Business Jets: A Retrospective Look

A look into the past at some of the very first and oldest bizjets.

First Flight: September 16, 1958 A mid-sized business jet developed by North American Aviation, and later merged with Rockwell, the Sabreliner served as both personal transport and military training. Alan Radecki via Wikipedia Creative Commons)
First Flight: February 11, 1959 Another business jet originally designed for the U.S. Air Force — and lost to the Lockheed JetStar — the McDonnell 119 was renamed to Model 220 and marketed commercially. However, because they were unable to sell the aircraft, only one prototype was ever built. Public Domain
First Flight: August 13, 1962 This mid-sized business jet was developed by de Havilland — its first prototype flying in the 1962 — as the DH125 Jet Dragon, and it entered production under Hawker Siddeley (as shown here). When merged with British Aerospace in 1977, the name then changed to BAe 125. While its operational history is a long list, the Royal Air Force became one of the more significant operators of this jet. Bill Larkins via Flickr Creative Commons
First Flight: January 27, 1963 The twin-engined Jet Commander was first acquired by Rockwell (who already had the Sabreliner) but then sold to Israel Aircraft Industries when it became known more commonly as Westwind, after ungoing modifications. Mick Bajcar
First Flight: May 4, 1963 The Mystère 20 was the first of a family of business jets built by Dassault Aviation. Pan American distributed and re-engined the aircraft — from Pratt & Whitney JT12 to General Electric CF700 — renaming it Fan Jet Falcon or Falcon 20. ignis via Wikipedia Creative Commons)
First Flight: October 7, 1963 The first business jet designed and built by Learjet, and the first specifically built for business use — opening up a whole new market for fast and efficient business jets. Learjet Corporation
First Flight: April 21, 1964 With an usual forward-swept wing design, the HFB-320 Hansa Jet was created by the German manufacturer Hamburger Flugzeugbau. It had a limited run with a small number being built. RuthAS via Wikipedia Creative Commons)
First Flight: October 2, 1966 The Gulfstream II is an American twinjet built by Grumman and later Gulfstream. The twinjet provided high speed and long range capability without sacrificing the advantages of its turboprop predecessor, Gulfstream I. René Francillon Photo Archive
First Flight: September 15, 1969 The first prototype called FanJet 500 was a small-sized business jet built by Cessna and the basis for their current line of Citation jets. It was one of the first light corporate jets powered by turbofan engines. Textron Aviation
Want more? Check out Flying's "10 Cool Airplanes That Will Never Fly Again" for more unique and rare airplanes. Click here to view the list. Or check out our Top 100 Airplanes: Platinum Edition for our list of the best aircraft ever!
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