As a private jet provider, we are often being asked “which is the best aircraft?” Well, there is no simple answer to this question, as each and every aircraft was built to perform a specific mission and operate within a specific budget. Features like range, payload, passenger seating, and onboard amenities, as well as performance and operating cost come into play when comparing aircraft.
To make some of the aspects clearer we have compared two of the most popular aircraft – the Lear 60 and the Hawker 800XP. Both aircraft are in the mid-size jet category, they feature similar performance, amenities, and charter rates. In the US, these aircraft are often chartered for private jets routed between Miami and New York, New York and Dallas, Las Vegas, and Van Nuys, California.
The Lear 60
As you enter a beautifully appointed Learjet 60 mid-size cabin, you will instantly notice the careful attention to detail. The Learjet 60 can climb to a top cruise level in under fourteen minutes, even at its maximum carrying load of 23,500 pounds. When it reaches cruise level you will feel as though you are floating on a cloud as it travels up to 457 knots. Each Learjet 60 is outfitted with a full entertainment system, fax machine and internet ability, workspaces, kitchen facilities, and a fully operational lavatory.
The Hawker 800XP
The Hawker 800XP is the plane of choice for a cross-country flight. It climbs and cruises at an amazing speed and take-offs and landings are flawless. It handles its weight load with ease. The Hawkers 800XP will seat up to eight passengers and features club-style seating. Each seat has a 360-degree swivel capacity and the seats are arranged for business meetings as well as personal conversation.
The length of the cabin is 21 feet, and it is 6 feet wide. The headroom in the cabin is over 5 ½ feet. The fully appointed lavatory is at the back of the cabin. The plane can accommodate 8 pieces of luggage in the cargo hold. The Hawker 800XP is the private plane of choice for a five-hour flight.
Comparison of mileage
To comfortably seat four, five, or six passengers, you can’t go wrong with either the Hawker 800XP or the Learjet 60. They are each capable of a range between 2,000 and 3,000 nautical miles. Annually, each plane can clock an average of 200,000 miles.
As a basis of comparison, the Learjet 60 can cruise at least 425 knots or 489 miles per hour. To fly the same amount of miles, the Hawker 800XP cruises at 419 knots or 482 miles per hour. Therefore the Learjet 60 will be flown 409 hours yearly, 6 miles less than the Hawker 800XP.
Comparison of maintenance costs
To compare hourly operating costs, at $5 per gallon and 215.1 gallons per hour, the cost to operate the Learjet 60 will be $1,075.50. Maintenance costs on the jet run about $765 per hour. The Hawker 800XP uses 262 gallons per hour. At the same cost per hour for the fuel, the total hourly fuel cost is $1310.00 or more than $300 more than the Learjet. The Hawker maintenance costs average more than $847 per hour; bring the total maintenance costs of $2157 almost twice the amount of the Learjet.
The Hawker 800XP is more expensive to operate, with both fuel and maintenance being the biggest cost factors. The major reason for the difference is the four-foot longer cabin of the Hawker. However, that cost is made up in the greater passenger capacity. If the amount of passengers stays consistently between four and six persons, the Learjet might be the better option because it is more economical and can go somewhat faster. However, many passengers prefer the slightly roomier cabin of the Hawker.