15 Types of Airplanes

Types of Airplanes

Air journeys are undeniably the fastest and hassle-free ride of all. If you are looking to ship your cargo, cargo planes will make it possible within hours.

If you are looking quickest journey, then jets will make it possible even from one continent to far away from other continents in glimpses.

After the might invention of the Wright brothers, various types of airplanes have been designed for tens of intended functions.

Before we dive into the details of any jumbo or small jets, let’s first divide airplanes into three-parent categories.

  • Private jets
  • Propeller Planes
  • Commercial Airplanes

With the advancement and technology, engineers and technicians are trying to improve every aspect of airplanes to ensure the safest and quickest journeys.

Let’s explore all these types of airplanes and categorize them based on strengths, weaknesses, and intended functions.

Without any delay, let’s dive into the smallest airplanes or private jets.

Table of Contents

Types of Private Jets

1. Very Light Jets- for short trips

Private jets with a short flight duration ranging from 40 to 80 minutes are mostly Very Light Jets. Such planes usually cover regional destinations.

They offer a space for up to eight passengers. An added advantage of these jets is that they don’t require a whole crew for flight; only a single pilot is enough to serve the purpose.

They don’t offer separate lavatory compartments but a privacy curtain containing an emergency toilet. The first model of these lightest business jets named Cessna Citation Mustang came into existence in November 2006.

These are the best partners for trips whose intended destinations are off the tracks of commercial airlines.

2. Light Business Jets

The types of airplanes super-seceding very light jets mainly include these Light Business Jets.

These can travel in a range of 2400 nautical miles or even more for transcontinental trips.

Such types of private jets can carry twice as many loads of very light jets, which means 20,000 lbs. maximum takeoff load.

They can fly with an average speed of 500 mph, making them an ideal private trip choice on par with commercial jets.

They even have cabin pressurization, which makes them fly at higher altitudes without worrying about oxygen’s shortcoming.

Light business jets not only contain lavatory compartments but all technological facilities for remote meetings.        

3. Mid-Sized Private jets

These jets can carry ten passengers at once, designed explicitly for longer transcontinental trips.

They have even enhanced and well-balanced amenities than those of light business jets. Mid-sized business jets can also travel at a speed of 500 mph.

They have the added feature of landing on smaller runways with pressurized cabins pre-installed in them to make your trips smooth and comfortable.

These jets travel up to 3000 nautical miles in a single go. There’s a special type of these jets named as “super mid-size,” equipped with higher speeds with fuel-efficient systems.

These can even cover longer distances of 3600 nautical miles with an impressive speed of 580 mph.

4. Heavy Business jets

These businesses have pre-installed every major facility for any type of private or business meeting or conference.

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They have a carrying capacity of 10 to 18 passengers in a single go. Such types of airplanes can hover non-stop for six to eight hours.

In simple terms, their powered design allows flying for more than 6000 nautical miles. It’s a king of conversion from commercial travel to private journeys.

They can even fly above the weather to ensure high speeds without compromising comfort level.

These jumbo jets have spacious cabins where even offices can be established. The Boeing 747 8 VIP is a masterpiece of this category.

Heavy business jets also have an added feature of super-lucrative luxury. These amenities provide an optimal working environment for the passengers during this long journey.

5. Military Jets

Military Jets

The military jets category is quite dubious. They are private jets in terms of spacing and other facilities, but their intended use is neither private nor commercial.

For instance, you can’t keep any of the fully-armed military jets like the F18 Hornet. However, unquestionably, these jets are the market leaders.

Military jets or supersonic fighter jets are built to engage in real-time combats with enemies.

Specialized weapons and systems deployment in their body makes than manifold expansive than any of the business jets.

They have their separate bases and runways, usually under the command of the Naval and Air forces of the country.

An amazing feature that makes them special is that they have the ability to refill without even landing. They usually follow a v-shaped pattern while flying, just like the birds.

There are multiple subcategories of these planes depending upon weapons range and precision, flight time, and refilling span.

Types of Propeller Airplanes

1. Private Single Engine

Private Single Engine

Many people believe that propeller-driven systems are going out of fashion with the advent of most modern supersonic multi-engine jets.

In reality, these propeller engines still hold a big chunk of modern flight operations. Almost 27 percent of flights use propeller engine airplanes.

The main reason behind their excessive usage in the market is due to the fact that 80 percent of US domestic flights are mere one or two hours long.

So, when you have private propeller planes that can even go to remotest locations, then why bear the hassle of private boarding jets.

Such types of planes are very common among the remote areas of many American states, especially in Alaska- where a dog shed is the only way of proper transportation.

These places can fly up to 200 miles in a single run. Although a single-propeller engine’s capability for one go is less, it can be an ideal partner if you are seeking local flights.

2. Twin Turbo Propeller Planes

Twin Turbo Propeller Planes

Twin-turbo propeller planes or simply turboprops’ possess larger hauling capacity but operating cost is comparable to most of the light jets.

These planes can land even on grassy fields or makeshift runways. An added advantage of these planes that a single pilot is enough to fly them without any hassle.

Turboprops also contain a special quality of diving and even straight climbing without stalling out.

In propeller engines shaft rotates to turn a variable pitch propeller. This process propels the aircraft; in contrast, jet engines use exhaust gases for this purpose.

They can yield satisfactory outcomes even at speeds of 0.6 Mach, but still, they are not counted in supersonics.

The reason behind this happening is that propeller losses its efficiency at higher speeds. 

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3. Military Turbo Propellers

Military Turbo Propellers

Militaries around the globe still prefer turboprops because of their fuel to mileage ratio.

Additionally, they are prepared at much lower prices than fighter jets, and amazingly, turbos show excellent performance in lighter attacks.

