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How to Choose the Right Aircraft: 6 Criteria to Consider

Buying your own private jet is an exciting prospect, whether you’re shopping for private use or for business purposes. Since it’s a significant outlay, it’s a good idea to work to specific criteria so you end up with an aircraft that suits your requirements. From budget to features and ongoing costs, these six selection criteria will help you get started.

1. Budget

Whether you’re buying yourself or through a broker, it’s helpful to have a budget in range so you don’t waste time on aircraft out of your range. Aircraft prices range significantly, so whether you’re spending a few million dollars or tens of millions, having a price range in mind will help guide your shortlisting process.

2. Size and engine

One of the top selection criteria for buying an aircraft is the size of your plane. Size can refer to interior space and the number and/or size of the aircraft’s engine(s). In turn, this reflects capacity and range.

Single piston or very light jets

These very light aircraft have one engine, a propeller engine, and they’re designed for short-range flights in good weather conditions. These types of planes are easy to land on small runways, so they’re excellent if you need to get in and out of airports quickly. The seating capacity is usually around three to five passengers.

Multi piston or light jets

Multi-piston planes are two-engine aircraft with slightly larger seating capacity than single-piston planes. You can usually seat up to eight passengers on these planes, though the range is similar to the single-piston craft, with short-range trips ideal for multi pistons. They tend to be safer than single-piston aircraft in challenging weather conditions.

Turboprop

Turboprop engines are widely used in short to medium range aircraft. Typically the planes can carry up to eight passengers, with ranges of around 1,000 miles or around two hours. Turboprop planes are favoured partly because they tend to be less expensive than larger planes, are cheaper to maintain, and are fuel efficient.

Midsize jets

These jets offer larger headroom and typically come with a separate washroom. They usually seat around eight passengers and have a flight range of three to five hours. Other features may include more luggage space for passengers.

Large jet

Large jets typically offer luxurious, spacious cabins and provide longer flight range, with six to nine hours being standard. These jets can seat up to 16 passengers comfortably, and they offer full-standing headroom, galley, and generous luggage holds.

Business liner

These are large executive jets designed for intercontinental flights. Luxurious and spacious, business liners usually feature full-standing headroom, sleeping facilities, galley, and generous luggage holds.

Ultra long range jet

These aircraft provide the ultimate comfort and range for private jet flights. They’re designed for long-range, global travel, with sleeping facilities and plenty of space.

3. Interiors and configuration

While the larger the aircraft, the bigger the cabin, you’ll also want to consider fitout or configuration when choosing your aircraft. If you’re planning long-haul flights, headroom to stand and walk around will be important. Larger furniture for comfort is also essential, along with private bedrooms for intercontinental flights. Fully featured bathrooms would also be a welcome feature.

4. Your passengers and business requirements

Consider your passengers and your business requirements. If you’ll be transporting clients and business associates, you’ll want your aircraft to create an outstanding impression and offer luxurious travel standards. If the plane will be exclusively used by staff members, functional travel standards will probably be sufficient. For private leisure travel for family and friends, you’ll want comfortable seating, entertainment systems, and extras like kitchen and bar.

5. Destinations

Consider where you’re planning to travel to with your new aircraft. This has an impact on the range as well as limitations of arrival. For example, if you’ll be making local trips to small regional airports, you’ll want to consider the possibility that some of these airports can’t accommodate larger aircraft. If you’re travelling long-distance, you’ll want generous luggage space and sleeping facilities for comfort.

6. Operating and maintenance costs

Consider all the operating and maintenance costs when choosing an aircraft, including insurance, fuel, management, flight crew, financing, repairs, part replacement, and storage. For an accurate picture, make sure you do your due diligence and account for all additional costs beyond purchase.

If you’re buying a plane, start with your budget and get to know the basic categories of aircraft out there. Consider the interiors, along with the needs of your passengers and business. Factor in your intended destinations, and don’t forget to conduct a thorough estimate of operating and maintenance costs.

Luxaviation is one of the largest private aviation operators around the world. We help with chartering, managing, servicing, and FBO services. With our commitment to stringent service standards, we can be your best partner in all aspects of maintaining a private plane. Contact us today for more information.

Posted on Sep 29, 2017 | Tags: Blog

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