Every Type of Private Jet – Which One is Best?

Dassault 900LX Exterior

Here is everything you need to know about every type of private jet. From small single engine jets to large ones that can almost break the sound barrier – here is a comprehensive guide.

Private jets are popular thanks to their privacy, time saving and increased comfort levels over a traditional commercial flight. However, with a large variety of private jet types available, the right choice can seem daunting at first.

Some aircraft have showers. Others have staterooms. Some, in very rare cases, don’t have a toilet.

Therefore, identifying which private jet is right for your needs, has all the necessary features and within budget is vital. Different aircraft will perform best in different scenarios. Furthermore, having a basic understanding of aircraft types will make booking one a whole lot easier.

Type of Private Jet – Very Light Jets (VLJs)

As the name suggests, Very Light Jets the smallest type of jet aircraft on the market. Very Light Jets – usually abbreviated to VLJs – are cost-effective to operate, charter and maintain.

Very Light Jets typically have a range of just over 1,000 Nautical Miles (1,150 Miles / 1,850 KM). As a result, these aircraft are perfect for missions of up to 3 hours. Seating capacity onboard is comfortable for up to four passengers.

However, all VLJ aircraft (all private jets really) have a far larger stated passenger capacity than realistic. For example, the HondaJet officially has space for up to six passengers. Four would be in the club seating within the main cabin, a fifth on a side facing seat and one more in the cockpit. However, this would make for a a very cramped experience. Furthermore, any reputable charter operator will not permit passengers in the cockpit. Reputable charter operators will insist on having two pilots upfront for safety reasons.

Eclipse 500 exterior in flight - types of private jets
Eclipse 500 Exterior

This leads into another feature of VLJ aircraft – they are single pilot certified. While this will not make a difference if you are chartering a VLJ, it will make a difference if you wish to own or lease a VLJ. Therefore, you will have the option to either employ just one pilot or fly the aircraft yourself.

Additionally, VLJs are far more fuel efficient than larger aircraft. The average fuel burn for a VLJ is around the 100 Gallons Per Hour (GPH) mark. In order to calculate the emissions per flight hour of private jets, use this convenient tool.

The Background of VLJs

VLJs are a fairly new phenomenon in the private jet world. The first real VLJ aircraft was the Eclipse 500. Deliveries of the Eclipse 500 started in 2006 and was instantly popular. However, due to financial difficulties, deliveries ceased in 2008.

Following on from the quick success of the Eclipse 500, Cessna started delivering the Cessna Citation Mustang. The Mustang was, much like the Eclipse 500, instantly popular. The Mustang is perfect for carrying up to 4 passengers on short hops around North America and Europe.

The smallest VLJ, therefore the smallest jet aircraft on the market, is the Cirrus Vision Jet. The Vision Jet has just one jet engine. However, that doesn’t stop if from being able to produce some impressive numbers. The Vision Jet can cruise at 311 knots and can fly a maximum distance of 1,275 Nautical Miles without needing to refuel.

Side profile of Cirrus Vision Jet SF50 Exterior aerial shot flying through clouds in red paint
Cirrus Vision Jet

Important to note with the Eclipse 500 and Cirrus Vision Jet is that neither one has a toilet onboard. The Cessna Mustang is just a step above with an “emergency” toilet available.

Currently there are three main VLJs that are in production – the Embraer Phenom 100EV, Cessna Citation M2 and HondaJet HA-420. See a comparison between these aircraft here.

VLJ Interiors

The typical configuration for a VLJ is to have four seats arranged in a club configuration. A club configuration is when seats face each other. VLJs will typically have fold out tables in-between the seats. This means that work can easily be accomplished on a flight. Alternatively, a meal can easily be eaten onboard.

VLJs will usually have a lavatory at the rear of the aircraft. Exceptions to the rule are the Eclipse 500, Cirrus Vision Jet, and depending on how you define a lavatory, the Cessna Citation Mustang.

VLJs will have the loudest cabin of all private jets. This is due to the engines being so close to the cabin. However, a notable exception to this is the HondaJet with its over-wing mounted engines. One modern VLJs the cabin can be controlled from your phone. Therefore, features such as cabin audio, lighting and temperature can be changed from an app on your phone.

HondaJet Interior of cabin, four seats in club formation trimmed in white leather
HondaJet Interior

VLJs usually include a refreshment center. This provides a place to store drinks and snacks. Note that the functionality of these refreshment centers are not on the same level as the galleys on large jets. Therefore, don’t expect any gourmet meals onboard.

