Entering Business Aviation, Part I: Types of Aircraft
The jets that people fly in corporate aviation are usually a lot smaller than those found with the airlines. Exceptions to the rule are Boeing's BBJ and Airbus' Corporate Jet, both of which are based on some of the smaller types of aircraft marketed to the airlines.
A corporate flight attendant is typically utilized on a "cabin class" aircraft. They are larger aircraft with usually 19 or less seats, where you can easily get up and walk around the cabin. Compared with a Westwind, Lear, or Cessna, the larger jets have an aisle to walk up and down upon and the headroom usually is adequate to allow easy passage of anyone under 6' tall.
Some of the major producers of cabin class aircraft include: Bombardier Challenger/Canadair, Dassault Falcon Jet, and Gulfstream aircraft. In addition, Embraer has recently entered the market and there are various Hawker 800XPs and other similarly sized aircraft that sometimes will utilize a flight attendant. It really all depends on what the customer wants.
Across the board, corporate aircraft are exquisitely outfitted. Just about every creature comfort imaginable is included; literally the corporate boardroom is transplanted from the 41st floor to 41,000 feet!
Custom mahogany cabinetry, full leather seating, premium carpeting, wood-veneer paneling, chenille sofas, are some of the things found in the cabin, while the galley can be equipped with elm-burl wood, complete with personalized crystal barware. Many galleys also contain items such as a high temperature oven, microwave, dual Krupps coffee maker and hot cup.
Most of the Gulfstream aircraft in flight are under the designation of Gulfstream II, III, IV, and V. Although in the past few years, the company has changed the designations to 200, 300, 400, 450, 500, 550 with the lower numbered aircraft being smaller in size.
Dassault Falcon Jet has several popular entries including the 900 and 2000. In a few more years the 7X will make its debut as the newest entry in the Falcon Jet family.
Bombardier has several aircraft under the Challenger and Canadair moniker. Their newer aircraft will all have the Bombardier name, but in the meantime, the popular Challenger 604 and Global Express along with their 5000 model are some of the cabin class aircraft being flown today.
Lastly, Embraer has recently entered the business jet fray with their Legacy aircraft. Long a builder of regional jets, Embraer aircraft should start showing up increasingly as they are the low cost price leader in their category.