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How Much Aircraft Can I Afford? Finding the Best Aircraft for Your Budget

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The intrinsic appeal of aviation is one felt throughout almost all people, but for most, the thought of owning an aircraft seems fiscally impossible. While this barrier has kept many people grounded, fortunately there are opportunities to circumvent those financial obstacles and connect you with the right aircraft for your budget and needs.

Trying to find the right plane for the right price can be difficult, regardless of your budgetary restraints. Whether you’re learning to fly, an experienced pilot, or are a business owner considering purchasing an aircraft for your company, owning an aircraft is not as far off a goal as it may seem.

What Type of Aircraft Do I Need?

Deciding what type of aircraft would best suit your intended use is the first step toward becoming an aviator.

Depending on your budget, there are many different types of airplanes that can be purchased with varying features and abilities. The length of your flight and the amount of cargo you plan to carry are two of the major factors that will guide you toward the perfect aircraft.

Aircraft for Personal Use

Many beginner pilots tend to go for smaller planes that are tried and true among pilots for generations. For example, the Cessna 172 comes from a long pedigree of excellent engineering and is widely adored by the aviation community.

Most single-engine aircraft carry four passengers and are typically capable of holding a bit of cargo as well. Pilots like these aircraft for their simplicity, and because they’re a great platform to learn to fly on.

Multi-engine aircraft are capable of even larger loads and more passengers. Aviators should always do thorough research prior to the purchase of any plane, but the larger the plane, the more rigorous analysis is necessary.

Aircraft for Business Use

Aside from personal use, businesses and business owners can greatly benefit from owning an aircraft.

The majority of business aircraft are operated by small companies—those with fewer than 1,000 employees. Operating a business aircraft can save time and can improve your bottom line. In many cases, an aircraft purchase can even be written off in taxes if the aircraft in question is used for business purposes.

The benefits of business aviation translate into tangible, quantifiable benefits for companies, shareholders, and the national economy. Studies have shown that companies with business aircraft outperform their counterparts without access to aircraft in the areas of annual earnings growth, stock and dividend growth, total share price, market capitalization and other financial points. Business aircraft ownership is a sign of a well-managed global company.

Business aircraft can also reach ten times the number of U.S. airports than traditional airlines do, with the ability to travel to over 5,000 public-use facilities versus the 70 major airports that large airlines must frequent. (Source: NBAA Business Aviation Fact Book)

The Cirrus SR22, Beechcraft Baron, and Pilatus PC-12 are all suitable options for business airplanes. They can seat between four and nine passengers, depending on the aircraft, and are a great option for business travel.

How Much Aircraft Can I Afford?

Although there is a monetary barrier of entry for aviation, that bar is much lower and more attainable than most would think.

Single-engine aircraft have a price range for all budgets and are far more economical to maintain than multi-engine airplanes. Buyers should be aware however, that purchasing such a plane on the lower end of the price scale almost certainly means further investment improving the technology inside the plane.

Multi-engine aircraft have additional training and certification requirements compared to single-engine aircraft, but still have a wide price range for all budgets. Obviously, more engines would equate to more fuel and a greater cost for operation. These planes are generally owned by more experienced pilots.

Aircraft for business purposes tend to be larger and can come with a higher price tag depending on the model, size, and a number of other factors. These aircraft are the type enjoyed by business owners for travel purposes and can often be written off in taxes when used for business purposes.

One useful resource we offer makes it easy to calculate what your budget should be when searching for an aircraft. With our airplane loan calculator, just plug in some basic financial information, and we can help start you on your journey to airplane ownership: How Much Aircraft Can I Afford?

Aircraft Purchase Considerations

Regardless of the size of your aircraft, they all share some of the same costs you would expect for any aircraft. Any size aircraft will need to have regular maintenance done, inspections must be kept up to date to ensure safety, and aircraft insurance coverage will be required. Upgrades can be optional but are a fun part of personalizing your aircraft.

Finding an institution that will loan anything under $30,000 to purchase an airplane is a regular challenge for beginner aviators.

So, how can you afford an aircraft with your current budget?

Funding Your Aircraft Purchase

As a direct lender, we can help match you with opportunities for loans that make such an investment possible. We can help define your budget, and project what the cost of ownership will be on top of the sticker price. Our experienced team can simplify & structure your investment into manageable payments that can be custom-fit to your situation and your planned use for the aircraft.

We also offer insurance for your aircraft so you can ensure that both you and your aircraft are covered no matter what weather you’re flying into.

The dream of flight is within reach – let us help you touch the sky.

Contact Us

To learn more about financing your aircraft purchase, feel free to contact us. Our team is ready and waiting to assist you and answer any questions you have about aircraft financing, insurance, refinancing and more.

If you’re looking for a speedy process, we can help. Apply online and get your pre-approval quicker than you would anywhere else!

Phone: (802) 434-4100

Toll-Free (888) 654-USAF (8723)

Fax: (802) 434-3082


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