Light Jets are classed as the smaller option when you are looking at Business Jets and have been designed for regional, shorter journeys of around 3 or 4 hours. Designed and manufactured to seat six to eight passengers with extra space for baggage although with a full passenger load, seating may appear “tight” and baggage space limited. Light Jets are speedy, nimble and a cost-effective option and offer a range designed for short-haul charters, Light Jets are ideal for business travel, regional trips or transitions from home to vacation.
The Light Jet has the capability to cover a greater distance and can fly on range for up to five hours maximum. The fastest of the Jets in this class can reach top speeds of 528 mph, which is comparable to the larger class of jets. Flights in a Light Jet are perfect for travel over land and can be used as a transcontinental means of travel, although it is not recommended to fly a Light Jet across large expanses of water.
There are many varieties of light jet aircraft. Each model and size of Jet has been designed to fill a specific and unique role. Larger jets have predominantly been designed and manufactured for use as passenger carriers. Smaller Jets such as the Light Jet are essentially used for business travel, and personal use.
The favourite models in the Light Jet class are the Hawker, the infamous and ever popular Lear Jet and finally the Westwind I and Westwind II.
The Hawker 400 is essentially a small, corporate twin-engine jet aircraft. Originally designed and manufactured by Mitsubishi, the Hawker has been developed further and the design updated by the Beech Aircraft Company, and is now manufactured as part of Hawker Beechcraft.
Lear Jet 31A
The name Lear Jet is ultimately synonymous with speed. The Lear Jet 31A is a speedy little Jet and can reach a “cruise speed” of .81 Mach after just 28 minutes climbing to its cruise level – this is far beyond the capabilities of any competitors Light Jet. The Lear Jet has, as you would expect, superb runway performance and an extremely low fuel burn, which makes it a great contender for super-efficient, super-fast private jet.
The Lear Jet 31A can accommodate up to eight passengers. Its 17.1 foot-long cabin also offers sixty-seven feet of baggage space.
Westwind I / II
The Westwind is an Israeli built light jet that has the range to cross greater distances than the smaller counterparts. Larger than the VLJ’s, the Westwind I also allows passengers baggage space and a much shorter journey time. With a passenger capacity of 6 and maximum speed of 424 mph the Westwind I is a high end light aircraft which is predominantly used for business travel
The Hawker and the Lear Jet are very similar, the specifications, cabin sizes, altitude reach and range and almost identical. The Westwind is verging on the Mid Jet range although is still classed as a Light Jet due to the speed and engine capacity.