The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTA) reports that 51.7 million U.S. domestic travelers took to the skies in May 2021. This is less than the over 70 million domestic travelers that flew in May 2019. However, major airlines like American Airlines continue to see higher than estimated amounts of travelers. And with the holidays right around the corner, there is no sign that commercial flights will slow down anytime soon.

All of this information is great news for airlines’ pocketbooks, but what about for travelers? If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of buying a private aircraft, there’s no time like the present to make a decision. Between surprise flight delays, last-minute cancellations, and an influx of people willing to fly, that doesn’t leave many benefits for individuals flying commercial.

Owning or partially owning a single-engine aircraft offers several advantages over traditional flights. You skip the lines, most of the wait times, and so much more. But it’s important to know what type of single-engine plane you should be on the lookout for. This is why we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best single-engine planes you should consider.

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Best Single Engine Aircraft To Buy In 2022

Please take a look at our lineup of the top 10 most popular single-engine aircraft on the market.

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1. Cessna Skylane 182 A-R

This tricycle-style aircraft made its debut in 1956. Just before a halt in production in 1986, the final Cessna Skylane 182 model R had a gross weight of 3,100 lbs. Because avionics continued to improve, they also added a bit of weight, making gross weight capacity increases necessary. The 182R is also the last model to have a Continental O-470-U piston engine. Most future models are made with a Lycoming engine.

The 182 is widely used by flight schools, government entities, and more. Additionally, the 182 remains the second best-selling Cessna piston aircraft next to its 172 models. Pilots like this single-engine plane because it has a forgiving nature, solid ground stability, and reasonable operating costs. Today, Cessna is owned by Textron Aviation.

Estimated base prices:

  • 1957 182A – $90,000
  • 1986 182R – $192,000

2. Beechcraft Bonanza A36

Beechcraft is another aviation manufacturer owned by Textron Aviation. And the V-tail Beechcraft Bonanza A36 remains a popular choice for pilots throughout Beechraft’s over seventy-year history. Many consider the A36 as the “ultimate” Bonanza. It’s well-liked because it can travel far, travel quickly, and has an attractive six-seat design.

Estimated base prices:

  • 1970 Bonanza A36 – $159,120
  • 2021 Bonanza G36 – $919,000

3. Piper Cherokee PA-28-180

Like the Beechcraft A36, the Piper PA-28, certified in 1962, is a single-piston aircraft with a tricycle landing gear design. Initially, the Piper PA-28 was known for its Hershey bar-style wing. Similar to the famous candy bar, early models had rectangular platform wings giving it a bar-like appearance. Particularly, the Piper PA-28-180 is a four-seater aircraft with a Lycoming O-360-A3A or O-360-A4A engine.

Owned by Piper Aircraft, many PA-28-180s have been part of military operations globally. It’s also a staple favorite of many private owners and flight clubs because it’s simple and easy to fly. Furthermore, it’s considered reliable and great for student pilots.

Estimated base prices:

  • 1961 Cherokee 28-180 – $56,400
  • 1975 Cherokee 28-180 – $78,000

4. Cessna Skyhawk 172

Cessna’s 172 Skyhawk is another American favorite introduced in 1956. While it isn’t the fastest aircraft on the market, it is reliable and ideal for flight training. Additionally, not only is the 172 still in production but over 44,000 have been produced since its inception. Because of this, the 172 is the most produced single-engine plane in aviation history.

Owners rely on the 172 because it’s easy-to-fly and has reasonable operating costs. It comfortably seats four and has even made a record-breaking refueled flight of about 150,000 miles in 1959.

  • New model 172S base price: $432,000

5. Cirrus SR22

Cirrus is known for its creativity, especially regarding safety. The original SR22, introduced in 2001, was a more powerful version of the SR20. It has a fixed and non-retractable tricycle landing gear and Cirrus’s signature Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). It’s also the only aircraft still made in its class that uses side-stick flight controls with traditional side yoke characteristics. Pilots enjoy the SR22’s advanced features and capabilities and suggest practicing on an SR20 to nail down the flight style of the SR22.

  • 2021 SR22 base price: $959,900

6. Piper Arrow II/III PA-28R-200/201

Introduced in 1969, the Piper Arrow II PA-28R-200 eventually transformed into the Arrow III PA-28R-201 in 1977. The Piper Arrow is designed to be an easy transition from training to flying a single-piston as it is not as complex as other aircraft. Furthermore, it maintains the same predictable handling as its Cherokee sibling. However, with its retractable gear, it’s faster than the Cherokee.

Estimated base prices:

  • 1969 Arrow II 28R-200 – $66,000
  • 2020 Arrow III 28R-201 – $496,240

7. Piper Cherokee PA-28-140

Piper’s Cherokee PA-28-140 had an initial two-seater design and was made for training. Later designs would feature four seats. Even after boosting its horsepower to 150, the model kept its 140 name. If you’re looking for a light aircraft geared to handle the training, air taxi, and personal use, this is the aircraft for you.

Estimated base prices:

  • 1964 Cherokee 140 – $37,950
  • 1977 Cherokee 140 – $50,600

8. Mooney M20E Super 21 & M20E Executive 21

Craving a little speed? Mooney has a special band of followers that rave about their M20E Super 21 and M20E Executive 21 aircraft produced from 1964 to 1975. Both contain a Lycoming O-360 engine with a horsepower of 200 that packs a real punch. Both models are owned by Mooney International Corporation, known for its family of M20 models.

Estimated base prices:

  • 1964 M20E – $49,500
  • 1977 M20F – $80,300

9. Piper Archer II & III PA-28-181

Once again, we see another Piper model. These models are also known as being part of the Cherokee family of aircraft. While an Archer won’t be the fastest model in the skies, pilots like that it consistently lands well. Furthermore, they can handle crosswinds with minimal effort. Plus, when the tanks are full, your useful load goes from about 775 to 886 pounds. Both Archer I and II were certified in 1975 and 1994, respectively. This is a big pro when it comes to small family trips. The series itself is still in production.

Estimated base prices:

  • 1976 Archer II – $84,000
  • 2020 Archer TX – $380,860

10. Beechcraft Bonanza S-V35B (TC)

Finally, another Bonanza makes the list. But this time, we’re focusing on models S35 through V35B. These six-seater single piston engine aircraft have the V-tail style and gained improvements over time. The S35 is powered with a Continental IO-520-B engine, while the V35 TC’s are fitted with a turbocharged TSIO-520-D engine.

Even after some controversy regarding the design of the S through the V model’s tail design, pilots continue to favor their V-tail Bonanzas. This is because they’re fairly fast and consistently perform well.

Estimated base prices:

  • 1964 S35 – $81,000
  • 1982 V35B (TC) – $167,400

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