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Bizjet

A slang term for a jet aircraft, usually of modest size, designed largely for transporting small groups of business people or executives where they need to go for commercial reasons at a time convenient to their business needs. Some bizjets may be adapted for other roles such as the evacuation of casualties or express parcel deliveries and a few may be used by public bodies, governments or the armed forces. The more formal terms of corporate jet, executive jet or VIP transport tend to be used by the firms that build, sell, buy and charter these aircraft.

The older term "air taxi" tends to be used for propellor driven types although essentially the functions of an air taxi and a bizjet are identical, in fact some airfields have runways unsuited to jet operations and may therefore be more usable by a slower aircraft. Depending where the group is heading, its overall journey time could then be shorter with a slower aircraft. As a generality, jets tend to have a taller passenger cabin and more advanced avionics which may bring advantages in terms of safety, comfort and resiliance to extreme weather conditions. A company may also be concerned to project a certain status through the type of aircraft in which its personnel travel. Although some early corporate aircraft such as the Heron and Jetstar had four engines, two or three are now the norm, with a few single-engine types being sold by Cessna, Pilatus, Piper and Socata to this sector of the market.

Some luxury bizjets are converted from surplus airliners and their size and operational expense will usually reflect those origins. These bizjets may suit celebrities with a large entourage or press corps but may find some airfields denied to them on account of runway length or local noise restrictions. The most famous bizjets are the Gulfstream built by Grumman Aerospace and the Gates Learjet.

The allied term "bizprop" is in use amongst enthusiasts but seems unlikely to spread through the mainstream media. The word jet has been used in other terms of fashion, particularly jet-age[?] and jet-set[?], since 1950. Since 1996 the term "fractional ownership" has been used in connection with business aircraft owned by a consortium of companies. Clearly costly overheads such as flight crew, hangarage and maintenance can be shared with such arrangements.



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