Preferred Aircraft

Our subscribers pick their dream models in every category—from turboprops to bizliners. Plus: how the winners compare with last year’s.

As part of our 10th annual Readers’ Choice survey, which attracted nearly 2,000 respondents, we asked readers what aircraft they would prefer to fly on in each of 13 categories. In some of those categories, such as single-engine and twin turboprops and bizliners, clear winners emerged. But in others, such as small-cabin light jets and medium twin-turbine helicopters, opinions were a bit more divided.


Here are some highlights along with comparisons to last year's results. Full details are in the bar graphs that follow.

Single-engine turboprops: Pilatus's PC-12 easily won this category with 64 percent of the votes, down only slightly from the 70 percent that the model scored in 2019. 

Twin turboprops: The results barely changed in this category, with Beechcraft's King Air receiving 76 percent of the vote in 2020 and 79 percent in 2019.

Very light jets: Embraer's Phenom 100 walked away with this category with a 61 percent vote, followed by Honda Aircraft's HondaJet with 27 percent. In 2019, the Phenom came in a close second to Cessna's Citation 525M2, which wasn't on the 2020 list.

Small-cabin/light jets: Embraer's Phenom 300 got 34 percent of the vote, with Cessna's Citation CJ4 in second place. In 2019, the Phenom was further ahead.

Midsize-cabin jets: Cessna's Citation Latitude handily won this category with 42 percent of the vote. It did even better in 2019, though, with 54 percent.

Super midsize-cabin jets: Bombardier's Challenger 350 took 34 percent of the votes, followed by Gulfstream's G280 and Cessna's Citation Longitude. The Challenger 350 did even better in 2019, with half the votes.

Large-cabin jets: Gulfstream's G500 was the solid winner with 47 percent, almost identical to its 2019 showing.

Ultra-long-range/heavy jets: Gulfstream G650/G650ER solidly won this category. It won in 2019 too, though by a somewhat smaller margin.

Bizliners: Boeing's BBJ models were the clear winner, as they were in 2019.

Light single-turbine helicopters: Bell Helicopter 505 took the top spot with twice the vote of its nearest competitor. It had an equally impressive showing in 2019.

Light, twin-turbine helicopters: Bell 427/429 scored a whopping 56 percent of the vote here, though it did even better with 62 percent in 2019.

Medium, twin-turbine helicopters: This was a close race, but Sikorsky's S-76 series edged out the Bell 412. In 2019, the positions were reversed, with the Bell model a slight favorite.

Large, twin-turbine helicopters: Sikorsky's S-92 solidly won this category with 63 percent of the vote. Results in 2019 were nearly identical.