Four engine business jet

I want one. And if you’re thinking about stepping up to your first jet in the next few years, you will, too, once you fly it. The Diamond D-Jet, which Diamond Aircraft is developing as its flagship product, represents what’s likely to be the first Part 23, FAA-certified, single-engine, turbofan-powered jet in aviation history—the first to market in a segment coveted by many companies.

Why do I want one? Four reasons: It’s fast, efficient, easy to fly, and has great ramp presence. It’s the perfect first jet to get an aspiring jet owner/pilot up and cruising in the flight levels at speeds above 350 mph.

On the day of my test flight, I was to fly serial number 003, the most recently built of Diamond’s three test planes. S/N 003 conforms aerodynamically to the production version, and thus, has almost identical performance to the future production aircraft. It’s your typical experimental flight-test airplane, with the interior replaced by flight-test equipment and instrumentation. Additionally, due to the test nature of the D-Jet, Transport Canada (the Canadian equivalent of the FAA) requires that all flight crew wear a parachute and the full suite of survival gear.

The Falcon 900C is a long-range business jet from Dassault. Dassault Aviation has a dedicated subsidiary for the Falcon family called the Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation. Over 1,500 Falcon jets have been delivered since the first Falcon 20 in 1963.

Falcon jets are built at Dassault production facilities in France and then flown to the completion and service centre in Little Rock, Arkansas, where they are fitted to customer specifications.

The Falcon 900C, which replaced it, was first delivered in 2000 and has an intercontinental range of about 5,600km (4,000nm) with five passengers. With three engines, it is capable of extended flights over water.

In today’s world of international business, every second counts. One minute you may be needed in Tokyo; the next thing there could be a meeting in New York that simply cannot be missed. And when time is money, a savvy investment in the form of a business jet can certainly afford some extra time. The “light jet” class was pioneered by the Learjet 23, which was introduced in 1964. Now, the most recent development is the “very light” class, or “personal jet,” which costs less to run and requires less runway space. In the U.S. alone, very light jets have access to a network of over 5,000 smaller local airports. Read on for ten of the coolest small business jets out there.

First flown in 2008, the Phenom 300 is a “light business jet” produced by Brazilian company Embraer. The jet was introduced in 2009, and so far 117 craft have been built. Capable of carrying a maximum of nine people, the 52 foot 2 inch jet has a top speed of 518 mph, a range of 2,268 miles and can reach an altitude of 45,000 feet. Designed in conjunction with BMW Designworks USA, the roomy Phenom 300 also boasts the biggest luggage storage space and the biggest windows – including a restroom window – in its class.

The Beechjet Hawker 400XPR is a small dual-engine business jet that promises to “transform your expectations.” First flown on August 29, 1978, the Hawker 400 (then known as the MU-300 Diamond) was originally produced by Mitsubishi – before the rights to build the jet were purchased by Beechjet and the aircraft was renamed the Beechjet 400. Then in 1993 Raytheon bought the jet and rebranded it the Hawker 400. The 400XPR is an upgrade of the 400XP model, boasting increased range and more state-of-the-art technology. The jet has a maximum speed of 518 mph and an altitude ceiling of 45,000 feet. While carrying up to four passengers, it has a range of 1,905 miles.

Business jets have improved enormously in the past 50 years, from gas-guzzling go-getters to today’s highly efficient, long-legged luxury liners and tiny personal jets.

During the first half-century of the business jet industry, manufacturers tried out a variety of types and configurations. Many failed, but many others have endured in derivative and upgraded versions. What will be interesting to observe in the coming decades is whether business jet manufacturers continue to innovate, not just in cabin and cockpit appointments where technology changes rapidly, but in basic configuration and in engine and aerodynamic development.

In chronological order, based on when production began, here are 15 aircraft models that played a key role in shaping today’s business aviation environment: