A very light jet, also referred to a personal jet or an entry-level jet, is a type of small jet aircraft that can be operated by a single pilot. These aircrafts were previously known as micro jets, and can take off with a maximum weight of less than 10,000 pounds. These jets are often lighter than private jet charters that are commonly referred to as business jets, and they are designed and built such that single pilot owners can fly them. A very light jet can cost somewhere between USD 1 million and USD 3.6 million, whereas a standard light jet can cost anywhere between USD 4 million and USD 8 million. Owing to advanced manufacturing using light weight composite materials, cutting-edge digital avionics, and smaller yet extremely efficient jet engines delivering roughly 1,700 pounds of thrust and weighing only 100-200 pounds, the cost of a very light jet is reduced. Very Light Jets have a thousand-mile range, a top speed of 340 to 420 knots, and seating for four to seven passengers.
Business charter flights are commonly used to transport only one or two passengers on any given journey. Many times, only the highest-ranking executives take private jet charters and can go on a plane with seven empty seats. As a result of this assertion, aircraft companies saw an opportunity to develop and market a product that caters to a specific sort of customer. As a result, very light jets were developed to reduce the cost and inconvenience of private jet travel. The very light jet market is where clients typically utilize private planes for business and to save time. Hence, for these types of short travels, the aircraft with the lowest charter prices are selected.
Very light jets have been shown to save operational expenses and can go through smaller airports. As a result, they compete with bigger scaled transportation air planes on price, time, and location. Because of the low cost of the new very light jets, smaller charter and air taxi companies can now purchase a jet plane. Currently, there are about a dozen very light jets in production, each with its unique set of competing features, all attempting to meet market demand. The majority of very light jets are designed to be used as taxi or private jets. Taxi Jets’ goal is to sell a flight ticket for the same price as a conventional business class ticket on a jumbo jet, but with the added benefit of private jet service. Most jets are now shared among owners, lowering costs, lowering hanger fees, and maximizing flight time.
The main difference between a very light jet and a jumbo jet is that very light jets are focused on transferring a small number of people, whereas jumbo jets are designed to transport as many people as possible, reducing flight per person, whereas the very light jet is designed to reduce price for the person who wishes to travel alone or with a small group of people and provide a faster and more precise flight. Very light jets are not new when compared to small propeller planes used in the private or taxi sector. There is already a facility where taxi planes fly and operate, but because of the low weight mixed with the jet engine, the flying duration is greatly shortened, with speeds up to twice as fast in some instances.
The very light jet market grew significantly in the early 2000s, after a surge of interest in the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) and air taxi businesses. The Embraer Phenom 100, the Cessna Citation Mustang, and the Eclipse 500 were amongst the modern ideas. Epic Aircraft designed the Epic Victory, which flew for the first time in February 2008 at Bends Pheasant Field Airport. Brian Maurer, the company’s creator and designer, was the pilot. The initial flight was deemed successful, with a high centre of gravity that allowed for controllable flying across the majority of its flight envelopes. The aircraft’s performance was rated as excellent in terms of how well it climbed and how little effort it required when navigating.
However, the air taxi sector failed expectations following the late-2000s recession, and both Eclipse Aviation and DayJet, an air taxi company, went bankrupt. Single-engine designs were popular in the mid-2000s, but the global financial crisis reduced the category’s commercial appeal. The Piper Altaire, Diamond D-Jet, Eclipse 400, and VisionAire Vantage were among the projects that were shelved. The Cirrus Vision SF50, which was type certified and placed into production that year, and the Stratos 714, which was projected to be qualified in 2019, were the only aircraft maintained in 2016. The Learjet 36A/35A from Bombardier, the FJ44 Super SII S550/550 from Sierra Industries, and the Nextant Aerospace 400XT from Nextant Aerospace have all been out of production for almost a decade. However, some jet card programmes include Lears and 400XTs, which have a longer nonstop range than predicted. With all four passenger seats occupied, the Lear 36A can travel 2,425 nautical miles.
For specific aircraft types they sell in the very light jet category, a handful of jet card providers offer both assured availability and set one-way prices — meaning no ferry fees. Nicholas Air, for example, enables to choose any aircraft in its fleet which on the Very light jet side includes the Embraer Phenom 100 and 300, plus the Citation CJ3. OneFlight International, a broker program, offers a variety of very light jet options, while Executive AirShare, Flexjet, JetSuite, Magellan Jets, NetJets, ProspAir, Silverhawk Aviation, TeeBee Jets, and Wheels Up each have programs focused around specific types of very light jets.