Aircraft

Aircraft Stats Based on FAA Registry

Some observations before we dive into different segments:

  • More than 90% of the roughly 220,000 civil aircraft registered in the United States are general aviation aircraft.
  • The No.1 Cessna and No.3 Beechcraft are both subsidiaries of Textron Aviation.
  • Cessna 172 and Piper PA-28 are the most popular aircraft for training, so no surprise that Cessna and Piper are the top 2. However the absolute numbers of both brands are decreasing.
  • Cirrus is climbing fast, with the help of the best selling SR22.
Brand Single Piston Twin Piston Single Turboprop Twin Turoboprop Single Jet Twin Jet
Cessna 172/182/206 208 408 Citation
Beechcraft G36 G58 Denali King Air
Piper PA-28 PA-34/44 M500/M600
Cirrus SR20/22 SF50
Diamond DA40 / DA50 RG DA42 / DA62
Daher TBM / Kodiak
Pilatus PC-12NG PC-24
Epic Epic E1000

Class of Aircraft

Class 1 or 2 aircraft typically include piston aircraft weighing 6,000 lbs or less, while Class 3 aircraft typically include piston or turbine aircraft weighing between 6,001 lbs and 12,500 lbs.

Certification Categories

  • normal: no acrobatics (e.g. SR22 3.8G to -1.52G).
  • utility: limited acrobatics (e.g. C172 4.4G to -1.76G).
  • acrobatic: full range of acrobatics (e.g. Pitts S-2B 6G to -3G).

Piston

2-seater Trainers

  • Cessna 150/152
  • Piper PA-28-140
  • Piper PA-38 Tomahawk
  • DA20

4-seater Single Piston

Most popular single engine, 4-seater:

  • Cessna 172: metal, 44,000+ built since 1956
    • Lycoming O-360, Avgas (100 LL).
    • Aluminum prop.
  • Piper PA-28: metal, 32,000+ built since 1961
  • Cirrus SR22: composite airframe, 6,000+ built since 2001, world's best-selling general aviation (GA) airplane every year since 2003
    • Continental IO-550-N Six cylinder
    • The SR20 was modified in 2000 to create the high performance SR22 with a larger wing, larger fuel tank and substantially higher performance.
  • Diamond DA40: composite airframe, since 1997
    • Jet Fuel (Jet A-1)
    • Fully computerized; no spark plugs, no magnetos.
    • Composite prop.

Mooney (M20) and Grumman used to compete in the same space but both ceased production.

6-seater Single Piston

In Production

  • Cessna 206 Stationair
  • Beechcraft Bonanza

Ceased production

  • Cessna 210
  • Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six

Twin Piston

Twin pistons are losing popularity.

In production models:

  • PA-44-180 Seminole (mostly for training) and Baron G58 are the only twin piston still in production in the US.
  • Outside of the US, Tecnam has P2006T and P2012, Diamond has DA42 (a diesel twin, burning jet fuel instead of avgas, Austro Engine AE300) and DA62.

Cessna used to build quite a few different twin piston models (310 / 320 / 401 / 402 / 404 / 411, etc), now Cessna builds none. Diamond Twin Star is

Reasons for the decline? New single pistons like Cirrus SR22 are more powerful and can climb and cruise similar to twins. More advanced twins are being replaced by turbine engines.

Cape air tried to find a replacement for their Cessna 402 but Cessna was not interested in developing another twin piston aircraft; the order went to Tecnam P2012 Traveller (9 pax).

Light Sport Aircraft (LSA)

MTOW: 1,320 lbs (600 kg) or 1,430 lbs for seaplanes (650 kg); max speed 120 knots; max 2 seats; max 1 engine, unpressurized cabin, fixed landing gear, fixed-pitch, two-blade.

  • CubCrafters Carbon Cub SS
  • Cessna 162
  • Icon A5

Homebuilt, not certificated, licensed Experimental under FAA or similar local regulations.

Biplanes

Biplanes are commonly used in aerobatics because they have greater maneuverability and usually deliver a faster roll rate than monoplanes.

Biplanes in production:

  • Aviat Pitts Special
  • Aviat Eagle: originally designed to compete with the Pitts Special.
  • Waco YMF-5
  • Waco Great Lakes

Turboprops

Single-engine Turboprops (SETP)

  • Beechcraft Denali
  • Cessna Grand Caravan
  • Pilatus PC-12NG
  • Daher TBM
  • Daher Kodiak 100
  • Piper M500/M600
  • Epic E1000

Twin Turboprops

In Production

  • Beechcraft King Air
  • Piaggio P.180 Avanti: 9-seat, Italian, twin-engine, turboprop
  • Cessna 408 SkyCourier
  • ATR 42/72
  • Dash 8 Q400
  • AVIC MA60/MA600/MA700

Out of Production

  • SAAB 340
  • Cessna 441/425

Jets

Very Light Jets

Very light jets: MTOW around or under 10,000 pounds (4,540 kg), seating 4 to 8.

Eclipse 500 was the first one in this category, 260 were built between 2006 and 2008; then Eclipse 550 was produced between 2014 and 2018.

