A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Private Jets

When looking for your first private jet, there are a few amenities you want to make sure your aircraft is equipped with. Here’s a handy guide to the different types of private jets.

Decisions, decisions… Buying your private jet is a big one, but it comes with many benefits.

If you often travel for work, your jet will pay for itself many times over in terms of saving you time and hassle.

It’s perfect for vacations too, allowing you to fly first class wherever you go. You’ll also get to skip the crowds and queues at busy commercial airports.

More people are taking advantage of these aspects every year. During 2017, privately owned planes made up 62% of private jet departures in the USA.

If you’re ready to join the aviation elite, there are a few things you need to consider first.

There are over 100 types of private jets grouped into eight categories. Here’s a quick guide to choosing the right one for you.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Jet

Before you set out in search of your perfect private jet, there are a few things to consider first.

These are:

  • Seating capacity of the jet
  • How much luggage you will be carrying
  • How far you expect it to fly without refueling
  • Desired amenities
  • Size and height of the cabin

In general, when you max out the carrying capacity of a small jet, you sacrifice on the distance it can travel. More weight means fewer miles on a single tank.

Bearing these factors firmly in mind, here’s what you can expect when you go jet shopping.

The 8 Types of Private Jets

Having a good idea of what your needs are, you can further narrow your search according to the types of private jet types available today. These are:

1. Compact Light Jets or Very Light Jets (VLJs)

These little beauties are very well suited to short-haul distances. They are cheaper to run than their larger counterparts and can use shorter runways.

You can choose a version with or without a lavatory, but these types of jets seldom have enough space for a cabin attendant. They can accommodate between 4 and 7 passengers and have a range of up to 1,174 nautical miles.

The best-known VLJs are the Embraer Phenom 100, the Eclipse 500, and the Cessna Citation Mustang.

2. Small Cabin (Light) Jets

Many executives prefer these jets for business travel. They can easily manage a 2 to 3-hour flight and are reasonably cost-effective.

These planes carry up to 8 passengers, with variable hold-size options, and no cabin attendant. Most of them have an onboard lavatory.

These types of private planes include the likes of the Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1A, Cessna Citation CJ4, and Dassault Falcon 10.

James Brown’s Learjet 23 was a light jet, and one of the first planes designed for the discerning business traveler.

3. Super Light Jets

This type of aircraft is a step up from the small cabin jet with a more spacious interior and more space for luggage.

Their top range is around 2030 nautical miles, and they are still small enough to use short runways at private airstrips.

Eight passengers travel in enhanced comfort onboard these planes.

The Citation Excel, Citation XLS, Gulfstream G-100, Learjet 45XR, and Hawker Beechcraft 750 fit into this category.

4. Midsize Cabin Jets

There are plenty of varieties to choose from in this category of business jet.

You can choose from long or short-range aircraft capable of variable speeds. They remain more fuel-efficient than the larger types of jets and have many luxurious amenities.

These planes usually feature large luggage storage, fold-out divans, and enclosed bathrooms. They can carry up to 8 passengers across the US and have a flight time of 7 hours.

The most popular types of midsize cabin jets include the Lear 45, Gulfstream G150, Hawker 800/800XP, and Embraer Legacy 500. The latter two can accommodate a cabin attendant.

5. Super Midsize Cabin Jets

Like the super light jets, these types of private planes are a more luxurious variety of their midsize equivalents.

Some of these can accommodate up to 12 passengers and can fly further, faster. These jets still offer an excellent economy despite their additional size and range.

Top models include the Cessna Citation Sovereign, Learjet 35, and Learjet 60XR.

6. Heavy Jets or Large Cabin Jets

Heavy jets are large and can transport an average of 10 passengers in supreme comfort, as well as flight attendants.

They usually have first-class seating, pull-out tabletops, and even private sleeping areas.

Some of them, like the Gulfstream II and Challenger 605, can travel for 9 hours non-stop and have a range of 4000 miles.

7. Ultra Long Range Heavy Jets

The Gulfstream G550, Bombardier Global 6000, and Dassault Falcon 7X are ultra-long-range jets, and these aircraft all have a range of 6,000 to 6,500 nautical miles.

Ultra long-range heavy jets are superbly luxurious with loads of passenger and baggage space, stand-up cabins, and lie-flat beds. Enclosed bathrooms are a standard feature.

These plush planes are a favorite of the rich and famous. Simon Cowell of America’s Got Talent fame is one of the celebrities who own an ultra-long-range jet.

8. Bizliners

These are the most expensive private jets on the market today and can boast any combination of amenities you desire.

Business centers, private suites, and dining areas are the norms on these planes. You can also look forward to plenty of space for flight attendants to see to your every need.

The Airbus A318 Elite, Embraer lineage 1000, and the Boeing BBJ are top of the range in this category.

The Cost of a Private Jet

Naturally, the price is one of the primary considerations when considering the types of private jets most suited to your needs.

Always get an independent aircraft appraisal for any plane that you want to purchase. This will ensure that you pay a fair price for your investment.

VREF’s useful online reports are the easiest way to get the latest information on a specific aircraft. These were previously available only to industry professionals, but now private buyers have access to them too.

Stay up to date with all the latest news concerning aircraft values and appraisals by following our blog.