Standbys | Secondary Bests
Members of the Robb Report Private Aviation Advisory Board chose the aircraft recognized in this section based largely on each of the models’ performance, availability, average price on the secondary market (according to AMSTAT, JETNET, and other business-aircraft market-research firms) compared to the cost of a new aircraft, and ability to retain resale value. However, the condition of any specific aircraft will vary, so buyers of secondary aircraft should consider the following criteria—and consult an aviation advisor with extensive knowledge of the secondary aircraft market—before making a purchase: where the aircraft and engines are in their maintenance cycle; engine modification status; total flight time and landing cycles; avionics configuration; condition of paint and interior; overall pedigree; condition of the aircraft records; and any damage sustained.
More than 7,000 King Air twin-engine turboprops have rolled out of the Beechcraft assembly plant since the line’s launch in the 1960s, and since the model’s launch in 1974, more than 2,000 units of the Hawker Beechcraft King Air 200 (316.676.5034, www.hawkerbeechcraft.com) and its variants have taken to the skies. The 200 has been popular in part because of its roomy, well-lit cabin, which seats as many as 11 passengers and has 10 large windows. Rugged, dependable, and versatile, the King Air 200 can land on and take off from short and rough backcountry runways, yet it also displays an attractive and businesslike ramp presence. With new models (now called the King Air 250) priced at about $6 million, the secondary market for the King Air 200 offers "a tremendous buying advantage," according to Robb Report Private Aviation Advisory Board member Bill Quinn, managing director of Charleston Aviation Partners. Prices for preowned examples of the King Air 200 and its variants range from about $800,000 to $3.6 million, and presently buyers will find a surplus of recently built examples that are in good condition. —Mary Grady
Proving the reliability of the single turboprop engine in the Pilatus PC-12 (800.745.2887, www.pilatus-aircraft.com) seemed as though it might be an insurmountable marketing challenge for the Swiss manufacturer when it introduced the aircraft in the mid-1990s. But the PT6A-67P engine, built by Pratt & Whitney Canada, has demonstrated dependability: Thousands of examples from the line are in operation in a variety of aircraft. Pilatus has produced more than 1,100 PC-12s, which are especially popular with owner-pilots, who appreciate its economical operation and robust performance. The cabin, which at more than 16 feet long seats six to nine passengers, is larger than those of many entry-level jets. New PC-12s sell for about $4.6 million with an executive-configured interior, while preowned examples are priced from $1.4 million to $3.9 million. —Mary Grady