Best Of The Best 2006: Propelled Forward
The New Jersey–based fractional provider Avantair flies only the Piaggio Avanti P.180, which cruises at 460 mph at a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet and has a cabin the size of a Hawker 800XP’s. (You actually can stand upright as you stroll to your seat.) According to Avantair, the seven-passenger craft’s superb fuel efficiency cuts owners’ fuel surcharge rates by 31 percent when compared to competitors’ light business jets.
Any doubts about buying shares of the world’s fastest turboprop tend to diminish once prospective owners view the aircraft. With its aft-mounted main wing, small-diameter pusher propellers, and sleek fuselage, the Avanti—which means “forward” in Italian—looks as though it is moving even when at rest. But then, this should be expected of a plane built by a company whose chairman of the board bears the name Piero Ferrari.
Fractional-ownership options range from a one-sixteenth share (50 hours) at about $405,000 to a one-half share (400 hours) for $3.16 million.