Very Light Jets (VLJ)
In this first article on Very Light Jets, also known as VLJ, we wanted to provide you with information as to what this is and why it is so beneficial. A "very light jet" is classified as a small jet aircraft, which is operated by a single pilot. For this particular jet, the most weight allowed on takeoff is less than 10,000 pounds. While corporate and executive jets are small, this newer type of aircraft can accommodate between three and six passengers comfortably.
While some things are still pending with the FAA, it is expected that Very Light Jets will be introduced for purchase this year. Some designs have been completed while others are still under development. In fact, some of the newer designs have some incredible features such as the glass cockpit technology and advanced avionics. With this cockpit, you would see a cockpit featuring electronic instrument displays. From the traditional style of cockpit, the glass cockpit is in great demand. The result is computer controlled displays that make flight information more convenient and easier to read.
Interestingly, the main component of the new glass cockpit is actually rubber. With this design, all of the information needed specific to the plane's situation, progress, and position, covering both vertical and horizontal position, as well as speed and time. The other factor of this special cockpit design covers the plane's engine performance, as well as systems conditions. With information graphically displayed, the pilot knows what is going on with the plane at any given time.
The Very Light Jets are expected to be in high demand but of course, their survival and success will depend on how much demand. Currently, more than 3,000 aircraft have been ordered, which will go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year. One of the first and most impressive aircraft that will be introduced is called the Eclipse 500. This particular aircraft can hold up to four passengers and with a 41,000 foot service ceiling, it is capable of flying over severe weather conditions.
This aircraft is so impressive that currently, more than 2,300 are on backorder. While initial certification was given by the FAA in the summer, the full certification was authorized in September. Another Very Light Jet that is making a statement is the Cessna Citation Mustang. This aircraft is larger than the Eclipse 500 and already has close to 300 orders in. The benefits of the Very Light Jet are certainly getting people's attention, which is why this new form of air taxi is expected to have amazing success.
Without doubt, air travel is being changed for the better. With commercial flights becoming exceedingly expensive and hassle levels rising, we see a huge need for travel to be more affordable and streamlined, which is exactly what you get with a Very Light Jet, also known as a VLJ.
The bottom line is that Very Light Jets are smaller, but also cheaper and faster. While traveling on a smaller plane takes a little adjustment, you will soon find this form of travel far more enjoyable. One of the greatest benefits to using one of the new air taxis is destination possibilities. Consider that approximately 500 airports in the United States cater to large commercial flights while more than 5,000 airports are capable of accommodating the smaller jets. That means you have a much better chance of reaching your exact location with a Very Light Jet than you would with a large commercial airliner.
This sudden emergence of small jets has taken the market by storm, so much so that over 3,000 of these Very Light Jets are now on backorder, just for the Eclipse 500. That number is not counting the other manufacturers such as Cessna, which also has a backorder. Even more fascinating is that many of these planes can be made in as little as a week, being delivered to the new owner within two weeks! Now, that is called turnaround.
Remember, while smaller jets are expected to take customers away from commercial airlines, you are still getting a highly skilled pilot. These pilots must still follow strict FAA regulations for training and aircraft maintenance. In other words, you are not sacrificing safety standards by going to a smaller aircraft. Another important piece of information is that you need to keep in mind that small jets are nothing new. The only difference is that we see the size smaller and the capabilities greater.
These "very light jets" or "micro-jets" as some call them will be in the skies this year 2006. The interior of the smaller jets is about the same as a family SUV, capable of carrying up to six passengers. Although the benefits seem to outweigh any concerns, there is one consideration being reviewed by both the FAA and pilots. For instance, some concern has been raised pertaining to the congestion in the skies since these "very light jets" also fly at the same altitude of commercial flights. In addition, this means more workload for air traffic controllers. Because of this, some things still need to be ironed out but overall, it appears the new "Very Light Jets" are here to stay, offering travelers a safe, convenient, and comfortable alternative to the big planes.