Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

10 Tips For Stepping Up


If you’re considering the leap from piston to turbine, here’s what you need to know


The Rundown

Meridian (450 in service)
Piper's Meridian continues to get better and better. Now offered with G1000 avionics, this single-engine turboprop performer has a great panel, too.

TBM 850 (580 in service)
Winner of the single-engine turboprop speed race, the 320-knot aircraft remains on pace for about 30 deliveries per year. The $3.2M aircraft is priced similarly to many of the entry-level light jets, but has slightly better range and a reversible pitch propeller.

Pilatus PC-12 (1,300 in service)
The Big Daddy of them all, the PC-12 can haul eight of your closest friends, motorcycles, Sea-Doos, and just about anything else you can pack into a 52x53-inch cargo door. It takes off on grass, too!

King Air C90GTi (3,100 in service)
With its new makeover, the C90GTi compares well with its light-jet counterparts, and with 270 knots' cruise and a wider cabin, it's worth a look for short- to medium-distance missions.

Eclipse 500 (260 in service)
Eclipse Aerospace is now partially owned by Sikorsky, the company that builds military and executive helicopters. The Total Eclipse refurbishment program provides a like-new Eclipse 500 with all available upgrades for $2.15 million.

Citation Mustang (360 in service)
Cessna has now delivered approximately 350 Citation Mustangs, making it the most delivered new-generation entry-level jet. The latest version, the High Sierra Edition, offers updated interior and exterior styling, lots of standard avionics equipment and includes prepaid maintenance for three years.

Embraer Phenom 100 (230 in service)
The Phenom 100 was the most-delivered jet in 2010, and continues to be widely acclaimed by owner-pilots and commercial operators alike.

Extra 500
Walter Extra, the designer from Germany famous for his unlimited aerobatic machines, is now delivering a single-engine 226-knot turboprop.

Kestrel Aircraft
The new turboprop program is looking at certification in three years, and customers can look forward to a quintessential Alan Klapmeier touch of thought-filled innovation, technology and aircraft utilization.

Piper Altaire
Slated for certification and delivery in 2014, the $2.5 million Piper Altaire, which saw a major redesign in 2010, will be the largest and fastest of the single-engine turbo-fan designs.

Diamond D-Jet
Assuming Diamond is able to secure long-term funding, it will likely be first to market with their five-place single-engine jet in an increasingly crowded, competitive landscape.

Cirrus Vision Jet
While still finalizing funding from their Chinese backer, Cirrus is gearing up for full-scale development and certification of their V-tailed single-engine turbofan. Cirrus Jet certification is currently slated for 2013.


Cyrus Sigari is Plane & Pilot's Turbine Editor and president of jetAVIVA, a light jet sales, delivery and training firm based in Santa Monica, Calif.




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