EBACE11: And now for something completely different …

This defence blog will pause from our normal programming to join Flightglobal’s coverage team next week at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exposition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland. In honour of the occasion and for a timely re-immersion in business aviation history, I accepted the assignment of selecting Flightglobal’s official list of the 10 most important business aircraft in history. You are getting a sneak-peek. Feel free to share your opinions. 


  1. Learjet 23/24 – True game-changer
  2. Falcon 50 – Conquered west-bound North Atlantic leg, first super-critical airfoil
  3. GIV – First integrated flight deck
  4. King Air – Highest-selling turboprop
  5. Citation II – Highest-selling jet
  6. Eclipse 500 – Admittedly controversial, but revealed market hunger for very light jets
  7. Challenger 600 – Spawned regional jet, Global Express
  8. HS.125 – Most enduring
  9. Starship – First certificated all-composite business aircraft
  10. JetStar – First dedicated business jet


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6 Responses to EBACE11: And now for something completely different …

  1. aeroxavier 13 May, 2011 at 8:25 pm #


  2. Mike Gething 13 May, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Good call on the HS.125 BUT in the absence of Uncle Roger and Brian Hoskins (old TAPs will understand), it was orginally the DE HAVILLAND D.H.125 or (in U+LC) de Havilland D.H.125.

  3. Bern 15 May, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    Er, I don’t think the A380 really falls into the category of ‘business aircraft’… although I have to admit it wasn’t until I started reading the list of aircraft that I realised the distinction being made from ‘commercial aviation’.

  4. Guru Josh 15 May, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    Hey, helicopters are aircraft, too! :)

    How about the Bell Jet Ranger?

    The Starship was a failure in so far as it was designed as a successor to the KingAir. When it comes to composites, the Learfan was more influential than the Starship IMO.

  5. puppethead 16 May, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    I believe that’s “aaah… de Havilland” (and how right they were!)

  6. jetcal1 16 May, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    With apologies to the European readers, since general and business aviation are so intertwined in the states, I would like to add two post-war forebears to the turbines listed:
    Beech Bonanza
    Cessna 310

    These were the first mass produced affordable aircraft that gave real legs to private business travel.
    I would remove the Jetstar and the Challenger to make room.

    I would also consider removing the GIV and adding the Falcon 20 since it gave FedEx it’s start. But flying cancelled checks might be too borderline into commerical aviation

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