Quest for Performance: The Evolution of Modern Aircraft
Chapter 14: Business Jet Aircraft
[463] The venerable Curtiss Jenny may have been the first aircraft to be used for business purposes. In the late 1920's and early 1930's, higher performance aircraft were adapted to business use. Although several Ford trimotor airliners were converted for corporate operations, most business aircraft of this period had a single engine and an open cockpit or small cabin. The long-lived twin-engine Beech model 18, first flown in 1936, was probably the first multiengine aircraft designed specifically for business use. Following World War II, the Douglas DC-3 was extensively involved in corporate flying, and in the 1950's a number of smaller aircraft equipped with two reciprocating engines were offered for this purpose. A large number and variety of such aircraft are still on the market today. (See chapter 6.)
The first jet-powered aircraft designed especially for business use began to appear in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Presently, no fewer than 9 companies in 6 different countries are offering 18 various models of jet-powered business aircraft. The world fleet of such aircraft now totals more than 2900 (ref. 144). Some of the design features and characteristics of business jet aircraft are discussed in the next section, after which eight representative aircraft types are illustrated and described. Physical and performance characteristics of these aircraft are given in table VIII (appendix A), which contains the same quantities presented in table VII for jet transport aircraft. Note, however, that the values of range given in table VIII are based on a reserve-fuel allowance sufficient for 45 minutes of flying after the destination airport is reached. This standard has been adopted by the National Business Aircraft Association and is different from the rules described in appendix G for transport aircraft.