The Boeing 747 was the first wide-body commercial jet to earn the moniker ‘Jumbo Jet.’ Boeing never imagined that the subsonic 747 would continue to hold popularity, in light of the supersonic jets in development at the time. Nevertheless, Boeing went on to sell over 1’554 of these jumbo passenger jets, which can be quickly converted into passenger or cargo planes.
Airbus is Boeing‘s only major rival in Jumbo Jet sales. Although it is only four decades old, Airbus has taken a marginal lead in market share. The chief weakness of Airbus is that their A380 models have steadily lost popularity among airliners because of their massive size. The profitability of such a massive jet is limited unless you are flying from a large central hub to a large central hub.
Mid-size passenger jets, such as the Airbus 330-200, have a narrower body. Although they can still carry over 350 passengers, these planes can’t match the 600-passenger capacity of a Boeing 747 in a single class configuration. The Airbus A380 further dwarfs that number with its 853-passenger capacity in a single class configuration. But the Boeing 737 recently expanded its range by 900 nautical miles to reach 3’000 for transcontinental flights.
Of course, these mid-size commercial jets are desirable among airliners because they sustain greater profitability in seasonal routes and on smaller flights. The lower price tag also makes them attractive from an investment standpoint. When you consider the flexibility of configuring the Airbus 380 or even a Boeing 787 for different routes, it makes sense to hedge against market trends by choosing a model that is more flexible.
In the light passenger jet range, the seating for passengers is typically 60 to 100. The Embraer 175 can travel 1’800 miles at a cruising speed of 545 miles per hour. The smaller size of light passenger jets makes them the ideal choice for economy airlines. The seating is evenly divided into two sections on each side of a center aisle. Larger jets have three sections and two aisles.
The light passenger jets are popular for regional routes. Because they consume less fuel and require less investment, an owner can quickly reap a profit by flying their plane to popular destinations from larger central hubs. A plane from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, for example, would be an easy way of generating revenue off the investment without facing the strict regulations imposed by flights over seas.
Although turboprops are not as reliable as jet engines, aircraft are much safer than ground transportation because they are built for reliability. In addition, once the planes reach cruising altitude, there are not many factors which can negatively influence planes that fly over the weather. The friction and geography of the terrestrial landscape and weather are the hardest burdens for automotive engineers to face.
Turboprop engines are more fuel-efficient than jet engines, however. Since fuel is one of the greatest expenses for an airliner, this makes them a better investment. A passenger turboprop can also operate and take off from shorter runways. This opens up the doors to flying a greater variety of short flights to meet the market demands. The larger prop planes, such as the Bombardier Q400, can carry up to 80 passengers.
Cargo planes have a larger scope than any of the other types because they are a conversion of the subtypes. As stated, the Boeing 747 can be converted into a cargo plane if desired. But Boeing also manufacturers jets specifically for cargo, such as the Boeing Dreamlifter. The Dreamlifter hauls up to 65’000 cubic feet of cargo. This is only defeated by the 78’000 cubic feet of the Airbus Beluga XL.
At the bottom of the range, Cessna makes cargo planes on a small propeller-driven aircraft design. This aircraft can carry 340 cubic feet or 12 passengers. As stated, the propeller-driven airplanes will reach remote areas with smaller airstrips. This makes them busier than the larger flights because they can fill a lot of voids in the chain of distribution. Airplanes age better when used because the aluminum, otherwise, deteriorates.