Since air travel changed a lot in these last couple of years, owning a plane is a sign of independence and status, not to mention luxury. Imagine getting into your plane just like you’re getting into your car and flying from one country to another in just a few hours. How cool is that?
Getting your own pilot license is also becoming more popular and more and more people are looking into it, myself included. Being able to fly your own plane is a dream come true for many that have an independent spirit and love to explore new places as often as possible.
Many people are getting fed up with airline rules and security lines at airports, therefore they’re looking into private aviation. Companies like Wheels Up and NetJets have been trying to convince flyers to buy shares in airplanes. While the private aircraft remains owned by the company, you get the luxury of being able to get into your plane to get to wherever you feel like at a moment’s notice. Instead of dealing with traffic and road hassles, a four hour drive can take you 20 minutes if you have your private plane at your beck and call.
Of course not all of us can afford to purchase a plane, or even shares in one. But we can dream, right? For the privileged ones that are on the market for a plane, there are several types of aircrafts that you can look into. For a first timer, a single-engine airplane it’s probably the best way to go, especially if you’re planning to be your own pilot.
But what is it that you need to look for when you’re purchasing a plane?
There are a few things that you should always keep under consideration, such as safety and price. There are a few planes that are not actually that expensive. We will show you a few models that are not much more expensive than a car.
The upkeep costs should be taken into consideration as well, such as fuel and the cost of the pilot license. If you’re not confident enough to fly your own plane, you will have to pay a private pilot to fly you, so that’s an additional cost to take into consideration. But the freedom that owning your own plane offers you is priceless.
As you will see, there are so many models that vary in price and features they offer. You can dip your toes into this market and start off with an affordable but reliable model, or you can get one of the best aircrafts in this category that money can buy. And some of them are pretty expensive private jets that only the richest people in the world can afford, equipped with top of the line specs, long range, and luxury details that we can only dream of.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the 15 best small airplanes that you can buy in 2021, and hopefully your taste of adventure will be awakened.
15. Diamond DA40 NG
If safety is your main concern, you should consider this model from Diamond because in over a decade of operating they only had one accident. Diamond’s DA40 NG model offers you excellent handling for a single engine plane, so you can feel in control when you’re up in the air.
This four-seater light aircraft is built from composite materials, and it first came into production in 1997. It is diesel powered, but the gas version should be available shortly.
14. Beechcraft G36 Bonanza
One of the most popular small aircrafts in history, the G36 Bonanza from Beechcraft has been around since 1947. Just like a reliable car, this American-made model has been upgraded throughout the years, and more efficient engines and electronic updates to suit our current needs have been added.
It is a six-seater single-engine aircraft that now boasts a Continental IO-550 engine. It reaches cruising speeds of 175mph thanks to its 165 hp.
13. Cessna 172
Another iconic model, the super reliable Cessna 172 is an aircraft that has been produced for many years as well. First introduced on the market back in 1955, it is a popular model that is often used as a trainer at flying schools, so you know you can trust it.
Although not the best looking plane out there, if you’re looking to hop on for a quick weekend getaway, you have a great option with this one. This American-made four seater is a fixed wing, high wing aircraft that features a tricycle undercarriage.
12. Mooney M20 Acclaim Ultra
One of the fastest single-engine planes on the market, the Acclaim also boasts a very well designed interior. The undercarriage is sleek and streamlined which gives this little aircraft a larger range. It also releases the pressure slowly, so you will enjoy a smooth take-off and landing.
Featuring low wings and tricycle gear, this four seater propeller driven model is piston powered. To operate it you will need about 8 and a half gallons of Avgas, or just over $50 per hour.
11. Pilatus PC-12 NG
A rugged little plane, the Pilatus PC-12 is one of the fastest single engine aircrafts on the market and it boasts an excellent range as well. Renowned for being able to land safely even on shorter and less maintained runways, this powerful model is efficient and provides you with a large cabin and enough room for carrying cargo as well as several passengers.
Equipped with high quality Swiss engineering and state-of-the-art avionics, it is one of the most comfortable and versatile aircrafts in the single engine category.
10. Piper M350
One of the best small planes you can find today, this twin turbocharged piston engine aircraft is one of the few swifter single-engine planes. The Piper M350 plane can go to 280 knots and up to 25,000 feet of altitude thanks to the cabin that has great pressure and it’s easily able to handle the high altitudes.
The plane’s dual turbochargers will keep costs low while maintaining consistent fuel burn. This high-performing machine is especially a good investment if you also enjoy the finest interiors an aircraft has to offer. A durable and reliable choice.
9. Cirrus Vision Jet SF50
On the smaller side, this little machine from Cirrus Aircraft is pretty powerful though. A reliable private jet with a single engine system, it is powered by a turbofan engine that has capabilities of creating over 18,000 lbs of thrust. Featuring a distinctive tail, this aircraft is perfect for someone who loves to pilot their own plane.
Designed with carbon fibre materials that are about half the cost of other private jets in this range, the cabin is equipped with many luxury details and features that could match any competitors.
8. Icon A5 Amphibious
The unique design of the Icon A5 looks like something that comes straight from G.I.Joe, but it isn’t even close to being a sci-fi creation. This single engine aircraft is built around a two-seat cockpit that makes you feel as if you’re riding in your car. It is constructed in an amphibian design equipped with retractable wings and it has water landing capabilities.
