The 50 Most Influential Planes of All Time – Part Three

The 50 Most Influential Planes of All Time – Part Three


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The 50 Most Influential Planes of All Time – Part Three

The third addition to this series takes a look at the numerous private charter aircraft in the market. The selected five below are what we consider to be some of the finest aircraft for private use ever designed. The variation selected below is based on three criteria which are basically cost to operate, comfort level, and record of safety. These planes may not have influenced the course of aviation history, but they definitely are influencing aviation today.

The Boeing Business Jet

The mostly Private Boeing Business Jet series are deviations of Boeing airliners targeted specifically to the corporate jet market industry. The Boeing Business Jet which actually is a modification of the 737 airliner series usually seats between 25 and 50 passengers. The modifications included in this aircraft may include a master bedroom with Queen-size bed, two lavatories with showers, a conference room, dining area, and a living area. Other deviations from the standard airliner besides internal furnishing and fittings include blended winglets for additional fuel economy (5–7% improvement) as standard (winglets are optional on airliner 737s), self-contained air stairs for disembarking at airports with limited ground support, and additional fuel tanks for intercontinental range. The Boeing Business Jet is a 50/50 partnership between Boeing Commercial Airplanes and General Electric. The short and long of it is that the Boeing Business Jet is as close as an individual can get to a private flight on Airforce One, the most sophisticated and luxurious jet in the world. This is the absolute best choice for busy executives.

The Lear Jet

The Learjet 60 is a mid-size cabin, medium-range business jet aircraft manufactured by Bombardier Aerospace in Wichita, Kansas, USA. Costing approximately 13 Million Dollars, the Learjet 60 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada 305A engines. General characteristics and specification of this popular private jet is as follows:

  • Crew: 2

  • Capacity: 8 passengers

  • Length: 58 ft 8 in (17.88 m)

  • Wingspan: 43 ft 9 in (13.34 m)

  • Height: 14 ft 8 in (4.47 m)

  • Wing area: 264.5 ft² (24.57 m²)

  • Empty weight: 14,640 lb (6,641 kg)

  • Max. takeoff weight: 23,500 lb (10,660 kg)

  • Power plant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW305A turbofan, 4,600 lbf (20.46 kN) each

  • Performance

  • Maximum speed: 522 mph (453 knots, 839 km/h) (max cruise)

  • Cruise speed: 484 mph (Fast Cruise 536 mph) (420 knots, 778 km/h, Mach 0.74) (long-range cruise)

  • Range: 2,773 mi (2,409 nmi, 4,461 km)

  • Service ceiling: 51,000 ft (15,545 m)

  • Rate of climb: 4,500 ft/min (22.9 m/s)

Cessna 208 Caravan

The Cessna 208 Caravan is a single turboprop engine, fixed-gear short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft which is built in the United States by Cessna. The prototype first flew in December 1982. The production model was certified by the FAA in October 1984. Since then, the Caravan has undergone a number of design evolutions. Working with FedEx, Cessna produced first the Cargo-master.

Eclipse 500

The Eclipse 500 was the only general aviation jet in the market without a bathroom. This element that many executives and other jet purchasers are used to having eventually ‘became an issue’ and a New York Times article on August 29, 2006 posed the question, “Will having a lavatory on board be the key factor in short flight success?” Subsequently, in July, 2006 NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams broadcast raised the issue of the Eclipse 500’s lack of an on board toilet. Passengers needing to relieve themselves on the Eclipse 500 will be required to bring along a portable container. Eclipse Aviation’s CEO Vern Raburn suggested that most of his company’s customers would be using the VLJ for short flights from 300–500 miles in length in 40–80 minutes and that the lavatory issue would not be a problem for VLJ customers. Aside from this issue, the Eclipse 500 made an excellent hopper. Eventually however, the lavatory won.

Piper PA – 42 Cheyenne

Another heavy-weight in the private jet arena, the Piper has been repeatedly redesigned and modified since 1969 and currently the standard specs for this mean lean flying machine has been concluded as below:


  • Crew: One or two

  • Capacity: 1 to 9 passengers

  • Length: 43 ft 4¾ in (13.23 m)

  • Wingspan: 47 ft 8 in (14.53 m)

  • Height: 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)

  • Wing area: 293.0 ft² (27.22 m²)

  • Empty weight: 6,837 lb (3,101 kg)

  • Max. takeoff weight: 11,200 lb (5,080 kg)

  • Power plant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-41 turboprop, 720 shp (537 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 314 knots (582 km/h, 362 mph)

  • Cruise speed: 282 knots (523 km/h, 325 mph) at 35,000 ft (10,700 m)

  • Stall speed: 89 knots (165 km/5, 103 mph) (flaps and undercarriage down)

  • Range: 2,270 nmi (4,207 km, 2,614 mi)

  • Service ceiling: 35,840 ft (10,925 m)

  • Rate of climb: 2,380 ft/min (12.1 m/s)

  • Wing loading: 38.2 lb/ft² (186.7 kg/m²)

  • Power/mass: 0.13 hp/lb (0.21 kW/kg)

As can be seen from this short list, today there is virtually any kind of aircraft a person could need for private charter flight use whether booking a flight to New York City or Palo Alto, California. At Charter Flight Group, we are pleased to offer these fine aircraft along with countless others. To book your next flight, just fill in the information at the top of the page and one of our expert charter planners will contact you back ASAP.

If you enjoyed this article, You may also like, The 50 Most Influential Planes of All Time – Part OneThe 50 Most Influential Planes of All Time – Part TwoTurbulence is as Turbulence Does, or History of Jet Flight and the Issue of Metal Fatigue

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