February 12, 2021

The 10 Most Influential Business Aircraft of the Last 60 Years

Find A Selection of Reliable Used Jets for Sale on AircraftExchange.com

Business jet ownership has only gotten more popular over the years, with manufacturers releasing upgraded versions of their popular jets and improving upon their designs.

Since 1960, 10 business jets have exceeded expectations, many remaining in service in 2021 and available for sale on AircraftExchange.com. These pre-owned jets are smart investments for businesses looking to enjoy more efficient and productive business travel.

All About the Lockheed JetStar
Lockheed developed and built the JetStar in just 241 days in 1960, before going into service in 1961. Originally meant for Air Force use, it became the world’s first business jet.

Distinguished from other jets because of its four-engine assembly on the tail and wing-mounted “slipper” fuel tanks, the JetStar had a longer range and less drag than jets with other tank configurations. Inside, the JetStar’s sunken area in the cabin allowed passengers to stand during long flights.

Lockheed discontinued production of the JetStar in 1978; the last original jet was retired in 2020 in Georgia.

Meet the Gulfstream II
The Gulfstream II was designed to compete with other business jets on the market, including the Lockheed JetStar, and to improve upon the Gulfstream I.

Looking to create a jet with a similar range and comfort level as a turboprop, in 1966, Gulfstream used the Rolls-Royce Spey second-generation turbofan engines to sell its “green” aircraft - meaning with no finished interior or avionics - for customization.

Its transcontinental range and large interior helped propel it to one of the top-selling aircrafts of its time.

Find a Dassault Falcon 50 Trijet Private Jet for Sale
Dassault intended the Falcon 50 for transatlantic flight, hence they put three engines into the tail section of the plane. After the first flight in 1976, Dassault added supercritical wings for transoceanic travel.

The Falcon 50 became the Falcon 50EX in 1995, after additional modifications that made it fly faster, higher, and longer. Production discontinued in 2007.

Purchase a Pre-Owned Pilatus PC-12/PC-12NG
In 1991, the Pilatus PC-12 was known as the “Swiss Army Knife of Aircraft,” because of its ability to serve different missions in its different forms. It was the very first single-engine, high-volume jet flying at high speeds across long distances.

For more than 16 years, PIlatus continued to modify the PC-12, until the next generation, PC-12NG, was released in 2006. Its improved climb performance, faster maximum cruise speed, and desirable Honeywell Primus glass cockpit were its signature.

In 2019, Pilatus announced the PC-12NGX, a version with even faster cruise speed, updated Honeywell avionics, larger cabin windows, and a quieter cabin. Since then, PIlatus delivered more than 1,700 of these jets by the start of 2020.

Fly a Pre-Owned Cessna Citation X
The design of the Cessna Citation X was unlike any other jet Cessna produced before 1996. Capable of carrying 12 passengers, the jet received all new wings, tail, gear, and systems, plus Rolls-Royce engines.

It was fast for its time; golfer Arnold Palmer flew in his jet to set a new speed record: 473 knots on a 3,100-mile course.

In 2010, Cessna released the Citation X+, with upgraded engines, avionics, and elliptical winglets for improved range and efficiency. These modifications became standard moving forward.

The Celebrated Bombardier Learjet 45XR
Introduced in 2004, the Bombardier Learjet 45XR was the second jet to be dubbed the “Swiss Army Knife of Jets.”

Throughout the years, the Learjet received lots of upgrades, particularly with the engines, allowing for higher take-off weights, faster speeds, and swifter time-to-climb rates.

A handsome cabin, lots of safety equipment, and ease of flying made the Learjet 45XR popular; you can still find a used Learjet for sale at AircraftExchange.com, although it was discontinued from production in 2012.

The Famous Gulfstream GV
Perhaps the world’s most-famous modern business jet, the “G-5” was Gulfstream’s first ultra-long-range jet, reaching up to 6,000 nautical miles on its twin Rolls-Royce BR700-710A1 engines. Gulfstream began producing them in 1997.

The aircraft was Gulfstream’s inspiration to develop the Gulfstream G550, G650, and the G700, all wide-body business jets the manufacturer has become known for.

Gulfstream built 193 of these business jets before production ended in 2002; 191 remain in operation, and you can find a used one for sale at AircraftExchange.com through an International Aircraft Dealer Association Accredited Dealer.

Buy a Bombardier Global Express Business Jet for Sale
Announced in 1991, but taking its first flight five years later, the Global Express carries eight passengers and four crew more than 6,700 nautical miles at Mach 0.80. 

Bombardier built in the safety of a commercial airliner in this business jet, which makes it a desirable choice for many businesses.

Until the Gulfstream G650 was released, it had the largest cabin among private jets with an intercontinental range, able to fly nonstop between New York and Tokyo.

Meet the Embraer Phenom, a Very Light Jet
Embraer released both the Phenom 100 and the Phenom 300 at the same time during the very-light jet boom of the mid-2000s. The majority of customers wanted the Phenom 300’s “big jet” features, like room for nine passengers and a 2,000 nautical mile range. 

Its biggest draw was that they could get these benefits with the efficiency and operational costs of a much smaller plane. The Phenom 300 became the best-selling light jet worldwide.

Bombardier Global 7500
Bombardier’s Global Express line of aircraft led up to the Global 7500, a globe-flying business jet that accommodates up to 19 passengers in a four-zone cabin. It was launched in 2018 and remains in production.

The transonic wing helped the Global 7500 reach a maximum cruising speed of Mach .90 - more than 593 miles an hour - with lots of speed and city-pair records. Turbulence-dampening equipment and fly-by-wire flight controls make for the most comfortable ride possible.

Find Private Jets for Sale on AircraftExchange
For the most trustworthy practices in used jet sales, AircraftExchange.com recommends working with an aircraft dealer who has earned accreditation through the International Aircraft Dealers Association. IADA Accredited Aircraft Dealers undergo a rigorous vetting process and pledge to adhere to a code of ethics that is unmatched in the industry.

Find an accredited dealer as your first step in purchasing a private jet for sale.