Whether you’ve just obtained your private pilot certificate, or you’re a veteran aviator that enjoys simple, fun, hassle-free aircraft, single-engine planes are an affordable option to choose for those taking to the skies.
So, whether you’re in the market for an airplane or just learning about the options, take a look at eight of the most popular single-engine aircraft here.
1) Cessna 172
If you’ve spent any time around a hangar, you most likely have seen a Cessna 172 parked nearby. As the most produced airplane in the history of aviation, this small single-engine workhorse is the trainer of choice at many flight schools. It may not be the most remarkable aircraft ever made, but it’s utilitarian, more affordable than its counterparts and simple to fly. Another plus of owning a Cessna 172 is that the large majority of mechanics can work on and fix these planes, so you never have to worry about getting stranded.
2) Pilatus PC-12 NG
Globally, this single-engine turboprop aircraft is the best-selling pressurized single-engine turbine-powered airplane. The Pilatus PC-12 can double as either a passenger or cargo aircraft, thanks to its large cabin, high speeds and capability to fly long distances. Beyond its reliability, performance and agility in the air, this plane is revered for its ability to safely land on short, unkempt runways, making it a strong contender for the most popular single-engine aircraft.
3) Mooney M20 Acclaim Ultra
With the M20 Acclaim Ultra, Mooney has built an upgraded version of the Acclaim S. Known for its incredibly fast speeds, long-distance range and high-climbing abilities, Mooney has breathed new life into this popular single-engine machine. By replacing the forward sheet-metal section of skin with a composite shell, they added an easier-to-access second door, larger and lower windows for better visibility and a cleaner cockpit.
4) Diamond DA40 NG
If you’re in the market for a single-engine Diamond airplane, the DA40 NG is a solid choice. This new generation of the DA40 was built as a higher-performance aircraft than the company’s previous diesel-engined singles offerings. With outstanding handling that sets it apart from almost every other touring aircraft, you’ll feel like you’re in complete control through every ascent, descent, turn or stall. The DA40 also has one of the best safety records among single-engine aircraft; over a decade of operations shows it has just one fatal accident per 1,000 aircraft-years.
5) Beechcraft G36 Bonanza
Introduced in 1947, the Beechcraft G36 Bonanza is a popular single-engine aircraft that holds the record for longest continuously produced airplane in history. Of course, the modern versions are much more advanced than when they were first produced. With a range of 643 nautical miles (with four passengers), this hardworking plane is perfect for getting from point A to B. The G36 can comfortably seat up to six, includes high-visibility glass wrap-around windscreen and the latest Garmin avionics, new and experienced pilots alike will enjoy a flight in this single-engine aircraft.
6) Piper M350
With reliable safety features, a high-quality engine system and Garmin G1000 technology, the Piper M350 remains a popular aircraft in the single-engine category. According to the company, “It leads the piston pack with an impressive 213 ktas cruising speed, as well as the ability to cruise up to 25,000 ft in pressurized comfort. With standard dual turbochargers, owners can also expect a consistent fuel burn at any altitude keeping operating costs down.” Overall, this is an aircraft is for any pilot that needs an aircraft that’s as reliable as it is high-performing.
7) Diamond DA40 Star
With joystick control and a maneuverable, non-steerable nose wheel, the DA40 Star is another affordable, superbly built aircraft that almost any type of pilot will enjoy flying. This four-seat low-wing cantilever monoplane is made from composite materials and delivers a 1,000 fpm climb rate. The Diamond DA40 series can be seen in hangars and at airports around the world, and for good reason – it provides excellent value for those in the market for a four-place single-engine aircraft.
8) Cirrus SR22T
Cirrus Aircraft of Duluth, Minnesota manufactures the SR22T, a single-engine composite aircraft and the world’s best-selling general aviation airplane since 2003. With the many features and capabilities of this aircraft—known-ice certification, airbags, parachute, integrated Perspective panel, room for up to five, upgraded turbocharging and even air conditioning—you can’t ask for much more from a single-engine plane.
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