February 10, 2012

Very Light Jets

Pictures: Honda Aviation
Today's aviation has taken a new phase, along with personal and business needs, there's a new competitor in town. Say goodbye to the large jets and say hello to the ultra-small, modern, fly-by-wire Very Light Jets.

Due to their size and weight, these jets are commonly referred to as mini or micro jet when compared to other jets in terms of weight. Most of these jets are primarily used for personal and business purposes.

According to definitions from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA), the VLJ is designed for single-pilot operation (dual control preferably in commercial ops), with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) less than10,000lbs.

Picture Credit: Honda Aviation
Due to the fact that these airplanes are micro-jets, they typically have two-engines, seat an approximate of 8 passengers, have fly-by-wire automated cockpit system. These jets cost a fraction of what their bigger competitors cost. Price ranges are from $1.5million to $6million depending on the size, options etc.

Picture Credit: Honda Aviation

There are a few manufacturers of VLJ's out there, some successful while most others have failed to deliver. VLJ cost per hour differ from jets and their uses, however, it's important to know that their cost has been thoroughly argued by experts as unjustifiable.

Here are some of the VLJ manufacturers;

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