Business Aviation

Companies large and small have turned increasingly to company-owned, chartered, or leased aircraft to fly their personnel around the country or overseas. The main reasons: time savings and flexibility. Business aircraft can fly into smaller, more convenient airports and avoid congested commercial hubs. Flight schedules can be tailored to the traveler's needs.

Business aviation began to take root after the first world war and grew substantially after the second, using both war surplus aircraft and new models designed expressly for business travel. Today, business aircraft range from small, propeller-driven airplanes for shorter hops to fast, well-appointed "bizjets" that can fly internationally nonstop.


Lear Jet Model 23 at the Udvar-Hazy Center

Lear Jet 23
The first Lear Jets, the Model 23s, were the first products of the original Lear Jet Corporation for the new field of business and personal jet aviation. So significant was the design that for years "Lear Jet" was synonymous with "bizjet." William P. Lear Sr. initiated the Lear Jet's development in 1959. The aircraft drew upon the structural quality of the Swiss AFA P-16 strike-fighter and featured a fuselage that narrowed at each side where the wing and engine nacelles extended outward — a design concept known as area rule — to provide smooth airflow around the engines.

More information: Lear Jet 23