Business Aircrafts History 

Many busy executives have found it is easier and much less time consuming to use either a personal or a corporate aircraft rather than the commercial flights.  Business aircrafts offer convenience and efficient travel for those engaged in important business or personal appointments.   

Business aircrafts come in all models and all price ranges. Business people may prefer the single-engine Cessnas and Pipers or twin light aircraft or even Learjets.  Aircrafts are equipped with the necessary equipment to make all season, round-the-clock business flying a reality.  

The late 1920s was the beginning of business flying.  At the time open-cockpit biplanes and Stinson, Fairchild and other enclosed cabin designs were used.  However, the pacesetter for efficient private flying were the unique Beech aircrafts.  The “Staggerwing” Beech Model 17 in 1932 was the height of flying luxury.  It had leather and mohair fitted cabins and could seat 5 passengers.  In 1937 the Model 18 Twin Beech was created for economy business flying.  This aircraft could seat up to 9 passengers.  This aircraft was so popular that its production line spanned 32 years. 

The Gulfstream business aircraft built by Grunman came out in 1958.  This aircraft was known as the Rolls Royce of business flying since it did have twin Rolls Royce dart turboprop engines. Even the hefty price tag of $1 million dollars did not deter buyers. 

In 1963 William P. Lear Sr. introduced the Learjet.  The first mass-produced small jet aircraft was the Learjet 23.  It was made in Cincinnati, Ohio and was first delivered in 1964.  The Learjet 24 delivered in 1966 was the first business aircraft to fly around the world within 4 days. 

In 1964 the Piper PA-31 Navaho came onto the business aircraft market.  This aircraft came in three versions with various seating capacity and arrangements.  During this same year the Beech’s Model 90 King Air was unveiled.  This aircraft could carry eight passengers in comfort.  Eventually this aircraft would become a mainstay for corporate flight departments. 

Over the years, between 1979 and 1990, winglets which greatly reduced drag and saved fuel were introduced on the Gulfstream III, Learjet 55 and Learjet 60.  This resulted in increasing intercontinental flying ranges of over 4,000 miles.  

The Beech Model 2000 Starship was introduced in 1983.  This aircraft was a statement of innovated aircraft design with speeds comparable to small business jets.  However, only 53 Starships were produced.  The aircraft was not a commercial success.  The price tag of $5 million was too expensive. 

In 1985 the Gulfstream IV was released.  This aircraft with build with the idea of ferrying business moguls and celebrities. The Gulfstream IV could carry up to 19 passengers.  The interior of the aircraft was luxurious with comfortable sofas and oak furnishings.  The Gulfstream IV and IV-SP resulted from customized user requirements.  These aircraft allowed longer flights of over 7.000 miles.  

While attempting to satisfy an ever-changing market with demands for speed and comfort, the prices of business aircrafts continue to escalate.  In 1932 the Beech Staggerwing cost only $15,000.  Although today business aircraft may cost $30 million or more there is still aa demand for these aircrafts.