The maximum cabin altitude is typically at the 8,000 feet mark. This is the same cabin altitude that you would find on an airliner. The benefit of a lower cabin altitude is a more comfortable cabin as there is more oxygen in the air. Additionally, jet lag will be reduced if you fly with a lower cabin altitude. However, VLJs are unable to travel distances that result in significant jet lag.

VLJ Aircraft Stats

AircraftMax PassengersMax RangePurchase PriceEstimated Charter Cost Per Hour
Cessna Citation M261,550 Nautical Miles$4.7 million$2,350
Cirrus Vision Jet SF5051,275 Nautical Miles$2.85 million$1,900
Eclipse 50051,125 Nautical Miles$1 million$1,700
Embraer Phenom 100EV61,178 Nautical Miles$4.5 million$2,400
HondaJet HA-42061,223 Nautical Miles$4.8 million$2,400
Facts and figures of example Very Light Jet aircraft

Who Are VLJs For?

VLJs are great aircraft. They are fast, nimble and cost effective. They provide all the conveniences of a private jet in a small package. VLJs provide an excellent way to start your journey into the private jet world. The aircraft are comfortable and very safe.

VLJs are perfect for the following customers:

  • Customers travelling in small groups.
  • Travelling short distances.
  • Aim to keep costs to a minimum.
  • Traveling in and out of small airports.

If you wish to view all the VLJs that are available for yourself, then search through them here. Here you can sort & filter all the aircraft to suit your exact needs.

Type of Private Jet – Light Jets

Light jets offer increased passenger capacity over VLJ aircraft. This, therefore, makes light jets more popular among business travellers.

Light jets can also fly further than VLJs, with an average range of 2,000 Nautical Miles (2,301 Miles / 3,704 KM). Light jets can typically cruise at 450 – 460 knots.

These factors make the aircraft perfect for longer routes than a VLJ. Additionally, the aircraft are perfect if you are flying a short distance but need to carry a few extra passengers or luggage.

Embraer Phenom 300E exterior on ground with door open at sunset
Embraer Phenom 300E

This type of private jet is capable of reaching smaller airports and runways, much like VLJs. The primary benefit of this is that you can land closer to your final destination. This, therefore, will reduce your overall travel time.

Furthermore, smaller airports will be less busy than bigger ones. As a result less time is spent within the airports. This all contributes to the primary benefit of flying by private jet – saving time.

At this level of private jet you will find a lavatory, refreshment centre and, in rare cases, a fully flat floor.

The typical stated passenger capacity of Light Jets is around the 9 to 10 passenger mark. However, as is common with passenger capacity, you are unlikely to fill every seat. A more realistic passenger occupancy rate is 6.

Furthermore, just like VLJs, most light jets are approved for single pilot operation. Therefore, if you are buying a Light jet you can employ just one pilot or fly it yourself.

Typical Light Jets

Perhaps the most common type of light jet that you will come across is the Embraer Phenom 300/300E. The Brazilian manufacturer has kept the Phenom 300 as one of the best performing and most comfortable light jets on the market.

Other popular light jets include the Cessna Citation CJ3+ and the Bombardier Learjet 75 Liberty. However, unfortunately Bombardier will cease production of the Learjet range of aircraft at the end of 2021.

The Nextant 400XTi is a worthy mention of light jets due to its excellent cost efficiency. The Nextant 400XTi is a refurbished Hawker 400/400A aircraft. However, the extent of the refurbishment is so significant that the 400XTi is technically considered a new aircraft. The 400XTi is a unique jet and features a fully flat floor for maximum comfort.

Read a full, in-depth comparison of all the in-production Light jets here.

Light Jet Interiors

The interior of a light jet is very similar to that of a VLJ, albeit with a couple extra seats. Seats are typically arranged in a club configuration with two more towards the rear of the aircraft.

Passengers will be pleased to know that a lavatory is common at the rear of a light jet.

Additionally, this type of private jet often feature a light refreshment center, which is typically available at the front of the aircraft.

Fold out tables make it easy to get work done during you flight. Additionally, the tables provide ample space for basic dining.

Bombardier Learjet 75 Liberty Interior

This type of private jet also feature increased luggage capacity over its smaller VLJ equivalents. Expect the aircraft to also be quieter inside.

Cabin altitude will usually remain the same as VLJs, going to a maximum of 8,000 feet. However, a notable exception to this is the Embraer Phenom 300E. The Phenom 300E has a maximum cabin altitude of just 6,600 feet.

