What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a turboprop?
Turboprops are versatile. They only need a 3,200 ft runway, which means they can land on more airports. This flexibility also means you can land closer to your destination. By contrast, jets often require at least a 5,000 ft runway.
If a light jet is too small for you, a turboprop could be perfect as they often have larger cabins that can hold more passengers, even though they’re still smaller than a midsize jet.
However, there are also disadvantages to using a turboprop. Most jets can fly above the jet stream, or use the jet stream to their advantage in terms of speed. This makes for a smoother ride with less air turbulence. Turboprops fly at a much lower altitude, which means they’re more susceptible to turbulence and thermals.
Many available turboprops are older models like the King Air C90 or King Air B200. This makes them less expensive, but they’ll usually be less luxurious than more modern options, even if the turboprop has been refurbished. For example, many have no bathroom, or just a curtained-off lavatory for passenger use.
For these reasons, turboprops are often used on shorter trips. They cost about the same as a light jet for a one-hour flight; for flights over one hour, the light jet will usually be cheaper, as even though light jets are more expensive than turboprops, they also fly faster and will spend less billable time in the air. The longer the trip, the higher the savings of using a light jet over a turboprop.