As aircraft have made it possible for adventure-seekers to travel the world within hours, commercial flight is becoming increasingly privatized for travelers that do not want to deal with airport delays, crowded gates, lost baggage, and more. In fact, private jets are taking over the aviation realm, providing customers a smooth and intimate flying experience. That being said, the world of private jets revolves around mission-based designs, some of which include super fast, ultra-long range, and luxury-focused variations.
Private jets fall into eight categories, ranging from compact, light jets to corporate airliners like the Boeing 747 or A380. These categories are primarily grouped by the size of the aircraft. As planes get bigger, they have the ability to carry more passengers, more baggage, and more fuel so that they can fly longer routes. While private jets usually serve as status symbols for the wealthy, they also find use in the business world to increase productivity and reduce wasted travel time.
A vast majority of these types of jets are owned by charter companies. Though there are many business models, charters are also available from big and small operators around the world as well. Operators in the United States are certified by the FAA under FAR Part 135-Non-Scheduled Air Carriers. More than that, they often use secondary airports that are usually closer to their destination, and their schedules are unaffected by airline delays and cancellations.
In the US, many jet models are operated by the Air Force for special-purpose missions, with the most famous example being Air Force One. Other examples include a 757 used by the Vice President, and many small corporate jets used by dignitaries, high-ranking officers, and many others. With this in mind, we will outline 8 different types of private jets in the next section.
1. Very Light Jets (VLJs)
Serving as the smallest type of private jet, the VLJ has only been around since the 90s. VLJs are only equipped to seat a maximum of five people, making them ideal for owners who fly solo or are accompanied by a few friends or family. Additionally, air taxi operators will often use them to ferry passengers with haste. The cabins have big comfortable seats but limited space to move around. Furthermore, a majority of VLJs utilize FADEC engine technology and have glass cockpits.
2. Small Light Jets
Long before the creation of VLJs, there were small light jets. They are mostly made by major jet manufacturers like Hawker, Learjet, Dassault Falcon, and Cessna Citation. Unlike VLJs, small light jets have room to move around in the cabin and a small lavatory area. They can carry up to eight people comfortably in single row seating that provides a lot of room to recline the seats.
3. Super Light Jets
Slightly stretched in appearance, super light jets can carry up to 11 passengers, depending on the model. They have enough room for luggage and possess better range than smaller jets. Super light jets are great options for longer distances, with ranges up to 2,000 nm for some models. As they are still relatively small, they can operate out of smaller airports.
4. Midsize Cabin Jets
Midsize cabin jets are the smallest planes that offer stand-up headroom. With the capacity to travel over 2,000 nm, they can easily be used for transcontinental flights in North America. Additionally, they are equipped with a flight attendant, providing refreshments and meal services as well as performing safety functions in the case of an emergency. Moreover, they have various amenities such as lavatories and galleys.
5. Super Midsize Cabin Jets
With over a seven hour endurance and a range of about 3,500 nm, super midsize cabin jets can carry up to 12 passengers while providing them luxurious accommodations. Some examples of this type of jet include the Gulfstream G200, Cessna Citation Sovereign, and the Bombardier Challenger 350.
6. Heavy Jets
Offering first-class accommodations and an average range of 4,000 nm, heavy jets are designed for long haul flights with passenger comfort in mind. They can carry up to 12 passengers, and their cabin size can vary depending on the needs of the owner. For instance, some may be designed with more seating and space, while others have luxuries like dining tables and sleeper sofas. In addition to these options, they also have fully enclosed lavatories with showers as well.
7. Ultra-Long Range Heavy Jets
For celebrities and A-listers, there’s no better way to travel than on one’s own ultra-long range heavy jet. They are large enough to transport a big group across oceans, with some subtypes having a range of up to 7,500 nm. With spacious interiors, these jets offer exceptional comfort to all passengers on board.
8. Executive Airliners
The last but most notable type of private jet is the executive airliner. Bizliners, as they are sometimes called, are either factory-built or converted after retiring from commercial airline use. Some famous examples include John Travolta’s 707 and the Sultan of Brunei’s 747. Their interiors vary greatly as they can all be custom ordered to suit a variety of needs.
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