15 Best Personal Airplanes For New Pilots
The sense of independence you get from having a personal airplane is immeasurable. If you love light aircraft and you don’t already have one, the plane you should go for depends on your flying needs and missions.
So, which personal airplane is for you?
Two-seaters personal airplanes
Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair III
This is the Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair III, the only language this airplane hears is “get there fast”. The Glasair III is an all-composite improved variant of the earlier Glasair II with retractable landing gear and a 300 hp Lycoming IO-540 engine.
It has two seats side-by-side with dual controls and can fit wingtip fuel tanks on it for long-range missions.
The Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair III uses the 300hp Lycoming IO 540 engine, which helps it to cruise at 272knots, climb at 2400 ft/min, with a range of 1100 nautical miles. If you want lots of speed in a two-seat aircraft, this one is for you.
The Bristell B23 is a popular modern trainer used by flight schools. This plane features a lovely glass cockpit, visibility is great, and the use of a Rotax engine makes it highly efficient and economical.
This aircraft uses the 100hp Rotax 912 engine, which helps it to cruise at 130 mph, climb at 700 ft per minute, with a range of 800 miles. If you want an excellent modern training platform, certified for Night VFR, a plane that will also deliver lower operating costs, the Bristell B23 is for you.
With $230,000, you can get Bristell B23 brand new.
Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey
The Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey is one of the best seaplanes you can get your hands on in the market today. Design-wise, it’s not the sleekest or the best-looking airplane from the list, but it is the best bet for that money.
Performance-wise, you’re looking at a cruise speed of 90 to a hundred knots, useful load is close to 600 pounds. If you want a plane that will take you anywhere, be it an airport or a beach, the Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey is for you. Now the best part about the Searay is the price, you can easily get into one of these aircraft for only $120,000.
And if you search good enough in the used market, you can get into one of these planes for less than $60,000.
Four-seaters personal airplanes
The Sling TSi was built to be the most practical and desirable lightweight four-place experimental aircraft on the market, and it has been critically acclaimed for its capabilities, effortless handling, and all-around functionality.
It comfortably seats four with luggage and still cruises effortlessly and efficiently, making it the ultimate in affordable cross-country flying. Using the 141hp Rotax 915 engine, cruise speed is 148knots, 1000ft/min climb rate, and a range of 900 nautical miles. If you want a highly efficient modern four-seat design, the Sling TSi is for you.
The performance of the Lancair Mako is great, and it is one of the fastest four-place personal airplanes in the market today. Starting with a sturdy composite airframe that’s built to stringent utility class standards, the Mako is designed for the long haul.
The Lancair Mako uses the 350hp Continental IO 550 turbo-charged engine, which helps it to seat four people and cruise at 225 knots or 417km/h, climb at 1900 ft/min, with a range of 1100 nautical miles. If you want speed and lots of speed, this aircraft is for you.
Vans RV 10
The Vans RV-10 is a true four-person airplane, this means that it will carry four full-grown adults, full fuel, and sixty pounds of baggage while remaining at or below maximum gross weight.
In the Vans RV-10, you can comfortably cruise at 197 mph, with a range of 825 miles, using the 260hp Lycoming IO 540 engine. If your mission includes more than two people, and you like planes that perform and handle well, this airplane is for you. With a little over $130,000, you can build this aircraft yourself.
The Cirrus SR22 for a fixed-gear machine, general aviation’s most popular airplane offers performance that’s more typically associated with retractables.
Perhaps equally important, the SR22 has a generous-size cabin that will easily accommodate four adults. Using the Continental IO 550 engine, the Cirrus SR22 cruises at 211mph, climb at 1200ft/min, with a range of 1000 miles.
Whether you are a new aviator looking for the perfect first aircraft or an experienced IFR pilot with discerning tastes, the Cirrus SR22 is for you. The price for this plane is about $850,000.
Cessna 400 Corvalis TT
These are the Cessna Corvalis & the Corvalis TTx Both Corvalis personal airplanes use the same big 310hp Continental IO-550 engine. Both are great and fast planes, capable of fast nonstop trips like New York to Atlanta, New York to Toronto, Miami to the Bahamas. Or Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
If you need to cover long distances fast, the Cessna 400 Corvalis TT is for you. These models cost around $500,000 to $800,000 because they’re no longer in production, you can only buy a used model for less.
