Considerations for Buying an Aircraft

December 5, 2022

Turboprops v. Turbofans: The Science Behind These Very Different Systems

Meet the Business Jets Propelled by These Engine Technologies

Savvy private aviation professionals can tell you the difference between various aircraft and their engines more or less in their sleep. And although this seems like hyperbole, it almost isn’t.

In fact, trusted aircraft dealers, like those with accreditation from the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA), can not only tell you all about the various used private jets available on the market today, but they can also walk you through buying a private jet and all the considerations you should make before putting in an offer and scheduling your pre-purchase inspection.

One of the first things you should learn when searching for an aircraft is whether you need a turboprop or turbofan engine. Keep reading to discover the differences between these systems and find out which used private jets and other small aircraft fall into each category.

Know the Basics: What Is a Turbine Engine?
Before we can talk turboprops compared to turbofans, you should understand the basics about the turbine engine found in business jets.

In a turbine engine, incoming air passes through compressor stages made of blades and vanes, and that air is compressed to reduce air velocity. As this happens, air temperature and pressure increase.

This compressed air mixes with pressurized fuel, which is ignited in the combustion chamber. Hot gasses expand and pass through turbine stages and exit through exhaust. The exit velocity generates thrust and propels the aircraft forward.

What Is a Turboprop?
Turboprop engines are most commonly used in smaller business jets and other aircraft. A turboprop has a propeller attached to the shaft with a series of gears. The turbine exhaust rotates the shaft, and thus, the propeller. The propeller is responsible for producing the thrust that moves the private jet forward. It is the propeller that also produces all the thrust necessary during the flight - a big responsibility!

Due to rotational limits of the propeller, turboprops are less efficient at high speeds, operating ideally between 287 and 460 miles per hour.

Used Private Jets with Turboprops
Turboprops are smaller aircraft, which carry between two and 10 people on flights that max out around four hours. Shop for turboprops on, where you’ll find these models:

What Is a Turbofan?
Most business jets are powered by turbofans made by brands like Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell Aerospace, and more. In a turbofan, a low-pressure shaft connects the low-pressure fan, compressor, and turbine, while a high-pressure shaft connects the high-pressure turbine and compressor. Both shafts run at different speeds.

A turbofan engine directs a small amount of incoming air into the compressor before mixing it with fuel for combustion. The rest of the incoming air enters the bypass stream, where thrust is produced.

A turbofan-poweredbusiness jet excels at high speeds and is likely to tackle longer flights with ease. In fact, you are more likely to encounterused private jets that operate with turbofans than turboprops, particularly if you’re in the market for an aircraft to carry your business team from meeting to meeting.

Used Private Jets with Turbofans

Turbofan-powered aircraft vary in size, ranging from light jets to heavy jets, carrying between six and 18 passengers on average. Some mid-size jets and most large jets are capable of completing transatlantic flights. Shop forpre-owned jets for sale on, where you’ll find listings of these turbofan-propelled business jets:

Find an Ethical Aircraft Dealer and Shop for Pre-Owned Jets for Sale

When it comes to finding a reliable used private jet, it takes an expert hand and business smarts. That’s why those seeking to buy a private jet turn to an IADA Accredited Dealer to help guide their discovery and purchase.

Find a dealer in your area and begin browsing carefully-vetted listings of private jets for sale on, the most trustworthy source for buying a business jet.