While light jets don’t add a large number of features over VLJs, the key reason that some passengers prefer them is the increase in space. While not terribly significant, the slightly larger cabins make it easier to move around and have some privacy.

Light Aircraft Stats

AircraftMax PassengersMax RangePurchase PriceEstimated Charter Cost Per Hour
Bombardier Learjet 75 Liberty92,080 Nautical Miles$9.9 million$3,400
Cessna Citation CJ3+92,040 Nautical Miles$8 million$2,750
Cessna Citation CJ4102,165 Nautical Miles$9.7 million$2,800
Embraer Phenom 300E102,010 Nautical Miles$9.45 million$3,150
Nextant 400XTi82,003 Nautical Miles$5.2 million$3,000
Facts and figures of example Light Jet aircraft

Who Are Light Jets For?

Light jets are perfect for the the private jet customer who requires more space than a VLJ offers – whether that is people or things. Additionally, light jets offer improved range and comfort over VLJS.

Therefore, light jets are perfect for the following customers:

  • Customers flying further than a VLJ allows.
  • Flying with up to 6 passengers.
  • Customers seeking increased comfort over VLJ aircraft.

If you wish to view all the light jets that are available for yourself, then search through them here. Here you can sort & filter all the aircraft to suit your exact needs.

Type of Private Jet – Medium Jets

Medium (often referred to as midsize) jets are in the optimum sweet spot of aircraft.

These aircraft can just as easily fly short-haul as then can long-haul. These aircraft can cross continents and oceans without issue.

The aircraft are bigger and more comfortable than VLJs and light jets. The bigger cabin is ideal for passengers who are seeking increased headroom and additional luggage space.

Furthermore, with a bigger cabin comes more seats. Therefore, midsize jets are perfect for when a few more passengers need to be transported.

Cessna Citation Latitude Exterior
Cessna Citation Latitude

Medium sized jets typically have space for 9 to 12 passengers. However, unlike with VLJs and light jets, these passenger figures are more realistic. Furthermore, as medium sized jets usually require two pilots, passenger figures don’t include one person sitting upfront. An exception to this rule is the Pilatus PC-24.

You may sometimes come across an aircraft referred to as a “super-midsize jets”. These aircraft are in-between medium jets and large jets. However, this distinction isn’t included here as the primary difference is an increase in range and passenger capacity.

Medium sized jets have an average range of 3,000 Nautical Miles (3,450 Miles / 5,555 KM) and can cruise at around 460 knots.

Typical Medium Jets

Typical medium sized jets that you are likely to come across are the Cessna Citation Latitude, Cessna Citation Sovereign+ and Embraer Praetor 500.

A particularly notable aircraft within the medium jets category is the Pilatus PC-24. Dubbed as the only SVJ – “super versatile jet”. The PC-24 is a jet that provides ample comfort, impressive short field performance and can land on dirt runways.

The PC-24 is one of the most rugged business jets around, with a fantastic “go anywhere” attitude. Additionally, the PC-24 is certified for single pilot operation and is popular with the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Australia.

View all kinds of medium jets here.

Medium Jet Interiors

The interior of medium jets is where things start to get really interesting. This is due to the increase in range. The significant increase in range result in midsize jets requiring an increase in amenities.

Therefore, midsize jets are more spacious – in most cases with fully flat floors. Most midsize jets have far larger seats with more legroom than light jets.

Additionally, due to the transatlantic range, most midsize jets have the ability to convert some of the seats and divans into fully flat beds.

Embraer Legacy 500 interior with cream leather club seats and divan looking towards the back of the aircraft
Embraer Legacy 500 Interior

Galleys are far more equipped on midsize jets, resulting in increased meal capabilities. Furthermore, the aircraft is big enough to consider getting a flight attendant for the journey.

This type of private jet also has a quieter cabin than smaller aircraft. Additionally, the maximum cabin altitude of these aircraft are far lower than VLJs or light jets.

With midsize jets maximum cabin altitudes can go as low as 5,800 feet when flying at 45,000 feet. Note that the aircraft that are capable of this are all made by Embraer – check them out here.

