Personal Jets have been developed on numerous occasions in the past decades. Several never went beyond the marketing mockup, several prototypes have flown, others have enjoyed limited success in military sales with civilian derivatives, but none so far has been a commercial success.

As is generally the case with the transportation industry, it is the engine that allows the creation of a new market. The lack of an economically viable powerplant has long prevented the commercial success of those projects, until recently.

Today, with the availability of the Williams FJ33, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW600, the Honda-General Electric and the Price Induction DGEN families of engines, the last hurdle has been lifted.

They are economical to operate, very reliable, and surprisingly quieter than similarly sized propeller airplanes.

It took some time to coin the term VLJ (Very Light Jet), which can be defined as any jet with a gross weight under 10,000 lb. Basically, everything that is smaller than a Citation Jet.

What differentiates a Personal Jet from a VLJ is still subject to debate. An emerging definition for the Personal Jet is a gross weight under 6,000 lb, or a ceiling of 29,000 ft or less.

Click the menu on the left to review some interesting VLJ/PLJ that have been flying or have been developed since World War II.

The Sud-Ouest SO6000 Triton, one of the first "personal jets" (ok, not really but close)
First flight November 11, 1946
This aircraft was designed in France in clandestinity during the German occupation of WWII by Lucien Servanty, who would later on become the lead designer of Concorde along with Bill Strang.


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