Current only 4 models in production:

  • Cirrus Vision SF 50: since 2016, single engine.
  • HongdaJet: since 2015.
  • Cessna Citation M2: since 2013, MTOW 10,700 lb (4,853 kg); the smaller Citation Mustang stopped production in 2017.
  • Embraer Phenom 100: since 2008, MTOW 10,582 lb (4,800 kg).

Business Jets

  • Gulfstream
  • Dassault Falcon
  • Bombardier

Regional Jets

  • Embraer E-Jets
  • CRJ700/900/1000
  • ARJ21
  • Sukhoi Superjet
  • Mitsubishi MRJ70/90

Mainline Airliners

  • Boeing
  • Airbus

More details: Airliners

Electric

Electric Aircraft

By Brands

For airliners, check Airliners page. Here focuses on general aviation.

Diamond

https://www.diamondaircraft.com/en/

Based in Austria, Chinese-owned.

  • DA20: 2-seat, single-engine.
  • DA40: 4-seat, single-engine, composite airframe.
    • DA40 NG: Austro Engine AE 300, Jet fuel.
    • DA40 XLT: Lycoming IO-360, Avgas.
  • DA42: 4-seat, twin-engine; 2x Austro Engine AE 300 turbocharged diesel engine.
  • DA50 RG: 5-seat, single-engine, RG = Retractable Gear.
  • DA62: 7-seat, twin-engine.

Pilatus

https://www.pilatus-aircraft.com/en

  • Pilatus PC-6: single-engined STOL utility aircraft, with both piston and turboprop versions. After 604 deliveries in 63 years, Pilatus ended production in 2022.
  • Pilatus PC-12: single-engined turboprop
  • Pilatus PC-24: twin-engined jet
  • Pilatus PC-21: single-engined turboprop (fighter) trainer

Daher

https://www.daher.com/en/

Both Kodiak and TBM are turboprops. The only thing the Kodiak and the TBM have in common is the PT6 turbo prop.

  • Kodiak 100/900: for air-taxi, 10-seat, unpressurized, capable of operating from rough and short trips (STOL).
  • TBM 960/910: for business. 960 and 910 are in production. Cruises at roughly twice the speed of the Kodiak and happily operates 10,000' higher than the Kodiak.
    • TBM 960 (2022): Replaced 940. Garmin G3000, PT6E, digitally-controlled turboprop engine.
    • TBM 940 (2019): Garmin G3000 + autothrottle; autoland. Replaced 930.
    • TBM 930 (2016).
    • TBM 910: Garmin G1000 NXi. PT6A.

De Havilland Canada

https://dehavilland.com/en

Currently only producing Dash 8-400.

Some of the seaplanes are still in service:

  • DHC-2 Beaver: 5-6 PAX
  • DHC-3 Otter: 10-14 PAX
  • DHC-6 Twin Otter: 18 PAX

Harbour Air Seaplanes operates DHC-2, DHC-3 and DHC-6, for tours and private charters.

Viking Air

https://www.vikingair.com/

Vikingair aquired of de Havilland Canada designs: DHC-1 through DHC-7. In May 2005, the company subsequently purchased the parts and service business for all the older de Havilland Canada aircraft from Bombardier Aerospace.

The company produces new versions of the DHC-6 Twin Otter, upgraded versions of the DHC-2 Beaver, spare parts for older de Havilland Canada aircraft.

Viking DHC-2T Turbo Beaver: Remanufactured Beavers by Viking Air, upgraded with a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 680 hp (507 kW) turboprop engine.

Tecnam

https://tecnam.com/

  • P2008: 2-seat.
  • P2010: 4-seat, high wing piston; composite fuselage, metal wing and landing gear; competing with Cessna 172/182.
  • P2006T: the only Rotax powered twin. Rotax has lower fuel burn, often used for training.
  • Astore: replacing P2002 Sierra.
  • P2012 Traveller: 11-seat, designed based on Cape Air's request. Cape Air ordered 100 to replace its fleet of Cessna 402.

Gulfstream

https://www.gulfstream.com/en/

The names reflect the max ranges:

  • G800: 8,000 nm (14,816 km) range the longest range of any currently announced business jet.
  • G700: 7,500 nm
  • G650/G650ER
  • G600: 6,600 nm
  • G500: 5,300 nm
  • G400: 4,200 nm, the entry point into Gulfstream's large-cabin family.
  • G280: 3,600 nm

Notes:

  • G800 will have the same fuselage as the G650ER but borrows many of the elements designed for the G700. That included the cabin seats, cabinetry, and lighting, in addition to the aforementioned Symmetry flight deck, wing, tail, and Rolls engines. When the G800 eventually replaces the G650ER, all of Gulfstream’s large-cabin jets will have common flight decks—notably Honeywell Epic-based Symmetry avionics and BAE Systems active control sidesticks—that will make it easier for pilots to transition between these fly-by-wire aircraft.
  • the G400 through G600 will have a common pilot type rating; the G700 and G800 will also have a common pilot rating.
  • G400, G500, and G600 will share the same tail and fuselage cross-section but have slightly different variants of the Pratt & Whitney PW800-series engine. All three of these jets will be made at the Northwest manufacturing facility at Gulfstream’s Savannah campus. the exterior length of the G400 is about 10 feet shorter than its G500 sibling
  • G700 and G800 will share a wing, tail, and fuselage cross-section, in addition to the Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 turbofans, which are on track to receive FAA certification early next year. These ultra-long-range airplanes will be manufactured at the current G650ER production facility in Savannah; G650ER production is in the process of being moved a few doors down to the former G450/550 manufacturing facility.

