The Most Popular Light Aircraft, Ranked

Choose the light aircraft you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 19, 2024 06:43
Pilots and aviation enthusiasts often seek to identify the most popular light aircraft for various uses, whether for training, travel, or recreation. By establishing a ranking based on user votes, we can provide a clearer picture of community preferences and experiences. Such information proves invaluable for those making decisions about which aircraft to use, train in, or potentially purchase. Through this ranking, users contribute their opinions and experiences, helping to shape a more accurate and community-driven understanding of each aircraft's performance and popularity. Engage with the list to see where your preferred models stand or to help others by providing your insights. Your participation is essential in helping everyone from casual flyers to seasoned aviators make well-informed choices.

What Is the Most Popular Light Aircraft?

  1. 1
    64
    votes

    Cessna 172

    Cessna Aircraft Company
    The Cessna 172 is one of the most popular light aircraft in the world, with over 43,000 units produced since 1955. It is a versatile, four-seat, single-engine airplane that is used for flight training, personal transportation, and business travel.
    The Cessna 172 is a four-seat, single-engine high-wing aircraft that is widely regarded as the most popular general aviation aircraft in the world. It was first introduced in 1955 and has since become a staple in flight training schools and recreational flying.
    • Length: meters
    • Wingspan: meters
    • Height: meters
    • Max. Takeoff Weight: kilograms
    • Engine: Lycoming IO-360-L2A
    Cessna 172 in other rankings
  2. 2
    33
    votes

    Piper PA-28 Cherokee

    Piper Aircraft, Inc.
    The Piper PA-28 Cherokee is a family of light aircraft designed for flight training, air taxi, and personal use. It has been in production since 1960 and has sold over 32,000 units. The Cherokee is known for its ease of flying, reliability, and low operating costs.
    The Piper PA-28 Cherokee is a versatile and popular light aircraft that is well-regarded for its reliability and ease of use. It has been in production since the late 1960s and continues to be a favorite among pilots around the world. The Cherokee is primarily used for personal transportation, flight training, and recreational flying.
    • Length: 24.7 ft (7.5 m)
    • Wingspan: 35.6 ft (10.85 m)
    • Height: 7.3 ft (2.23 m)
    • Empty Weight: 1,201 lbs (544 kg)
    • Maximum Takeoff Weight: 2,325 lbs (1,055 kg)
  3. 3
    20
    votes
    The Beechcraft Bonanza is a six-seat, single-engine aircraft that has been in production since 1947. It is known for its speed, comfort, and safety features. The Bonanza is popular among private pilots and business travelers.
    The Beechcraft Bonanza is a single-engine, six-seater aircraft known for its sleek design, reliability, and advanced features. It is one of the most popular aircraft models among private and business pilots alike.
    • First Flight: December 22, 1945
    • Seating Capacity: Up to six people (including the pilot)
    • Engine: Continental IO-550-B, 300 hp
    • Cruise Speed: 176 - 201 knots (321 - 372 km/h)
    • Maximum Range: 925 - 1,630 nautical miles (1,713 - 3,018 km)
    Beechcraft Bonanza in other rankings
  4. 4
    10
    votes

    Cirrus SR22

    Cirrus Aircraft
    The Cirrus SR22 is a four-seat, single-engine aircraft that is known for its advanced technology and safety features. It is popular among private pilots and business travelers who value comfort, speed, and safety.
    The Cirrus SR22 is a popular light aircraft that is known for its advanced technology, safety features, and outstanding performance. It is a single-engine, piston-powered aircraft that is commonly used for personal and business transportation purposes.
    • Type: Single-engine, piston-powered aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Cirrus Aircraft
    • Maximum Seating: 5
    • Cruise Speed: approximately 183 knots (340 km/h)
    • Range: over 1,200 nautical miles (2,222 km)
  5. 5
    17
    votes
    Diamond DA40
    Ahunt at English Wikipedia · Public domain

    Diamond DA40

    Diamond Aircraft Industries
    The Diamond DA40 is a four-seat, single-engine aircraft that is used for flight training, personal transportation, and business travel. It is known for its modern design, fuel efficiency, and safety features.
    The Diamond DA40 is a popular light aircraft designed for general aviation purposes. It is a single-engine four-seat composite airplane known for its sleek design, modern avionics, and excellent performance.
    • Engine: 1 × Lycoming IO-360-M1A
    • Maximum Speed: 147 knots (169 mph, 272 km/h)
    • Range: 720 nmi (830 mi, 1,330 km)
    • Cruise Speed: 133 knots (153 mph, 246 km/h)
    • Stall Speed: 49 knots (56 mph, 91 km/h)
  6. 6
    15
    votes
    Mooney M20
    Arpingstone · Public domain
    The Mooney M20 is a four-seat, single-engine aircraft that is known for its speed and efficiency. It is popular among private pilots and business travelers who value performance and low operating costs.
    The Mooney M20 is a popular single-engine light aircraft known for its sleek design and impressive performance. It is considered one of the fastest piston-engine aircraft in its class, offering a combination of speed, efficiency, and reliability. The M20 is commonly used for personal and business flying, as well as flight training.
    • Engine: Continental IO-550
    • Horsepower: 280 HP
    • Fuel Capacity: 90 gallons
    • Max Cruise Speed: 242 knots
    • Range: 1,025 nautical miles
  7. 7
    7
    votes

