9 Affordable Airplanes for first-time buyers with low ownership costs.

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best first plane to buy

If you are a pilot, you might be able to fly away to farther locations. You may not have considered owning your private airplane, but that is possible.

There are private airplanes that cost less than the average new car. Owning your private aircraft is one trick to go wherever you want, escaping from the road.

The best private airplanes for beginner pilots are those we will look at throughout this article. 

1. Cessna 150/152

No list would be complete without mentioning this sort of private airplane. These models of Cessna airplanes are compact but reliable to operate. The early Cessna 150’s had the six-cylinder continentals, and the later Cessna 152s had a Lycoming engine.

They are nearly identical in how they look and handle; the easiest way to differentiate is a quick look at the instrument panel. This private airplane is a budget buy. It is impressive considering the economics of operating.

They are the coolest-looking airplanes, and the high wing is very convenient, especially in the rain. The Cessna 150 and 152 are straightforward, robust, simple, and light, such as a feather.

The Cessna 150 was a revolutionary airplane introduced in the late 1950s. The model gave instructors and students exactly what they were looking for, such as tricycle gear, side-by-side two-seater, and easier flying and landing.

The 150 is branded as the “Commuter,” a surprisingly good runabout, with space for a couple of good-sized duffle bags behind the seats, good visibility for sightseeing, and enough room to seat two people.

The engine in the 150 is the Continental O-200, which produces 100 hp purportedly and burns around 7 gallons per hour. So it is a high-quality private plane with a cheaper rate, and you should take a dig into it!

The O-200 is relatively inexpensive, and the parts are available for it. You can get a good used one for as little as 15,000 Dollars.

2. Cessna 172

The Cessna 172 is the world’s most-produced general private aviation aircraft. Every pilot has to fly one at some point or another. The handling of this airplane is classic, heavier, less snappy, and overall a better performer.

It has a character. While not a fast bird, it will get you to any location with an airstrip. The handling is the allure of this plane, but the cost is even more appealing. The engines are smooth as butter and also reliable with a higher TBO.

One of the most significant benefits here is that you can fit four adults, and everyone’s comfortable. It has two doors, which feel more natural but convenient for the passengers as they do not have to climb over a seat to get to the back. You can have it for $50,000 or less; it is about the most fun you could have on a private plane.

3. Piper Cherokee PA-28

The Piper Cherokee PA-28 is another general aviation paramount. This private aircraft is just as classic, reliable, and gentle. The PA-28 has seen multiple design changes and improvements, including the lengthening of the cabin, wing redesign, a larger baggage compartment, and its retractable gear variants. The handling of this aircraft is gentle and forgiving.

The simplicity of the systems in this airframe makes it inexpensive to maintain. 

4. Beechcraft Musketeer

Beechcraft Musketeer is another airframe that makes a mark on famous private airplanes.

The Beechcraft Musketeer is a low-wing, four-place single-engine private airplane with friendly handling.

Initially, this aircraft had a Lycoming engine; later, the Continental engines replaced the Lycoming engines.

The most significant difference in this aircraft is its landing gear. Built with a rubber puck system and unique trailer idling link, it is not uncommon to feel a skipping sensation when landing.

Besides the landing gear, this airplane is straightforward.

It performs as well as the more popular airplanes with 165hp under the hood. This plane is also solid and affordable compared to some more mainstream options.

5. Grumman AA-5

Grumman AA-5 is another true classic. This single-engine Grumman AA-5 family may be one of the better-kept secrets, offering simplicity while cruising faster and staying efficient.

But the best feature of owning a Grumman AA-5 is its parts and service availability in the USA. It looks and flies like a little fighter plane. One of the best things about this airplane is its handling well. It is responsive and reminds me of driving a stick shift. Grumman AA-5 replaced cables and tie systems with torque rods, and the outcome is an aircraft that requires little input to change its attitude. 

The visibility of this private airplane is another aspect worth mentioning. The low instrument panel and wraparound windows provide panoramic views.

You can also operate the Grumman AA-5 with an open canopy that can provide a unique experience. The fiberglass landing gear is forgiving and easy to maintain. So, that is why the AA-5 series meets the list of the best airplanes for beginner pilots.

It is not a secret that owning a private plane is not cheap at all. After all, next to the purchase cost, there are insurance, maintenance, and operational costs.

But which private plane should you choose if you want to spend as little money as possible and still enjoy all the benefits?

You may think that owning a private plane is beyond your reach, but the cost of the cheapest private plane may surprise you.

Whether you are looking for a short, mid-weight, or heavy aircraft, the most affordable options can be a fraction of the price of the most expensive. We have listed the cheapest to give you an idea of what is available.

6. Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet

The Cirrus Vision Jet is the first Cirrus private plane powered by a turbofan engine.

It is one of the most affordable private planes in the world, priced at around 1.25 million Euros.

In 2017, Cirrus received the Collier Trophy Prize award for developing the Vision Jet. This yearly award goes to the company that has made the most incredible advances in aerospace.

It is nine meters long and can seat up to five passengers.

The Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet is a private plane with a total weight of just 1620 kilos and an overall rescue system called the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System.

In 2018, this Vision Jet was the most delivered private plane in business aviation.

Only the second generation of this Vision Jet has been built since 2019, offering even more comfort, safety, and a higher peak altitude.

If you are willing to get a high-quality private plane at a cheaper rate, then take a good look at this one!

7. Stratos 716X

This very light private plane was initially called the Stratos 714, and Stratos planned to release this aircraft model in 2019 as a rival to the Cirrus Vision Jet.

However, after the evolution of a prototype, Stratos continued to develop the private plane further and went so far as to rebrand it.

The Stratos 716X is estimated to cost around 2.5 million Dollars.

Take a look at this one if you are willing to get a high-quality private plane at a cheaper rate!

The aircraft can carry six adult passengers and baggage. When flying with a max payload, it is expected to have a maximum speed of 744 km/h and a total range of 2,182 km.

8. Cessna Citation CJ3+

You can buy a brand new Cessna Citation CJ3+ for approximately 8.5 million Dollars.

It is an improved version of the CJ3, launched in 2014 and named “Best of the Best” in the light jet category, with an upgraded Garmin 3000 avionics system and a more comfortable cabin.

The private plane is certified for single-pilot operation, and it has an impressive wingspan of over 54 feet, designed for less drag and extra lift.

You can take a closer look at this one if you want a high-quality private plane at a cheaper rate!

The cabin is 4ft 10in wide, 4ft 10in tall, and 15ft 8in long, and it can accommodate up to nine passengers.

It has a maximum range of 2,040 nautical miles, 1,000 lbs luggage capacity, and is cheaper to run than its closest competitors.

9. Piper Seneca

The Piper Seneca is a twin-engine airplane.

The Piper Seneca is famous among private pilots for its multi-engine rating. Thus it’s straightforward to maneuver and operate.

It is incredibly spacious, comfortable, and fast for a turboprop aircraft.

Flight schools appreciate this model too much.

Commercially, this private plane is rarely used but can be rented without any pilot if you do not want to buy it. The cruising speed is 370 km/h, and this private plane offers six seats on a total length of 8.72 meters.

The Piper Seneca costs about 649,000 USD.

So if you want a high-quality, cheap private plane, you should look closer at this one!

Image Source: flyguy_aviation via Instagram.

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