Dassault

https://www.dassault-aviation.com/en/

Headquarters in Paris, France.

  • Falcon 10X: in development, 2025. To compete with the Bombardier Global 7500 and the Gulfstream G700. Range: 7,500 nm
  • Falcon 8X / 7X: trijet, developed from Falcon 900
  • Falcon 6X: twinjet; range: 5,500 nm
  • Falcon 2000LXS (long-range) / 2000S (short-field)
  • Falcon 900LX: trijet

Embraer

https://executive.embraer.com/global/en/home

  • Phenom 100EX
  • Phenom 300E
  • Praetor 500
  • Praetor 600

Bombardier

https://businessaircraft.bombardier.com/

  • Global 5500
  • Global 6500
  • Global 7500
  • Global 8000
  • Challenger 350
  • Challenger 3500
  • Challenger 650

HondaJet

https://www.hondajet.com/

aircraft Max. Cruise Speed Max. Cruise Altitude Max Range
HondaJet 422 KTAS FL430 1223 nm
HondaJet Elite II 422 KTAS FL430 1547 nm
HondaJet Echelon 450 KTAS FL470 2625 nm

HondaJet 2600 would be the longest-range single-pilot business aircraft.

Maule

https://mauleairinc.com/

Maule Air, Inc. is a manufacturer of light, single-engined, short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft, based in Moultrie, Georgia, U.S.

In production: M-7, MX-7 and M-9.

X in the model name indicates a slightly smaller fuselage, and the presence of a T indicates a tricycle-gear configuration.

Pipistrel

Slovenian.

  • Panthera: lightweight, all-composite, highly efficient four-seat aircraft.
  • Velis Electro: full-electric.

Elixir

French.

Elixir 912iS: two-seat light aircraft.

Epic

Epic E1000: all composite, started delivery in 2020, 1200 hp, over 330 knots, will be the fastest single-engine civil aircraft. E1000 is currently the only offering. Headquartered in Bend, Oregon, owned by the Russian company S7 Technics.

Extra

German.

  • Extra NG: two-seat aerobatic monoplane.

Flight Design

German.

  • Flight Design CT: high-wing, tricycle undercarriage, two seat, ultralight and light-sport aircraft.

Game Composites

British.

  • Game Composites GB1 GameBird: single-engine, tandem two-seat, aerobatic, composite structure.

Sling

South Africa.

Kitfox

https://kitfoxaircraft.com/

Zenith

https://zenithair.net/

Sherpa

https://sherpaaircraft.net/

STOL. GT500, GT1000

Britten Norman

https://britten-norman.com/

Air Tractor

Agriculture / Firefighting Aircraft

https://airtractor.com/

Discontinued / Defunct

  • Stinson: sold to Piper.
    • S108: Four primary subtypes were available: the 108 (or “straight 108”), 108-1, 108-2 and 108-3.
  • The One Aviation Corporation, stylized as ONE Aviation, was a company formed in 2015 to merge the aircraft manufacturers Eclipse Aerospace and Kestrel Aircraft.

How are they different?

Piston

All small piston aircraft look the same, but under the hood they can be very different:

  • number of seats: 2 (side-by-side like C152 or tandem like Citabria), 4 (like a C172), 6 or more
  • category: normal (no acrobatic), utility (limited acrobatics), acrobatic.
  • engine: lycoming or continental or rotax
  • with or without carb heat: no carb heat for fuel injected engines (IO engines)
  • propeller:
    • fixed pitch or constant speed
    • number of blades
  • with or without flaps.
  • round gauges or G1000
  • static ports: some have 1, some have 2 (e.g. Citabria gets 2 on each side, since it does not have flaps, it uses forward slips to slow down and lose altitude)
  • nose wheel or tail wheel
  • LSA or not
  • wings
    • with tip tank? e.g. some Bonanza
    • high wing or low wing
    • monoplane or biplane
  • fuel selector: no fuel selector; LEFT / RIGHT; LEFT / RIGHT / BOTH

Traildraggers

A good book to read: The Compleat Taildragger Pilot.

Cubs and Champs

2 very popular groups of aircraft: cubs and champs.

  • Champ is nearly a foot shorter than the Cub, but the cabin area is longer and wider.
  • Champ offers far better visibility than the Cub.
  • Champ's gear is four inches narrower.
  • Champ’s tail is a lot heavier to lift.
  • Champ is less bouncing during landing. (Easier to land.)

Stats

GAMA (General Aviation Manufacturers Association): Aircraft Shipment and Billing Report