Top 5 Small Private Jet Airplanes You Can Own & Fly Yourself

For every aviation enthusiast, the thought of winning the lottery and being able to own our own private jet is right up there towards the top of the dream list. We know that the reality of owning a $60m Gulfstream G550 are literally a pipe dream but there is the class of ‘Light Jets’ that could be within reach.

The Light Jet class of airplanes is designed to be flown by a single pilot and accommodate up to 8 passengers. They have a low purchase cost of under $6m and a low operating cost to entice private owners to buy and fly themselves and family for business and pleasure usage.

If you are in the market for a light jet or are adding fuel to that dream here are the Top 5 best light jets:

Cirrus Vision Jet SF50

Sirrus Vision Jet SF50 – Source: Anna Zvereva

Cost: $1,960,000

Crew: 1

Passengers: 6

This unique-looking, single-engine jet was first launched into production in May 2016 by the Duluth, Minnesota-based company. Falling into the ‘Very Light Jet’ class of aircraft this is truly an aircraft aimed at the owner-pilot market with a no-hassle ownership.

This aircraft was the winner of the 2017 Robert J. Collier Trophy for the ‘Greatest Achievement in Aeronautics or Astronautics in America’ in that year, among with a host of additional accolades to solidify this jet as one of the best in its class.

To date over 350 aircraft have been delivered.

Powerplant1 × Williams FJ33-5A Turbofan
AvionicsGarmin G3000-based Cirrus Perspective Touch+
Length30 ft 11 in 
Height10 ft 11 in
Wingspan38 ft 8 in 
Cabin Height4 ft 1 In
Cabin Width5 ft 1 In
Cabin Length10 ft 11 In
Empty Weight3,550 lb 
Gross Weight6,000 lb
Max Payload1,328 lb 
Max Speed311 knots
Cruise Speed305 knots
Service Ceiling28,000 feet

This aircraft is crammed full of unique features that really make it a great choice based on safety alone:

  • Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS): In case of a serious emergency, this whole-plane parachute recovery system is activated to bring the aircraft to the ground safely
  • Garmin Safe Return Autoland System: In case of an emergency, this system is manually activated by the pilot, the system then, determines the nearest airport, flies to it, and lands automatically without any pilot intervention 
  • Garmin G3000 System Avionics Package: Includes two 14-inch displays up front and three touch controller displays mounted sideways to allow a simple single-pilot operation with everything within arm’s reach
  • Gogo InFlight Wi-Fi: This system gives the pilot and passengers the availability to connect to the internet while in the air

Honda HA-420 Jet Elite

Honda HA-420 HondaJet

Cost: $5,250,000

Crew: 1-2

Passengers: 5-6

The HondaJet is claimed to be the most technically advanced very light jet on the market with many innovative features developed and certified by Honda and its partnerships. By far its most unique feature is its Over-The-Wing engine mounting system.

This installation allows the cabin to be more spacious as it eliminates the need for bulk engine structural supports. In addition, Honda designed and developed its own engine for the HondaJet in partnership with GE. The engines received Type Certification in 2013 with the jet’s production commencing in 2015.

Source: Matti Blume
Source: Matti Blume

HondaJet is designed to be both pleasurable to fly and useful for business.  It offers high reliability, low operating cost, and the most comfortable spacious cabin in its class. It is ideal for charter and fleet operators and can also be geared to be an air ambulance and other special missions.

HondaJet has received several awards and till now over 200 aircraft have been delivered.

Powerplant2 x GE Honda Model: HF120
AvionicsGarmin G3000
Length42 ft 7 in
Height10 ft 11 in
Wingspan39 ft 8 in
Cabin Height4 ft 10 In
Cabin Width5 ft 0 in
Cabin Length7 ft 10 In
Empty Weight7203 lb
Gross Weight11,100 lb
Max Payload3627 lb
Max Speed422 kts
Cruise Speed360 knots
Service Ceiling43,000 feet

Unique features of this aircraft:

  • Pylon-Mounted Over-The-Wing Engines: Provides a bigger and quieter cabin
  • Composite Cabin: Designed from a carbon-fiber-epoxy composite the light cabin allows for increased range and fuel efficiency 
  • Garmin G3000 System Avionics Package: Three 14.1-inch color screens provide navigation and flight instrumentation data and two 5.7-inch touchscreens for operating radio and navigation systems
  • Push-Button Start: Single press engine starting allows for digital engine control and monitoring to prevent hot starts induced by an inexperienced pilot
  • Unique Media System: Its passenger media system does not use speakers; instead, the cabin has multiple transducers that vibrate in unison to provide all-enveloping surround sound 
  • Fully-enclosed Toilet: Having a toilet with a seat belt for such a small cabin is a very welcomed addition for passengers

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Embraer Phenom 100 EV Evolution

Embraer Phenom 100 – Source: James

Cost: $4,495,000

Crew: 1-2

Passengers: 4-7

The Phenom 100 is one of the most popular aircraft for a light business/personal jet. The cabin interior is designed by BMW Designworks USA and its Garmin 3000-based avionics system ensures that it outperforms all its rivals in its class. 