An added feature of cheaper manufacturing makes them a more favorable option, especially in the regions where heavy fights have infinitesimal ratios.

Their sole purpose is to transport military cargo ranging from weapons to other things of battle importance.

One of the turboprops named Embraer Super Tucano carries the ability to transport an impressive weight of 3300 lbs. of weapons.

Modern engineering has always kept them in military barracks and bases. Most of the military combats usually take place at lower altitudes, which is undoubtedly a stronger zone of turboprops.

Although such types of planes are less efficient as compared to jets at Mach speeds but they provide stronger forward upthrust.    

4. Amphibious

amphibious aircraft

Amphibious planes are specialized to land and take off over water bodies like lakes and seas.

Even keel adjustments can make them an ideal choice for landing over snows and ice bodies.

Special types of amphibious planes having retractable wheels can even land on landing strips.

In short, these planes are true flag bearers of their names, ‘amphibious,’ meaning all-rounder performers on both land and water bodies.

Such multipurpose planes carry some disadvantages along with all these fantastic features.

Most amphibious planes equipped with all landing capabilities require higher maintenance costs.  

5. Aerobatic Planes

Aerobatic Planes

Performing high-speed maneuvers is the most exciting part of every pilot’s career, but most of them didn’t get hands-on experience with fighter jets.

Aerobatic planes are perfect alternatives for fighter jets. Such types of airplanes are equipped with massive speeds and the ability to assist dives and rolls.

Pilots can perform multiple stunts with these easily maneuvered airplanes. Their lightweight also makes them compatible to perform choreograph drills.

Flying these planes is not a simple task, as it needs hours and hours of tedious practice and out-of-box coordination to fly these biggies.

Military men are quite easy to suit for aerobatic planes because they already had gone through many such drills.

Though in national parades, jets are becoming common, but the jet master can also ace these.

So learning curve greatly takes a down blow if you have flight schooling or military background.

Types of Commercial Planes

1. Light Passenger Jets

Light Passenger Jets

Such types of airplanes can carry 60 to 100 passengers in a single flight. Their small sizes make them the most appropriate choice for economic airlines.

In light passenger jets, the central aisle divides the seating into two equal parts, but there can be two aisles in bigger ones.

They operate at a cruising speed of 545 mph for 1800 miles. They can carry passengers from central hubs to regional and even to nearer transcontinental destinations.

Due to their smaller and economical design, these jets generate hefty amounts of revenues for the owners, especially when flights are starting from central hubs.

Though they can travel to nearer continental locations but airlines prefer them within the region and even within countries to avoid heavy regulations of seas.

All these measures turn them into the most economical option for both passengers and airlines.        

2. Mid-size Passenger Jets

They are also named narrower body planes due to their sleek and narrow shapes and designs.

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However, their passenger-carrying capacity is way greater than light passenger jets. For instance, Airbus 350-1000 can carry up to 350 travelers, or Boeing 747 holds the capacity of 600 passengers in a single run.

A few of them, like Airbus A380, can carry 853 passengers, and race is still going on. Boeing 737 can hover up to 3000 nautical miles in a single flight.

All these features make them the perfect choice for seasonal routes as well as smaller flights.

Airplane giants Boeing and Airbus are trying their best to rule this category to their impressive investment to profitability ratio.

These types of airplanes can be a good adventure for longer trips, but airlines prefer their most appropriate path for each kind of plane.

3. Cargo Airplanes

Cargo Airplanes

Cargo planes have an amazing advantage over all other types of airplanes that they are convertible.

For instance, we can convert Boeing 747 into either passenger or cargo plane depending upon usage and requirement.

This Boeing giant can carry up to 65,000 cubic feet of diversified cargo. Recently launched Airbus named Beluga XL possesses the capacity of 78,000 cubic feet of cargo, leaving Boeing at the second spot.

There’s one impressive feature of these airplanes is their diversity. Beluga carries 78,000, while Cessna- another cargo airplane- carries a mere 340 cubic feet of cargo.

Adding more to your curiosity, these planes are not only jets, but a few are having propeller engines like Cessna.

Their interiors are especially covered with aluminum to avoid maximum deterioration.

4. Passenger Turboprops

Passenger Turboprops

Turbo propeller planes are more fuel-efficient than jet engines; however, turboprops lack reliability, which is one of the most important factors for any airline service.

The fuel economy of these types of airplanes has kept them in competition because, unquestionably, fuel is one of the biggest expenses of any airline.

An added feature of shorter runway requirements keeps turboprops in a tough knock with the jet airplanes.

So, many shorter flights are quite easily managed to fulfill market requirements and demands.

Bombardier Q400 can carry up to 80 passengers in a single run.                             

5. Jumbo Passenger Jets

Jumbo Passenger Jets

‘Jumbo jet’ sobriquet was firstly awarded to Boeing 747, which was the first wide-body commercial airplane.

Even manufacturers of Boeing never imagined such a level of popularity, but astonishingly, 1554 articles of it sell over within a short period.

These have the potential to be converted into cargo or passenger and even a combo of both of these facilities.

Nowadays, Airbus is the new leader of jumbo jets as they have impacted the airline market too quickly.

However, the massive size of Airbus 380 made these lost their worth in the business spectrums of many of the investors.

These large jets occupy too much space, too much time to fill up, and almost useless for regional travels.

Only journeys from central hubs to other bigger hubs have proved somehow profitable for the airlines.

Bottom Line

Airplanes have revolutionized the travel industry since their inception, and with the passage of every single day, technological inventions are making them more and more advanced. These planes have a chopped distance of days or even weeks to a few hours. Not just connected people with single knots, but these have also played a prominent role in the shipping and trade industry. In short, every passing day and every upcoming invention is a blessing for human beings as long as it remains in good hands. 

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