Nothing, it seems, can ground private aviation. Despite the high costs for planes and fuel, the waiting lists for recent and yet-to-be-released planes are growing, and nearly every major general aviation company has put a new model on the market in the past year or so, or plans to. "Thirty years ago, there were more people getting into flying for the pleasure side of things," says Scott Fank, VP of sales at Illinois-based JA Air Center, which sells private aircraft, as well as providing training and maintenance. "Nowadays, we're seeing more people fed up with airlines and fed up with security. So they're looking to private aviation."
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Buying a plane is, in effect, buying a time machine that enables you to accelerate domestic or international travel by hours, or turn a four-hour stop-and-go drive into a 20-minute hop. That's why, even as companies like NetJets and Wheels Up try to convince fliers to buy fractional shares of planes, the wholly owned private aircraft remains a viable product. Here are the most exciting, appealing, or flat-out audacious models – available now or soon enough to place a preorder.
Available: Since March 2013
Range: 1,250 nautical miles
The Cessna TTx is the airborne equivalent of a high-performance luxury sedan, boasting the fastest maximum cruise speed of any single-engine piston – 235 knots, or roughly 270 mph – and seating for four. It also has enough range to supplant domestic commercial flights, whether you're flying solo or taking a modest-size group on vacation. The TTx's best feature might be its ESP (Electronic Stability and Protection) autopilot system, which automatically kicks in if the pilot becomes incapacitated, initiates a stall, or otherwise loses control of the craft. [cessna.com]