Medium Aircraft Stats

AircraftMax PassengersMax RangePurchase PriceEstimated Charter Cost Per Hour
Cessna Citation Sovereign+123,200 Nautical Miles$19 million$4,400
Embraer Legacy 500123,125 Nautical Miles$18.4 million$4,550
Embraer Praetor 50093,340 Nautical Miles$17 million$4,500
Pilatus PC-2492,000 Nautical Miles$10.7 million$4,150
Facts and figures of example Medium Jet aircraft

Who Are Medium Jets For?

Medium jets are ideal if you are looking to cross continents or oceans. Additionally, midsize aircraft are ideal for customers who need to transport additional passengers a short distance.

Medium jets are perfect for the following customers:

  • Customers looking to fly across oceans, e.g. New York to London.
  • Flying a large group a short distance.
  • Customers who want a luxurious but well priced experience.

If you wish to view all the Medium Jets that are available for yourself, then search through them here. Here you can sort & filter all the aircraft to suit your exact needs.

Type of Private Jet – Large Jets

Large jets are the pinnacle of business aviation. This is where all the latest technology and developments start. These are the aircraft that specialize in long distance flying.

This type of private jet can have showers onboard, dedicated crew rest areas, two restrooms and dedicated bedrooms.

The aircraft in this category feature some of best know manufacturers in the industry, such as Gulfstream, Bombardier and Dassault.

Falcon 6X exterior overhead view over ocean - type of private jet
Dassault Falcon 6X

These aircraft fly the fastest, the highest and are the most luxurious.

There is quite a variation within the large jet category. Sometimes you will see a sub category of ultra-long range jets.

The range of large jets can range anywhere from just over 3,000 Nautical Miles (3,452 Miles / 5,555 KM) to over 7,500 Nautical Miles (8,630 Miles / 13,890 KM).

Large jets have a typical cruise speed of 470 – 480 knots. However, the top range aircraft can easily cruise at over 500 knots. This places them at speeds just below the speed of sound.

Typical Large Jets

Large jets come in a wide range of sizes. On the smaller end you have aircraft such as the Gulfstream G280 and Bombardier Challenger 350. These aircraft are sometimes classed as super midsize aircraft.

Other smaller aircraft include the Dassault Falcon 2000S and 2000LXS, along with the Embraer Praetor 600. These aircraft all have respectable numbers. They can cruise at around 460 knots with a maximum range of around 4,000 Nautical Miles.

These aircraft cost in the $20 million – $30 million price range. Most can fly up to a maximum altitude of 45,000 to 47,000 feet without issue.

However, within the large jets category there are some heavyweight aircraft. Aircraft such as the Bombardier Global 7500, the Gulfstream G700 and Dassault Falcon 8X.

The Global 7500 and G700 can comfortably cruise at 516 knots (0.9 Mach). The Global 7500 has a maximum range of 7,700 Nautical Miles. A distance that means it can fly non-stop from London to Australia (if the conditions are right). The G700 has a large enough cabin to have up to five separate living areas.

These are the crème de la crème of business aviation aircraft. Read a comparison of the latest flagship aircraft there.

Large Jet Interiors

The interior of large jets is simply incredible. Large cabins make it easy to move around. Many large jets have capacity for up to 19 passengers. An aircraft like the Gulfstream G650 is able to carry 19 passengers seated, and 10 passengers in a sleeping configuration.

Expect to find crew rest areas and two lavatories on the largest aircraft. Additionally, showers can also be found onboard. An aircraft like the Dassault Falcon 8X has a shower in the rear.

The noise within the cabins are extremely low, with some Gulfstream’s having a cabin noise level of just 47 decibels.

Cabin altitude is also extremely low. The industry leading Gulfstream aircraft have a maximum cabin altitude of just 4,100 feet when cruising at 51,000 feet. This will ensure that jet lag is at an absolute minimum on arrival.

Falcon 6x spacious cabin interior view - type of private jet
Dassault Falcon 6X Interior

Aircraft cabins can, of course, be controlled from your phone. Large windows throughout the cabins drench the interior with natural light. The Dassault Falcon 6X even has a skylight. The first one fitted to an in-production business jet.

A full service galley ensures that you can enjoy gourmet meals while you cruise across the ocean. WiFi is often available onboard. The strength of the WiFi ensures that you can partake in video conferences and stream movies.

Aircraft like the Bombardier Global 7500 feature circadian rhythm lighting systems to further reduce jet lag. This, combined with the private stateroom at the rear of the aircraft help to further reduce jet lag.

The private stateroom onboard some large jets therefore provide you with a full sized bed for a perfect nights sleep.