This lightweight and sporty airplane from ICON comes with both a full-plane parachute and useful LSA options, but you can also remove the landing gear if you choose to land on water. It’s definitely one of the most versatile small planes on the market.
7. Cessna TTx
If you want to compare planes to cars, the Cessna TTx is the equivalent of a luxury sedan. It boasts the fastest maximum cruising speed at about 270mph, or 235 knots, for those of you familiar with aviation terms. It seats four adults, so it makes a perfect little getaway plane for a family or a small group of friends.
It offers a great range too, so you can use it instead of flying commercial. This aircraft’s best feature has got to be the ESP (Electronic Stability Protection) autopilot system, for those times when the pilot needs a break or is struggling to keep the plane under control.
6. Eclipse 550
This personal jet is easily one of the best planes that you can find at around the $3 million mark. Extremely efficient, it consumes only 59 gallons of fuel per hour, so it’s better for your pocket and the environment. The maximum speed it reaches is 430 mph, or 375 knots, which makes it one of the fastest small airplanes on the market.
The Eclipse 550 can also fly above the majority of commercial aircrafts, reaching a cruising altitude of 41,000 feet. You can opt to add the Enhanced and Synthetic Vision as well, which comes in handy if you prefer to fly at night. This feature also comes with a heads-up display that has 3-D maps integrated in the system, so you can see if you’re approaching anything that could impair your flight.
5. Embraer Phenom 100
A very light jet developed by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, the Phenom 100 is considered an “entry-level” jet in comparison with others in this category. It offers quite a lot of features for the price though, which is somewhere in the mid-range. Twin turbofans that can reach speeds of 390 knots and an impressive range of 2,182 km, or 1,356 miles, so it’s definitely a fast little plane.
The large BMW-designed cabin features a fully enclosed lavatory and it seats up to eight adults and two crew members as well. It has a built-in wardrobe for your convenience, so you can get comfortable on-flight, among other state of the art avionics such as large display screens that enhance the pilot’s awareness.
4. Beechcraft King Air 350i
Probably the most fuel efficient private jet that can sit 10 people, the King Air from Beechcraft is a cool-looking twin turboprop plane with a strong airframe. The landing gear is one of its more sought after features, and it can take off with a larger load than other jets in this larger category. Usually people that have larger families or a great entourage are interested in this particular model of aircraft.
Considered a single engine plane, it offers amenities and a level of comfort that is customary in midsized business jets. It offers a range of close to 2,080 miles and a maximum cruise speed of 360 mph, or 312 knots, and it can also reach altitudes of 35,000 feet.
3. Learjet 70/75
Now, the last three models we saved for you all sell over $10 million and they’re some of the largest and fastest single engine jets on the planet. When you hear the name Learjet, you automatically know that whoever is flying it has substantial wealth.
With max flying altitudes of 45,000 feet and practically transcontinental range that can reach 2,060 nautical miles, you’ve got yourself a powerful machine on your hands. It borders on the midsize jet, but with 200 pounds lighter than its previous model it can still be categorized as a single engine plane.
The Learjet 70 / 75 can sit six passengers and two crew members, and it features Garmin’s latest avionics layout, with 5.7 to 14 inch touchscreen panels. Bombardier Aerospace, the Canadian company that is well known for building great quality aircraft is the manufacturer of this model.
2. Dassault Falcon 7X
The coolest jet that some billionaires purchase, the Falcon 7X is highly praised for so many reasons. With a range of 5,950 nautical miles, this business jet is manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation. It reaches a cruising speed of 560 mph and maximum speeds of 575 mph, and seats 12 passengers plus crew for a maximum capacity of 19 people. Its specs are simply amazing too.
Equipped with a triple cluster of engines that makes it one of only two tri jets in the world, it has landing speed of 104 knots, which allows it to land at some of the major airports that usually cater to commercial flights. It is also one of the safest aircrafts that provide a slower approach at landing.
1. Gulfstream G650
Last but not least, the Gulfstream G650. This is easily one of the most impressive private jets in the world. It can reach 7,000 nautical miles, which is the equivalent of a flight from Tokyo to LA, and it can even spare some fuel. Top speeds of 580mph and cruising speed of 570mph, it is in a category of its own. Only military fighter jets surpass it when speed is concerned.
With a wingspan of 30 metres, or 98 feet, the Gulfstream G650 business jet seats between 11 and 18 passengers plus crew. The flight crew has access to the largest windscreen available and the best avionics the world has to offer.
Super pressurized cabin means you feel less tired, especially after a long flight, and sheepskin covered seats, a fold-down double bed and a pop-up 26 inch screen TV, are some of the amenities this top class aircraft provides you with.
There you have it, a list that gives you an idea of the 15 smaller planes available on the market today. Fly safe!
- 15. Diamond DA40 NG
- 14. Beechcraft G36 Bonanza
- 13. Cessna 172
- 12. Mooney M20 Acclaim Ultra
- 11. Pilatus PC-12 NG
- 10. Piper M350
- 9. Cirrus Vision Jet SF50
- 8. Icon A5 Amphibious
- 7. Cessna TTx
- 6. Eclipse 550
- 5. Embraer Phenom 100
- 4. Beechcraft King Air 350i
- 3. Learjet 70/75
- 2. Dassault Falcon 7X
- 1. Gulfstream G650