Mallory Libex | July 13, 2023

Choosing the Right Aircraft for You: How-to Guide

Private jets are great investments for many people. They can help you save time by skipping the hassle of commercial airlines, having more privacy in the air, and experiencing more luxurious travel. Read on to learn the major differences between jet classifications to determine the best aircraft for your personal use.

Aircraft Factors to Consider

Private jets differ in size, seating, range, speed, and intended use. When choosing the right jet for you, you must consider all travel factors and needs, including operational costs, how far you plan to travel, how often you plan to use it, maintenance, and cabin space.

Aircraft Range

An aircraft’s range determines how far it can fly on full fuel. This is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your aircraft, especially if you know the primary destinations for which you intend to use it.

Most aircraft models have maximum ranges based on the number of passengers onboard. Due to the weight of fuel storage, private jets cannot carry a full tank on flights with full cabins, which directly impacts how far it can travel. For example, the Hawker 400XP has a maximum range of 1,519 nautical miles but only 1,180 nautical miles with a full cabin.

Cabin Seating

How many people will you regularly fly with, and what is the maximum number of people you expect to fly with at once?

Our current inventory of on-market jets can seat 6-19 passengers. Most seats are leather, executive-style, and easily adjustable, so you can get some work done, talk with other passengers, or recline and nap.

Not all aircraft seating arrangements are the same. Some models include an extra, less luxurious seat by utilizing their lavatory space. For example, the Learjet 75 generally fits eight passengers but can accommodate nine if one person uses the lavatory seat. This arrangement is not ideal if you regularly plan on having nine passengers, but it may be beneficial if you have an occasional guest.

Cruise Speeds

Many professionals choose private jets over commercial airlines to avoid layovers, excessive flight delays, or having to arrive at the airport early.

The Boeing 777, one of the largest and fastest commercial jets currently used, has a cruise speed of under 600 miles per hour.

The cruise speed of many private aircraft falls between 300 and 600 miles per hour. Examples include the Pilatus PC-12, which has a cruise speed of 300 miles per hour, and the Challenger 300, which can reach 540 miles per hour.

Aircraft Classification

An aircraft’s classification is often defined by its seating, range, speed, and other important factors. Private aircraft models generally fall into three classes:

  • Light jets and very light jets, such as a Honda Jet, are usually fast and small, intended for quick trips with minimal passengers across short distances. Light jets could be ideal for executives who frequently travel between two cities.
  • Midsize jetslike the Learjet 60 fall somewhere in the middle. They have decent cruise speeds, cabins large enough for small groups, and usually enough range to travel anywhere in the United States.
  • Heavy jetstend to be larger, more spacious, and capable of traveling further distances than light or midsize jets.

Aircraft Cost

With the help of a certified broker like Omni Aircraft Sales, we can help you determine what aircraft models are in your price range. Purchasing a plane is an investment. While the initial costs can seem quite high, you will save time when you leave commercial airlines behind.

On average, new private jets can cost anywhere from the low millions to more than hundreds of millions. Specific prices vary by model, condition, aircraft brokerage company, and the market rates of aircraft sales at the time of purchase. Other costs include fuel, maintenance, repairs, storage, and crew fees.

On average, a pre-owned Learjet 45 costs about $5 million, depending on its condition and current market rates. Based on owner-operated hours, a Learjet 45 has an annual budget of about $1.5 million, including operating maintenance, reserve expenses, and fuel costs. Comparatively, a pre-owned Pilatus PC-12 costs under $5 million on average but has an annual budget of $673,000 at the time of this publication.

Aircraft Comparison Chart

There is much information to review when determining the best aircraft for personal use. Even if you know which aircraft classification you need, such as light or heavy, you must consider seating, dimensions, speed, range, and more. To simplify the process, check out our Aircraft Comparison Chart below, featuring some of the most popular aircraft on the market.

Purchasing a Plane?

Investing in a private aircraft is a major decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, so we’re here to help. At Omni Aircraft Sales, we are more than just an aircraft brokerage company. With over 40 years of experience, our team comprises pilots, mechanics, and aviation professionals who know the ins and outs of air travel. In addition, our maintenance crew oversees every aircraft we sell to ensure the best quality and keep buyers informed about their investments.

Our inventory contains new and used light, midsize, and heavy jets with various specifications that are sure to fit your travel needs. Reach out to our team of aircraft professionals today to determine the best jet for you.

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