Mallory Cantrell | May 6, 2021

What type of aircraft is best for me? A practical guide to finding the right aircraft for business travel or private aviation.

What type of aircraft is best for me? A practical guide to finding the right aircraft for business travel or private aviation.

Shopping for a private aircraft can be daunting, to say the least. Whether your interest is business or personal, it’s a momentous investment with huge implications.

For many prospective buyers, simply determining where to begin is overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. Here are questions every aircraft buyer should consider before you make a purchase:

  • Are you shopping for business or pleasure? In other words, will you be hosting co-workers and clients for business purposes, or is this a personal leisure aircraft for you and your family or friends?
  • How many passengers will you host? Whether for business or pleasure, seating and luggage capacity should be a primary factor in choosing the right jet for you.
  • How far will you be traveling? Finding a jet with the right fuel capacity for your unique travel needs can help you save an enormous amount of time and money down the road. Cabin size and number of passengers and luggage can affect the range of travel before needing to refuel.
  • What are your desired amenities? The more luxurious, the higher the price. How will you spend your time during the flight?  Will you need to be working on a laptop and conducting meetings?

Once you’ve considered these questions and have a strong idea of your needs, you’re ready to start the acquisition and search process.

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(Mid-Size Jet – Gulfstream G280)

Very Light Jets (VLJs)

Known as Compact Light Jets or Very Light Jets (VLJs), these limited range jets (45-80 minutes flights), have an operational cost on par with turboprop planes, making them attractive to business flyers for regional meetings. These agile jets can access smaller airports with shorter runways, allowing passengers to avoid crowded airports and arrive or depart as close to their destination as possible.

Aircraft in this category typically have a capacity of 4 – 7 passengers with limited in-cabin amenities. They generally have a  range up to 1,174 nautical miles and speeds up to 480 miles per hour.

Leading the charge into this nascent market with a relatively economic price point is the Cessna Citation Mustang and Embraer Phenom 100.

Light Business Jets

Small enough for shorter runways and private airstrips yet large enough to fly up to eight passengers in optimal comfort, these business jets were made for the savvy professional with regional travel requirements. In fact, light jets have been a popular option since the launch of the business jet market.

Often loaded with satellite phone, Wi-Fi and XM radio communications, light business jets are equipped with everything you might need to conduct business remotely.

Topping out at over 2,000 nautical miles and typically reaching cruising speeds of 400 – 450 miles per hour, planes like the Citation Excel, Gulfstream G-100 and Learjet 45XR are capable, comfortable, stylish aircraft that appeal to a wide range of needs.

Mid-Size Business Jets

The larger the business jet, the more you get. More passengers (up to 10), more amenities ( fold-out beds and fully functional lavatories) and more range (up to seven hour flight time) mean longer, more comfortable transcontinental trips. Jets in this category usually have a range of 2,000 – 3,000 miles with a cruising speed of 430 – 480 miles per hour.

While the mid-size business jet has the ability to land on smaller runways, giving this particular aircraft accessibility and convenience of the very light jets and  light business jets, the mid-size business jet has the flexibility to host larger parties in a pressurized cabin on longer transcontinental flights.

Aircraft  in this 2,000–3,700-mile range class include the Bombardier Learjet 45, Gulfstream G280 and Embraer Legacy 500.

Super mid-size jets in this category seat up to 12 passengers, are more fuel-efficient and can travel even further distances faster than mid-size business jets. Aircraft in this category include the Cessna Citation Sovereign, Learjet 35 and Learjet 60XR.

Heavy Business Jets

Supremely luxurious, the heavy business jet owner has their pick of amenities including ample amounts of passenger space, state-of-the-art electronic suites, the ability to work productively while traveling, and the ability to navigate above or around most inclement weather.

The large business jet or heavy business jet is known for being customizable to the aircraft owners needs. Due to the spacious cabins, these jets are often customized into conference rooms, office or full-service galleys.

Planes like the Gulfstream G500 series and the Bombardier Global and Challenger series can fly 10-18 people over 6,000 miles in maximum comfort.

Private Single Engine

The backbone of private airplane ownership, the private single-engine still constitutes almost 30% of propeller-driven air travel. These planes can cover smaller trips nearly as fast as a substantially more expensive jet—and they can access more remote locations and airfields within 100 to 500 miles. Twin turboprops can get over 1,000 miles, too.

Planes in this category are too numerous to mention but the major players are Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft.

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While this list doesn’t account for every type of aircraft available, these aircraft make up a significant portion of the most popular business jet and private aviation categories. Whether you’re looking for an aircraft to fit your business needs or you simply want an aircraft to quickly escape for a weekend, Omni Aircraft Sales is here to help you find the perfect aircraft.

When you are ready, our sales team can walk you through the acquisition process. From needs assessment to delivery, our process is designed to help you feel empowered and informed to make the right decision with confidence.

If you are not ready to purchase an aircraft for your business or leisure travel, flying by private jet can still be an option through Omni Air Transport.

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