    Pilatus PC-12

    Pilatus Aircraft
    The Pilatus PC-12 is a single-engine turboprop aircraft that is used for executive transport, air ambulance, and cargo transport. It is known for its versatility, range, and reliability.
    The Pilatus PC-12 is a versatile and popular light aircraft that is widely recognized for its exceptional performance and reliability. It is a single-engine turboprop aircraft that is primarily designed for executive transport, but can also be adapted for various utility missions. The PC-12 combines advanced technology with a spacious cabin and excellent short-field capabilities, making it a preferred choice for both business and leisure flights.
    • Engine: 1 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67P turboprop engine
    • Maximum Takeoff Weight: 10,450 lbs (4,740 kg)
    • Cruising Speed: 280 knots (519 km/h)
    • Range: 1,846 nm (3,419 km)
    • Passenger Capacity: Up to 9 passengers
  8. 8
    4
    votes
    Tecnam P2002 Sierra
    Myself (Adrian Pingstone). · Public domain
    The Tecnam P2002 Sierra is a two-seat, single-engine aircraft that is used for flight training, personal transportation, and aerial photography. It is known for its low operating costs, ease of flying, and modern design.
    The Tecnam P2002 Sierra is a popular light aircraft designed for general aviation purposes. It is a two-seat, high-wing aircraft known for its excellent flight stability and versatility. The aircraft is manufactured by Tecnam, an Italian aircraft manufacturer known for producing reliable and cost-effective small aircraft.
    • Maximum Speed: 115 knots
    • Cruise Speed: 105 knots
    • Range: 455 nautical miles
    • Engine: Rotax 912 UL2
    • Fuel Capacity: 93 liters
  9. 9
    4
    votes
    The Zenith CH750 is a two-seat, single-engine aircraft that is popular among homebuilders and recreational pilots. It is known for its ease of construction, low operating costs, and short takeoff and landing capabilities.
    The Zenith CH750 is a popular light sport aircraft designed for both recreational and utility purposes. It is a two-seat, high-wing, single-engine airplane with excellent short takeoff and landing capabilities. The aircraft is well-regarded for its robust construction, versatile design, and impressive performance in various flying conditions.
    • Wingspan: 29 ft 6 in (8.99 m)
    • Length: 23 ft 3 in (7.09 m)
    • Height: 7 ft 4 in (2.23 m)
    • Empty Weight: 780 lbs (354 kg)
    • Maximum Takeoff Weight: 1,320 lbs (599 kg)
  10. 10
    4
    votes
    Van's RV-7
    Arpingstone · Public domain

    Van's RV-7

    Richard VanGrunsven
    The Van's RV-7 is a two-seat, single-engine aircraft that is popular among homebuilders and recreational pilots. It is known for its performance, maneuverability, and ease of construction.
    The Van's RV-7 is a popular light aircraft designed for personal use and amateur construction. It falls under the category of kit-built aircraft, allowing enthusiasts to build and customize their own plane. The RV-7 is a two-seat, tandem configuration airplane known for its exceptional performance and agility.
    • Type: Light aircraft
    • Configuration: Two-seat, tandem
    • Construction: Kit-built
    • Length: 20 ft 9 in (6.32 m)
    • Wingspan: 25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)

Missing your favorite light aircraft?

Graphs
Discussion

Ranking factors for popular light aircraft

  1. Affordability
    The initial purchase cost, maintenance, fuel consumption, and insurance costs should be considered. A popular light aircraft should be relatively affordable for the target market.
  2. Ease of operation
    A popular light aircraft should be easy to fly, handle, and maintain for an average pilot. It should have a user-friendly design and require only a reasonable level of skill to operate safely.
  3. Safety
    The aircraft should have a good safety record and a low accident rate. Design features that enhance safety, such as stall-resistant wings or protective cockpit structures, also contribute to the popularity of a light aircraft.
  4. Performance
    The aircraft's speed, range, climb rate, and payload capacity should meet the needs of pilots and owners. Additionally, a good level of fuel efficiency is essential for a popular light aircraft.
  5. Comfort and functionality
    The cabin and cockpit should be comfortable, spacious, and well-ventilated, with seats that can be easily adjusted. Storage space for luggage and other equipment is also essential. Avionics and other equipment should be modern, easy to use, and ideally integrated for a seamless flying experience.
  6. Versatility
    A popular light aircraft should be adaptable to different missions and environments, such as training, cross-country flights, and short-haul operations.
  7. Reputation and manufacturer support
    A proven track record, reliability, and a strong network of service centers and dealerships contribute to a light aircraft's popularity. Manufacturer support for spare parts, maintenance, and upgrades is essential for customer satisfaction.
  8. Resale value
    A light aircraft that holds its value well over time will likely be more popular than one with a history of rapid depreciation.
  9. Community and user reviews
    A strong following among pilots and a positive reputation in aviation forums and publications can indicate a popular light aircraft.
  10. Certification and regulation compliance
    The light aircraft should meet safety and airworthiness standards set by aviation authorities such as the FAA or EASA. Compliance with regulations ensures that the aircraft can be legally operated and maintained.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular light aircraft. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or airplane is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 2779 views
  • 174 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each airplane once every 24 hours. The rank of each airplane is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular light aircraft

Light aircrafts have always been a popular choice for aviation enthusiasts and hobbyists alike. These small planes are designed for short-range flights and are ideal for recreational flying or personal transportation. They are also commonly used for flight training purposes. The most popular light aircrafts are typically single-engine, two-seater planes that offer a simple and easy-to-use flying experience. Some of the most popular models include the Cessna 172, Piper PA-28, and the Beechcraft Bonanza. One of the main advantages of light aircrafts is their versatility. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including aerial photography, crop dusting, and search and rescue operations. Additionally, due to their small size and maneuverability, they can be flown in areas where larger aircrafts cannot. Overall, light aircrafts are a great option for those looking to explore the world of aviation or for those who want a convenient and efficient mode of transportation. With a wide range of models and features available, there is a light aircraft out there for everyone.

Share this article