The Pipistrel Panthera is undoubtedly the most efficient four-seat airplane. It achieves unprecedented efficiency through careful aerodynamic shaping and lightweight advanced composite structure.
The Panthera uses the 260hp Lycoming IO 540 engine, which helps it to cruise at 230mph, climb at 1300ft/min, with a range of 1000 miles. If you need a highly efficient speed machine, the Pipistrel Panthera is for you. Buying this plane brand new will cost you about $600,000.
Cessna 172 Skyhawk
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is more suited to cross-country flying. Due to its stable design, if its position in the air is disturbed by turbulence or an accidental touch of the controls, it has a strong tendency to return to its original position without any input from the pilot.
With a useful load of nearly 900 pounds, you can comfortably fit in 4 persons plus some luggage and comfortably cruise at 140mph over 800miles using the 160hp Lycoming IO 260 engine.
If you need a great trainer with forgiving flight characteristics and great visibility, the Cessna 172 Skyhawk is for you.
Mooney Acclaim Ultra
The Mooney Acclaim Ultra is about more than simply speed, however. The type offers strong climb performance, typically 1,200 feet per minute. They’re comfortable machines to fly, reasonably easy to maintain and they offer better range than practically anything else in the class.
With nearly 1000 pounds useful load, the acclaim cruises at 278mph over 1000miles using the 280 Continental IO 550 engine. If you need a speed machine, the Mooney Acclaim Ultra is for you.
Family personal airplanes
The Beechcraft Baron
The Beechcraft Baron is one of the best family personal airplanes in the market today, I consider this plane a flying SUV. It’s a favourite among private pilots to fly, and it’s certainly built to handle more than just private aircraft use.
The Beechcraft Baron has long been related to exactness craft that appeals to each pilot and passengers alike. This aircraft cruises at 230mph, climbs at over 1500 ft/min, with a range of 1700 miles. With $1.4m, you can this airplane brand-new.
If your flying needs involve flying with your whole family, the Beechcraft Baron is for you.
Piper Meridian M500
The Piper Meridian is a master of both short and long-range missions, the Piper Meridian brings together the highly trusted Pratt and Whitney PT6 turbine engine and Garmin’s advanced avionics to yield a flight range over 1,000 miles at an altitude of 30,000ft.
The price for a brand-new Piper Meridian is about $3m. If you want something luxurious and cost-effective, this airplane is for you.
The Epic E1000 came with so many advancements, with a sleeker modern design, Caborn fiber construction, and better performance. this is certainly the most beautiful single-engine turboprop to look at.
The Epic E1000 promises a 360-mph cruise speed, delivers a fuel burn of 40 gallons per hour at 300 knots up to 34,000ft, and a range of at least 1,650 nautical miles. If you want a recent design that will carry about 6 people and travel far and fast, the Epic E1000 is for you.
Getting a brand new Epic E1000 will cost you $3.5m.
Socata TBM 940
The newest model, the Socata TBM 940 brings years of intelligent thinking into arguably the best single-engine turboprop. Fitted with the Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine, the 940 climbs and cruises faster than its predecessors without any increase in horsepower.
This airplane is built for versatility and it’s perfect for a family of 6 or business executives. The TBM cruises at 300mph, climbs at 4000 ft/min, with a range of 2000 miles.
If you are looking for a multi-purpose powerhouse that can take you from point A to point B fast and efficiently, the Socata TBM 940 is for you.
With $4.3m, you can this aircraft brand-new.
Pilatus PC 12
The Pilatus PC 12 is built for versatility. It’s perfect for business executives, with up to 10 passengers treated to a true office in the sky with the latest entertainment and communication devices.
It’s also one of the most versatile single-pilot turboprop planes used all around the world for business charters, air ambulance, surveillance, law enforcement, and cargo transport. If you are looking for a multi-purpose powerhouse that can take you from gravel to grass or even more rudimentary runways, don’t look past the Pilatus PC12.
A brand-new Pilatus PC 12 cost about $5.5m.