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Business jet

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Cessna Citation 550 business jet
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Raytheon Hawker 800 business jet (previously known as the D.H.125, then H.S.125, then British Aerospace 125)
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Bombardier Global Express business jet

Business jet (slang, Bizjet) is a term for a jet aircraft, usually of modest size, designed for transporting small groups of business people for commercial reasons at a time convenient to their business needs. Some business jets may be adapted for other roles, such as the evacuation of casualties or express parcel deliveries, and a few may be used by public bodies, governments or the armed forces. The more formal terms of corporate jet, executive jet, VIP transport or business jet tend to be used by the firms that build, sell, buy and charter these aircraft. The allied term "bizprop" is in use amongst enthusiasts but seems unlikely to spread.

The older term "air taxi" tends to be used for piston-engined or small turboprop aircraft, although the functions of an air taxi and a business jet are essentially identical; in fact, some airfields have runways unsuited to jet operations and may therefore be more usable by slower aircraft. Depending on the passengers' destination, the overall journey time could then be shorter with a slower aircraft. Generally, jets tend to have a taller passenger cabin and more advanced avionics, which may be advantageous in terms of safety, comfort and resilience to extreme weather conditions. A company may also wish to project its status through the type of aircraft in which its personnel travel.

Although some early corporate aircraft such as the Heron and Jetstar had four engines, the norm is now two or three, with a few single-engine aircraft being sold by Cessna, Pilatus, Piper and EADS Socata to this sector of the market. Some luxury business jets are converted from surplus airliners, these may suit celebrities with a large entourage or press corps, but they may find some airfields denied to them on account of runway length or local noise restrictions. The most famous business jets are the Gulfstream, built by Grumman Aerospace and the Gates Lear Jet now built by the Bombardier group. Other major business jets are the Dassault Falcon family built by Dassault Aviation, and the products of Raytheon Aircraft.

Since 1996 the term "fractional ownership" has been used in connection with business aircraft owned by a consortium of companies. Clearly, costly overheads such as flight crew, hangarage and maintenance can be shared through such arrangements.

A current focus of development is at the low end of the market with small models, far cheaper than existing business jets sometimes called VLJs (very light jets). Of the existing manufacturers, Cessna is developing the Mustang, a six-place twinjet (2 crew + 4 PAX) planned to be available for $2.55 million USD at the end of 2006. A number of smaller manufacturers are planning even cheaper jets; for example, Eclipse Aviation is flying a prototype of their Eclipse 500 which is projected to be available in 2006 for around $1.3 million dollars. It remains to be seen whether the new jet manufacturers, will complete their designs, or find the market required to sell their jets at the comparatively low prices planned.

Examples

External links


Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

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