The Pilatus PC-24 is new and the most spacious aircraft in the light jet category

Light jets provide an affordable way to access private aviation. With prices for on-demand and jet card charter of a light jet often starting at under $5,000, depending on where you are going and with how many people, light jets, including its category subset very light jets, are a good way to get the most value when flying privately. Light jets are defined as having a maximum take-off weight of under 20,000 pounds with very light jets typically referred to as those aircraft with a maximum take-off weight under 10,000 pounds.

Of course, when choosing light jets size can be an issue. both cabin height can impact how much you have to duck when moving around while width and length impact how spacious it feels once you are flying. Cabin volume combines all three, and according to research by Conklin & de Decker Associates, the new Pilatus PC-24 is the champion when it comes to light jets with its cabin measuring 501 cubic feet followed by the Embraer 300/300E at 324 cubic feet. Next from Cessna are the Citation Encore (310 ), Citation Encore + (310), Citation V ( 310) and Citation Ultra (310).

Of course, if you are taller, height may an issue. From that perspective, the Beechcraft Premier I and IA at a height of 5.4 inches will give you the most headroom in the category followed by the Pilatus PC-24 at 5.08 feet and then Embraer’s Phenom 100 and 300 at nearly five feet in cabin height (4.92 and 4.94). Other light jets that will give you more head space include the Dassault Falcon 10 (4.9), Dassault Falcon 100 (4.9), HondaJet HA-420 (4.8), Cessna Citation V (4.8), Cessna Citation Ultra (4.8), Beechcraft Beechjet 400A (4.8), and Beechcraft Diamond 1A (4.8). At a cabin height of 4.75 feet are the Citation CJ3+, CJ2, C2+, CJ1, CJ1+ and M2.

In terms of width, the Pilatus PC-24 is again the leader at 5.58 feet followed by Beechcraft’s Premier 1/1A at 5.5 feet. While the Sabreliner Sabre 40A offers a cabin 5.25 feet wide, it hasn’t been manufactured since the 1970s so you are unlikely to find many on the charter market or featured in jet card programs. However, the Phenom 100 and 300 series, both with cabins at 5.08 feet wide are highly popular, and a number of jet card providers, including Executive AirShare, Flexjet, JetSuite and Nicholas Air offer programs featuring them. The narrowest private jet is the Cessna Citation Mustang at 4.58 feet.

For cabin length, the PC-24 at 23 feet is longest. Cessna’s Citation V, Ultra, Encore, Encore +, CJ4 and Embraer’s Phenom 300 and 300E all have cabins over 17 feet long. On the compact side, the Mustang, Learjet 24D/24E and Eclipse 500/550 and Total Eclipse 500 each have cabins under 10 feet in length.

When choosing a light jet you need to make sure to verify how many seats on the aircraft as the same airplane types can be configured with a different number of seats. With light jets, you will also want to check to see if there is an enclosed toilet and if it is separated by a hard door or just a curtain.

Which is the roomiest light jet? The most spacious light jets measured by cubic volume, cabin height, cabin length and cabin volume:

Aircraft NameMaximum Take-off Weight (lbs.)Cabin Height (feet)Cabin Width (feet)Cabin Length (feet)Cabin Volume (cu. ft.)
Pilatus PC-2417,9685.085.5823.00501.0
Embraer Phenom 30017,9684.925.0817.17324.0
Embraer Phenom 300E17,9684.925.0817.17324.0
Cessna Citation Encore+16,8304.754.8317.33314.0
Cessna Citation Encore16,6304.754.8317.33314.0
Cessna Citation Ultra16,3004.804.8317.33310.0
Cessna Citation V15,9004.804.8317.33310.0
Beechcraft Hawker 400XPR16,3004.754.9215.50305.0
Beechcraft Beechjet 400A16,1004.804.9015.60305.0
Beechcraft Hawker 400XP16,3004.754.9215.50305.0
Nextant Aerospace 400XTi16,3004.754.9215.50305.0
Nextant Aerospace 400XT16,3004.754.9215.50305.0
Sabreliner Sabre 40A19,6124.605.2515.80294.0
Beechcraft Beechjet 40015,7804.804.9014.40293.0
Cessna Citation CJ417,1104.754.8317.30293.0
Beechcraft Diamond 1A14,6304.804.9015.00293.0
Sierra Industries FJ44 Super SII S55015,1004.704.8015.75292.0
Sierra Industries FJ44 Super II 55014,1004.704.8015.75292.0
Cessna Citation Bravo14,8004.704.8015.75292.0
Cessna Citation II/IISP14,1004.704.8015.75292.0
Cessna Citation S/II15,1004.704.8015.75292.0
Bombardier Learjet 35A18,3004.304.9012.90289.0
Cessna Citation CJ313,8704.754.8315.67286.0
Cessna Citation CJ3+13,8704.754.8315.67286.0
Beechcraft Premier I12,5005.405.5013.60285.0
Beechcraft Premier IA12,5005.405.5013.60285.0
Bombardier Learjet 31A17,2004.354.9512.90281.0
Bombardier Learjet 31ER16,5004.354.9512.90281.0
Bombardier Learjet 31A/ER17,7004.354.9512.90281.0
Bombardier Learjet 3115,5004.354.9512.90281.0
Bombardier Learjet 25D15,0004.304.9012.00258.0
Cessna Citation CJ2+12,5004.754.8313.58248.0
Cessna Citation CJ212,3754.754.8313.58248.0
Sierra Industries FJ44 Eagle II 501SP12,5004.304.9012.70230.0
Sierra Industries FJ44 Stallion 501SP12,5004.304.9012.70230.0
Cessna Citation I/ISP11,8504.304.9012.70230.0
Cessna Citation 50011,5004.304.9012.70230.0
Bombardier Learjet 36A18,3004.304.9010.50228.0
Dassault Falcon 1018,7404.904.8012.70224.0
Dassault Falcon 10018,7404.904.8012.70224.0
Honda Aircraft HA-420 HondaJet10,6004.805.0012.10222.0
Bombardier Learjet 24D13,5004.304.909.00220.0
Bombardier Learjet 24E13,5004.304.909.00220.0
Embraer Phenom 100E10,5824.945.0811.00212.0
Embraer Phenom 10010,4724.925.0811.00212.0
Embraer Phenom 100EV10,5824.945.0811.00212.0
SyberJet SJ3013,9504.304.7012.50210.0
Cessna Citation Jet10,4004.804.8311.00205.0
Cessna Citation M210,7004.754.8311.00201.0
Cessna Citation CJ110,6004.754.8311.00201.0
Cessna Citation CJ1+10,7004.754.8311.00201.0
Cirrus Vision SF506,0004.075.0811.48170.0
Cessna Citation Mustang8,6454.504.589.80163.0
One Aviation Eclipse 5006,0004.164.667.60109.0
One Aviation Eclipse 5506,0004.164.667.60109.0
One Aviation Total Eclipse 5006,0004.164.667.60109.0
Source: Conklin & de Decker Associates, Inc. Note:  Seating is standard configuration, provided for guidance only, and may vary by owner.

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About Conklin & de Decker

Conklin & de Decker, a JSSI Company, is a leader in aviation research, consulting and education with offices in Massachusetts, Texas and Arizona. The mission of Conklin & de Decker is to enable the general aviation industry to make more informed decisions when dealing with the purchase, operation and disposition of aircraft by furnishing objective and impartial information. Founded in 1984, Conklin & de Decker focuses on fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft operating cost, performance and specification databases, maintenance management software, financial management, fleet planning, market research, aviation tax issues, and financial, tax and management seminars.  Conklin & de Decker consults with numerous individuals, corporations, and government agencies worldwide. More information on their products and services, copies of articles published, and a unique “Members Only” section can be found on their website.

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