- 02 Sep 2020
- Matt Harris
Mid-size jets typically offer ranges between 2,000nm and 3,500nm and are ideal for owners and operators flying cross-continental trips or transporting 7-9 passengers regularly. Popular jets within this category are currently manufactured by Bombardier, Cessna, Embraer and Gulfstream, while out-of-production models can be purchased on the used market built by Hawker Beechcraft, among others. Those in the market for a new mid-size jet can expect to pay between $12m and $21m. Buyers shopping the pre-owned marketplace will find models for substantially less money, depending on age, condition and maintenance status (among other things).
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The Bombardier Challenger 300 is the best-selling Mid-Size Jet model to date. According to JETNET data, 457 units were sold over a production run lasting between 2003 and 2014. However, the Challenger 350 – which replaced the Challenger 300 on the product line in 2014 – looks set to eventually also replace it as the best-selling Mid-Size Jet. As of fall 2020, the Challenger 350 had shipped 381 units.
While brand new Mid-Size Jets cost between $9.0m and $21.0m, per Aircraft Bluebook’s winter 2020 data, buyers shopping the pre-owned market will find an even wider range of pricing. For example, while a 2020 model Gulfstream G280 costs $21.0m, a 2012 model costs an average $9.0m.
Mid-Size Jets are very safe to fly. The modern production aircraft in this category all incorporate highly sophisticated all-glass avionics suites that include excellent situational awareness instruments.
With a few exceptions, the Mid-Size Jets are a little slower than Large Jets, but faster than many of the Light Jets. The majority of aircraft in this category have a top cruise speed somewhere between 430kts and 480kts. The notable exception is the Cessna Citation X (525kts), which once held the title as the fastest civilian jet.
Mid-Size Jets For Sale Overview
By Matt Harris
A mid-size jet puts the US East coast within non-stop reach of the West Coast, while the super mid-size jets at the top end of the category are capable of crossing the Atlantic non-stop. Buyers can expect a mid-size jet cabin to offer a galley area, enclosed lavatory and accessible luggage area.
Mid-Size Jets offer a wide range of capabilities that bridge the gap between the biggest Light Jets and the smaller, trans-continental Large Jets. Categorized here as jets weighing between 20,001lbs and 40,000lbs, aircraft in the Mid-Size Jet category typically seat between six and nine passengers.
Manufacturers currently building Mid-Size Jets include Bombardier Challenger, Cessna, Embraer, and Gulfstream. The pre-owned market includes many models built by these same OEMs that are no longer in production, while additional popular Mid-Size Jets built by Bombardier Learjet, Dassault, Hawker and others can also be found.
Aircraft at the lower end of the Mid-Size Jet segment (for example, the Bombardier Learjet 75 and Cessna Citation XLS+) are capable of non-stop ranges of nearly 2,000 nautical miles, whereas the larger jets within the segment – often referred to as ‘Super Mid-Size Jets’ have transcontinental capabilities between 3,000 and 4,000 nautical miles, connecting the east and west coasts of the United States.
Essentially, Mid-Size Jets provide a good travel solution for charter operators and businesses needing to carry more people than the Light Jets can over similar distances, or to carry similar passenger payloads as the Light Jets typically do, but over greater distances.
The offset is that Mid-Size Jets need to operate from longer runways than lighter jets, and therefore cannot access as many airports as smaller private jets can.
Inevitably, with higher performance capability also comes with greater operating and acquisition costs. According to Aircraft Bluebook’s winter 2020 data, a new Mid-Size Jet costs between $9.0m (for a Bombardier Learjet 75 Liberty) and $21.0m for a Super Mid-Size Cessna Citation Longitude or Gulfstream G280.
Jets in the Mid-Size category also begin to offer more connectivity options than their smaller counterparts, since the larger airframes are able to facilitate some of the required antennas for the more sophisticated satellite communications. This enhances the productivity of the cabin occupants, while cabin comfort is enhanced with more extensive galley and lavatory facilities.
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