seat 8-10 passengers and is able to make transcontinental flights. They have high altitude capability, speed and are ultra-long range. This class of aircraft offers a stand-up cabin and has much larger luggage capacity. Angel MedFlight’s Citation X air ambulance is in this class with a maximum cruising speed of Mach 0.92. Other popular super midsize jets are the Bombardier Challenger 605, the Dassault Falcon 5X and the Hawker 4000.
Large-Cabin/Heavy – The large cabin aircraft can seat 12-15 passengers and offers wide body cabin space with full standing headroom. Their range varies from six to nine hours. These large aircraft can fly an average of 4,000 miles nonstop, combining performance and luxury. Examples of the heavy jets are the Gulfstream G550 and the Dassault Falcon 7X.
Ultra Heavy Jets – The ultra heavy is the most exclusive type of private jet and looks very similar to some of the smaller commercial airliners. The Boeing Business Jet is based on the 737. This level of aircraft is the most expensive and provides the greatest space. These jets are sometimes called “Bizliners” (shortening Business Airliner). Their maximum altitude is 41,000 feet and they provide the ultimate in large capacity jet travel.
As you can see, the world of business aviation offers several aircraft options. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is able to provide the ultimate in patient comfort as our fleet includes the Learjet 35, Learjet 60 and the Cessna Citation X. Our company is headquartered at the Scottsdale AirCenter, home to many of the types of aircraft mentioned above. Scottsdale Municipal Airport is great place for any aviation enthusiast to see some of these beautiful birds pass through.