It’s one of the most versatile and cost-efficient classes of aircraft, but the turboprop is also commonly misunderstood.

With propellers on the outside of the aircraft, sometimes a prop aircraft can be labelled as the ‘poor relation’ to a jet in terms of style, speed and performance. But this isn’t often the case, and for some flights, a prop is a very smart choice.

Take a closer look at some of the most popular props, and why they might just be the best aircraft choice for your next flight;

How Does A Turboprop Work?

When you compare props versus jets, the main difference between a turboprop and a private jet is about the engine. A turboprop (short for turbo propeller) uses a gas turbine to drive a propeller which creates the power.

Whereas with a private jet engine its power, which is called thrust, is delivered from fan blades inside the engine and the exhaust gases being expelled out the back.

Turboprop engine

Diagram of a Turboprop engine (Source: Emoscopes)

Visually, you can see the differences between them, with the turboprop having their propellers on the outside of the aircraft. Jets still have propellers, but they are called blades and are the inside so you can’t see them!

What Are The Advantages Of A Turboprop Aircraft?

For short distance flights, the turboprop is a much more cost-effective choice. Although turboprops do fly slower, for short flights there can be very little difference in flying time compared to using a jet. Turboprops are also more fuel efficient, burning less fuel per mile/hour compared to a very light jet. This makes them a more cost efficient choice for passengers, where fuel costs are a big part of the charter cost.

Additionally, turboprops have a much better take-off and landing performance than regular jets. While jet aircraft are limited to concrete and tarmac runways, turboprops are more versatile and can access much shorter runways and get passengers to more remote locations due to their slower landing speed. This is what makes turboprops one of the most popular choices as an air ambulance. (Learn more about our Medevac flights here)

Which Turboprop Aircraft are Most Popular?

King Air

While some think of turboprops as “uncool” or “unfashionable”, the King Air breaks those stereotypes. This turboprop has several models in its family and combines the price of a small prop with the luxurious, spacious interior of a small jet. This makes it not only one of the most popular turboprops, but one of the most popular private charter aircraft in general.

Diamond Twin Star

This low cost and modern aircraft is ideally suited for short flights. With the cabin designed for maximum comfort with a small amount of space, the Diamond Twin Star is the greenest aircraft available on the charter market.

BN2 Islander

The ubiquitous Islander is the best-selling commercial aircraft produced in Western Europe. Adaptable, versatile, and durable, the BN2 Islander has an unsurpassed record of solving transportation problems simply and economically in some of the world’s harshest environments.

Cessna Caravan

The Caravan is designed to land nearly anywhere, on land or water. Caravans have large fuel tanks and tough, sturdy landing gear to ensure the aircraft’s reliability on rough, unpaved airstrips.

Pilatus PC-12

This turboprop is a corporate commuter and utility aircraft that integrates a single turboprop engine into an aerodynamically advanced airframe. Combining excellent economy, reliability and versatility, the Pilatus PC-12 can operate on short runways including fields, grass and other unmade runways.

To charter a small turboprop aircraft, or any other private jet, contact us or call our 24/7 Flight Team on +44 (0) 1747 642 777.