Annual Flight Hours: 125-200
Best Options: Lear 60, Hawker 800XP, Citation Ultra
This hypothetical mission profile is for an entrepreneur from Dallas that needs a plane for about 125 to 200 hours per year, including both business and personal use. He likes the idea that he’d be able to use the purchase of a plane as a tax write off, and plans on operating the plane Part 135 to make some money off of charter while he’s not flying it himself.
In order to charter the aircraft between 200 and 300 hours per year, he needs a plane that can get from Texas to either the East or West Coast without stopping to refuel. To do so, he needs a plane with a range of about 2,000 nautical miles that’s ideally less than $2,000,000.
For this mission, Bombardier’s Lear 60 comes to mind. Learjets are known for their performance, and the Lear 60 is a popular option for charter operators across the United States. The Lear 60 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW305A engines, giving it a normal cruise speed of about 436 knots and a range of just over 2,500 nautical miles. Assuming fuel costs $5 per gallon (on the higher end), and including average maintenance costs, the Lear 60 costs about $1,850 per hour to operate. To keep the budget around $2,000,000, the Dallas entrepreneur would have to look at a plane manufactured before 2001.
The Hawker 800XP is another viable option for this mission. The Hawker 800XP’s range of close to 2,500 nautical miles and its impressive ramp presence make it a popular charter plane, as well. Powered by two AlliedSignal TFE731-5BR engines, the 800XP has a normal cruise speed of about 419 knots. With fuel at $5 per gallon, combined with average maintenance costs, the Hawker 800XP costs around $2,150 per hour to operate. To find a Hawker 800XP under $2,000,000, he’d have to look at a plane built before 2001 once again.
Lastly, the Citation Ultra is an affordable option for those that aren’t looking for an aircraft that’s as high-performance as the Lear 60 or Hawker 800XP. The Ultra, when compared to the other two, is a bit smaller, and, as all Citations are, it’s known for striking a balance between performance and affordability. Equipped with two Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5D engines, the Ultra has a cruise speed of about 419 knots and a range of just under 2,000 nautical miles. At $5 per gallon, the Ultra costs about $1,700 per hour to operate. All Ultras are available under $2,000,000, but production was ceased in 1999. With that being said, purchase price is usually a few hundred thousand dollars less for the Ultra than a Lear 60 or Hawker 800XP of the same model year.
Depending on what’s most important to the hypothetical Dallas entrepreneur in question, each of these planes has its own advantages over the other. If your mission is similar to this one and you’re looking for a plane, let us know! Sign up for our quarterly market reports by visiting www.wepushtin.com/reports or give us a call at (512) 868-9000.