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7 Very Gentle Jets That Show Huge Luxurious Can Are available in Small Packages

7 Very Gentle Jets That Show Huge Luxurious Can Are available in Small Packages

Since the single-pilot, four-passenger launch of Morane-Saulnier’s MS 760 Paris jet in the 1950s, the Very Light Jet (VLJ) category took another 50 years to mature. Two Cessna aircraft of the 1950s fell into the as-yet-unnamed VLJ category, with the 407, a four-seat version of the T-37 jet trainer, and the single-pilot Fanjet 500 both getting scrapped in the design phases. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, the Gulfstream FanJet 1500 and CMC Leopard also never made a significant mark in private aviation.

But by the early 2000s, the Embraer Phenom 100, the Cessna Citation Mustang, and the Eclipse 500 had ushered in a new era of VLJs—also called “Personal Jets” or “Micro Jets.” The Mustang, the smallest jet in the Citation line, became the poster child of the category from its launch in 2006 to final production in 2017, registering the largest sales. Eclipse also had an impressive start in 2006 until the Great Recession. But the Cirrus Vision SF50 and its successor, the G2+ Vision Jet, have become the darlings of the category since going into service in 2018, with sales recently surpassing the Citation Mustang.

Unlike the midsize class and even the ultra-long-range category, VLJs tend to be one-off designs, with unique cabin configurations and sporting one or two engines. But there are some common features. These aircraft typically weigh under 10,000 pounds and have one pilot (some cockpits can be configured for two). Most are equipped with cockpit automation, such as moving map GPS and multi-function displays, automated engine and systems management, and integrated autoflight, autopilot, and flight-guidance systems. Several have Garmin’s AutoLand, which takes over if the pilot is incapacitated. The Cirrus Jet even has a deployable CAPS parachute system.

Despite its somewhat erratic history, the category continues to deliver sophisticated options and improved ranges. Coupled with advances in avionics, cabin design and safety options, these fuel-efficient jets have become a sophisticated option for business travel, personal commuting and, increasingly, for short-hop, regional air charter.

Here are seven of our favorites.

Source: Robb Report

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