Turboprops are planes that use a turbine engine, instead of a piston or jet engine. Most of these aircraft lack the speed of light jets, barring a few exceptions such as Avanti Evo. Contemporary turboprops have a lower cruise speed than light jets, but are usually more fuel efficient, which reflects in their overall costs of ownership. Although you can always consult one of the experts at our aviation consulting firm to determine the better option according to your needs, before you do that, here’s some quick information to weigh the options.
One of the biggest advantages of owning a turboprop is that they can take off and land in grass strips. Light jets, on the other hand, cannot take off or land without a concrete platform. In fact, if you talk about models such as Quest Kodiak and King Air, these turboprops can fly and land on the shortest airfields, enabling you to take advantage of the numerous smaller airports nearer to your intended destination.
Comfort and Customization
Many people believe that turboprops are less comfortable and noisier than light jets, which isn’t true at all. Modern day turboprops are as comfortable as some of the best light jets. Many of the options available on the market incorporate advanced soundproofing technology that eliminates the sound of the propeller in the cabin – except when they are taking off. Most turboprops can seat 6-8 passengers, and you can customize their interiors just like the interiors of a private jet, be it installing a satellite phone or an entertainment system.
This is one area where light jets usually beat turboprop; however, there isn’t a drastic difference between the two. For instance, the traveling time from New York to Florida in a turboprop would be 4 hours, whereas it would be about 3 hours in a light jet. If you aren’t too much concerned about time, a turboprop may stand a better option, be it chartering or buying it. Also remember that some of the modern turboprops can fly faster than some of the light jets. The turboprop Avanti Evo, for instance, can fly at more than 400 knots, a speed that is more than Cessna Citation Mustang and Phenom 100- light jets that respectively have a maximum speed of 340 and 375 knots.
Overall turboprops entail less operational costs. If you fly an Avanti instead of a Citation CJ3, for instance, you may save approximately $195 per hour in fuel costs. It is, however, essential to note that a number of factors, such as air mass and velocity of gases, affect the efficiency of an aircraft. In general, turboprops are more fuel efficient at lower altitudes, whereas light jets are more efficient at higher altitudes. Other operating expenses, such as crew, airport charges and maintenance also vary depending on the option you choose. For detailed information, you can speak with one of our aviation consultants.
Although it’s the redundant engines that make an aircraft safer over the ones that have a single engine, turboprops are usually considered safer over light jets. This is due to their increased ‘balanced field’ capability. A balance field implies how quickly, safely, and easily you can stop a plane – if anything goes wrong – after it has reached its takeoff speed. As turboprops have large propellers, they provide extra drag to help the plane stop when required. In fact, Turboprop engines are mechanically simpler, lighter, more reliable and easier to operate, than piston engines.
Note: Turboprops and light jets come with a single engine.
Despite the fact that turboprops are usually cheaper to operate and maintain over light jets, the decision to buy a turboprop, or for that matter, any private jet, comes down to your flying needs and preferences. If you need to fly long distances, a light jet is the way the go. To cover shorter distances, however, a turboprop would be a safer bet. The experts at our aviation consulting firm can provide you with all answers you may need about turboprops and light jets to help make the right purchase. Speak to us by calling (877) 720-2770 or fill out our contact form and we’ll take it from there.