Private Jets are extremely common these days. You can easily charter a private jet in the matter of a few clicks, and thousands of people own one too.
Yet, only a few years ago, private jet’s didn’t exist. In fact, commercial flight in itself did not exist. Many people contribute the rise of the private jet to the rise of commercial flight. This is due to the fact that people always wish to reach higher, and live the life of the rich and famous.
So let’s have a look at the history of private aviation, and a look into its future.
Though they were initially small in size (both engine and passenger), they have grown exponentially and you can even find Airbus A380s being used as a private jet!
The First Private Jet
In 1963, Bill Lear created the first purpose-built private plane – the LearJet 23. This is what really ignited the market and of course gave way to LearJet too.
The Gulfstream Era
In 1966 Gulfstream created the Gulfstream II. This was the first large-cabin private jet. This made it able to carry more passenger over longer distances
Embraer Joins the Race
In 1968 Embraer joined the race with the Bandeirante Twin-Turboprop. It has since become one of the largest private aircraft manufacturers.
Boeing Joins the Race
In 1977, Boeing also joined the private jet race by converting its successful 747 line. The 747-400 and 747-8 VIP series remain popular to this day.
In 1977 the European Business Aviation Association launches to promote and co-ordinate the industry. It launched gatherings in 2001.
Le Bourget Airport
Paris Le Bourget Aiport becomes dedicated to the private jets. It’s now the busiest private jet airport in the world.
The Birth of Business Jets
In the 1990s private jets started to become business jets. These were for the high flying executives and board members so they could travel while on the go. Corporate air travel was never to be the same after this.
Fractional Jet Ownership
Along with the rise of business jets, came the opportunity of fractional ownership in the 90s. It became easier to own and operate a private jet as if it was 100% your own. Along with the private jet charter also started to take off.
Flight of the Cessna Citation X
In 1993, the Cessna Citation X takes to the skies to become the fastest private jet, traveling at a speed of Mach 0.935. It’s shortly followed by the XL in 1996, which is the most popular private jet in the world.
In 2005 the Falcon 7X debuts as the first fly-by-wire business jet. This replaces all manual flight controls.
In 2008, the Gulfstream 650 is launched with a range of nearly 13,000km! This makes it the longest range private jet to this day. You can fly London to New York or pretty much anywhere around the world with a single tank.
In 2016 Honda joined the private jet industry with the HondaJet. This targets the Very Light Jet (VLJ) market. Affordable private jet travel for a few passengers. The HondaJet model aircraft is also interesting in the fact that its two engines are mounted above the wing.
Private space flight is in the near future. SpaceX recently launched the first space flight carrying private passengers. Private aviation is set to go beyond earth in the very near future.
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What was the first private jet?
The first official private jet was the Lockheed Jetstar. However, the market really took off with the 1963 Learjet. The LearJet 23 was a small affair offering flight for four to six people. There are still some LearJet 23s offering flights to this day!
How many private jets are in the world?
There are currently around 15,000+ private jets in the world. This number is set to double or triple in the next decade. It is safe to say that the private jet market is a billion-dollar market.
What type of private jets are there?
The private jet market is extremely wide. It ranges from short-range affordable aircraft VLJs to long-range mega aircraft that allows celebrities and their friends and families to fly around the globe in total luxury. Their prices range from a $1-2 million all the way up to $500 million.
Private jets have a great and varied history, and their future is set to hold some very interesting things too. What would you like to see private jets do?