Large Aircraft Stats

AircraftMax PassengersMax RangePurchase PriceEstimated Charter Cost Per Hour
Bombardier Global 7500197,700 Nautical Miles$73 million$15,900
Dassault Falcon 6X165,500 Nautical Miles$47 million$10,000
Dassault Falcon 900LX144,750 Nautical Miles$44 million$5,900
Embraer Praetor 600124,018 Nautical Miles$21 million$8,000
Gulfstream G700197,500 Nautical Miles$75 million$13,000
Facts and figures of example Large Jet aircraft

Who Are Large Jets For?

Large jets are ideal for long-haul flying. If you need to get to the other side of the world quickly and comfortably, these are the aircraft for the job. They are fast, efficient and luxurious.

Large jets are perfect for the following customers:

  • Flying between continents and crossing oceans.
  • Customers who want to most luxurious experience.
  • An aircraft that can fly the fastest, highest and farthest.

If you wish to view all the large jets that are available for yourself, then search through them here. Here you can sort & filter all the aircraft to suit your exact needs.

Type of Private Jet – Turboprop Aircraft

Next up in the type of private jet are turboprop aircraft. While turboprop aircraft aren’t powered by jet engines, therefore meaning that they aren’t a “private jet”, they are impressive aircraft.

Customers and passengers often overlook turboprop aircraft due to their engines. However, this is often ill-informed.

Turboprop aircraft have the speed, range and passenger capacity to keep up with jets. Furthermore, turboprop aircraft will typically beat jets in terms of fuel efficiency and operating costs.

Beechcraft King Air 360 Exterior takeoff from runway - type of private jet
King Air 360

Therefore, turboprop aircraft can be a smart choice if you are looking for the most efficient way to fly.

Turboprop aircraft are no less safe than jet aircraft. That is to say they are extremely safe. Even the single engined aircraft.

Turboprop aircraft typically have a range around the 1,800 Nautical Miles (2,071 Miles / 3,333 KM) mark. This places them right on par with VLJs.

Typical Turboprop Aircraft

The most common type of turboprop aircraft out there are the King Air range. The King Air family of aircraft is the longest running civil twin turboprop family out there.

King Air aircraft are manufactured by Beechcraft. Beechcraft are owned by Textron Aviation, the same company that owns Cessna. The latest King Air aircraft to be developed and hit the market are the King Air 360 and the King Air 260.

These are two luxury turboprop aircraft that have great range, short field performance and comfortable interiors.

On the other end of the turboprop spectrum there is the Pilatus PC-24. Manufactured by the same company that made the PC-24 – the most rugged business jet.

The latest version – the PC-12 NGX – has a range of 1,803 Nautical Miles, can carry up to 10 passengers and cruise at up to 290 knots. The additional benefit of the PC-12 NGX for owners is that it has the least depreciation of any aircraft in its class.

Turboprop Aircraft Interiors

The interior of most turboprop aircraft are comfortable. While they do not have the low cabin altitudes of many jet aircraft, they typically have more space.

The PC-12 NGX, for example, has a completely flat floor.

In terms of interior layout, it is very similar to the light jet range of aircraft. Seats arranged in a club configuration with a couple behind.

More often than not a toilet can also be found onboard. Additionally, a light refreshment center is often available to keep you hydrated during flight.

Pc-12 interior with white leather - type of private jet

However, a reason that passengers sometimes shy away from turboprops is the perceived noise. While turboprops may be a few decibels louder than jet aircraft – it is a close competition.

With an aircraft like the PC-12 NGX the engine is at the front. Therefore, noise is towards the front of the cabin. This is unlike jet engines which are located at the rear of the aircraft.

Turboprop Aircraft Stats

AircraftMax PassengersMax RangePurchase PriceEstimated Charter Cost Per Hour
Beechcraft King Air 26071,720 Nautical Miles$6.7 million$2,200
Beechcraft King Air 36091,806 Nautical Miles$7.9 million$3,000
Pilatus PC-12 NGX101,803 Nautical Miles$4.4 million$2,000
Facts and figures of example turboprop aircraft

Who Are Turboprop Aircraft For?

Turboprop aircraft are perfect for customers who are looking for the range of a VLJ but with the interior space of a light jet.

Turboprops are perfect for the following customers:

  • Those flying a short distance.
  • Customers who want a low operating cost.
  • Passengers requiring interior space with excellent short field performance.

If you wish to view all the turboprop that are available for yourself, then search through them here. Here you can sort & filter all the aircraft to suit your exact needs.