Its cabin can be configured to comfortably seat 4 passengers or 7 passengers with side-facing seats that also included a toilet. It can be flown in either a single or dual pilot configuration and its airframe comprises of over 20% composite materials.

The latest variant, the EV Evolution has increased weight savings and increased thrust from its engines to enable faster climbs, reduced takeoff roll, and hot & high-performance increases. The first prototype flew in July 2007 with the first delivery in December 2008.

To date over 400 aircraft have been delivered to 37 different countries around the world.

Powerplant2 x  Pratt & Whitney Canada PW617F-E
AvionicsGarmin G3000-based Embraer Prodigy Touch
Length42 ft 1 in
Height14 ft 3 in
Wingspan40 ft 4 in
Cabin Height4 ft 9 In
Cabin Width5 ft 1 In
Cabin Length11 ft 0 in
Empty Weight3235 lbs
Gross Weight10,472 lbs
Max Payload3384 lbs
Max Speed390 kts
Cruise Speed371 knots
Service Ceiling41,000 feet

Unique features of this aircraft:

  • Class Leading Performance: It has the longest range, fastest cruise speed, and largest baggage capacity in its class
  • Unique Door: Its larger door allows for easier boarding and deplaning of crew and passengers which also makes the cabin feel larger
  • Enclosed Toilet: Unlike other jets that include a cabin seat that turns into a toilet, this rear-mounted bathroom is fully enclosed with a sink and windows

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Cessna Citation M2

Cessna Citation M2 – Source: James

Cost: $5,050,000

Crew: 1-2

Passengers: 7

The Cessna Citation M2 is the latest light business jet from Cessna. The Citation brand has been the trendsetter in small personal and business jets since it first flew in October 1989. The M2 model was launched in September 2011 and first flew on March 9, 2012.

The Cessna Citation M2 is based on the discontinued CJ1 variant and has a newly designed cabin and more powerful William FJ44 engines. The M2 has a faster climb speed than its closest competitor the Embraer Phenom 100E. 

To date over 250 Citation M2 jets have been delivered. 

Powerplant2 x Williams International FJ44-1AP-21
AvionicsGarmin G3000
Length42 ft 7 in
Height13 ft 11 in
Wingspan47 ft 3 in
Cabin Height4 ft 9 In
Cabin Width4 ft 10 In
Cabin Length11 ft 0 in
Empty Weight8,400 lbs
Gross Weight10,700 lbs
Max Payload1,400 lbs
Max Speed400 kts
Cruise Speed392 knots
Service Ceiling41,000 feet

Unique features of this aircraft:

  • Garmin G3000: Integrated avionics with touch screens, digital color radar, and dual AHRS
  • Winglets: Vertical wing tips that improve lift and reduce drag by reducing wingtip vortices
  • Wing Anti-Icing: Instead of De-Icing boots on the wings leading edges, engine bleed air is ducted to the edges to increase wing performance by maintaining laminar airflow over it
  • Flight Pedigree: The Citation fleet of airplanes have accumulated more than 5,000,000 flight hours globally

Stratos 714 X

Cost: $3,000,000

Crew: 1

Passengers: 3-5

The Stratos 714X is a light jet aircraft that was specifically developed in the US for those owner-pilots who want a high-performance personal jet to meet their business and leisure needs. 

The Stratos 714X features a low-wing monoplane design, composite carbon and honeycomb fuselage, side-stick flight controls, FADEC engine control, and 6 different cabin configuration including an onboard toilet if required.

It can fly at over 400 knots with a range of 1,500 nautical miles with the prototype first flying in 2016 and is underway to receive FAA Type Certification. In addition to the 714, the company is developing a larger 6 seat 716 to appeal to a larger market.

Powerplant1x Williams International FJ44-3AP
AvionicsGarmin G3000
Length35 ft 8 in
Height9 ft 8 in
Wingspan40 ft 5 in
Cabin Height4 ft 8 In
Cabin Width4 ft 7 In
Cabin Length9 ft 5 In
Empty Weight5,035 lb
Gross Weight6,260 lb
Max Payload1,200 lbs
Max Speed400 kts
Cruise Speed320 knots
Service Ceiling41,000 feet

Unique features of this aircraft:

  • Garmin G3000: Integrated avionics with dual touch screens & center mounted GPS and aircraft/engine monitoring data
  • Side Sticks: Side-mounted flight controls to allow for easier access to the cockpit
  • Single Engine: Internally mounted centerline engine similar to many jet fighter airplanes
  • Full Composite Fuselage: Composite fuselage allows for a higher thrust-to-weight ratio and improved cabin pressurization

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Rick James

I am an aviation nut! I'm an ATP-rated helicopter pilot & former flight instructor with over 3500 hours spanning 3 countries and many different flying jobs. I love aviation and everything about it. I use these articles to pass on cool facts and information to you whether you are a pilot or just love aviation too! If you want to know more about me, just click on my picture!

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