There is a variety of small aircraft available for ownership, ranging from nostalgic to innovative. Some were designed and built for military purposes, while others serve commercial functions. These aircraft can be impressive to see, and can often be found at air shows. This article provides a list of some of these small planes.
There's no such thing as too many Cessna aircraft. The Cessna 208 version came around in 1982, and they're still in production today, with more than 2,500 built. For such a small plane, you'd be surprised to learn it carries 340 cubic feet of cargo!
If you happen to need more space for your belongings, the Cessna 208 has an optional 111.5-cubic-foot belly pod as well. It's not spacious enough for a human or animal, but it will fit all of your possessions.
The Stearman 75 is a single prop biplane that has traditional landing gear with delicate steering. The tires are so large that you can land almost anywhere with this aircraft. They initially made the Stearman 75 to train military personnel, with about 10,000 being built between the '30s and '40s.
Since then, they've become sporting planes and are often used for acrobatics in different types of airshows. These aircraft carry a ton of history, making them a legitimate classic.
The design alone on the Adam A500 is enough to make any plane enthusiast want to own one. The sleek double/single wing in the back is an eye-catcher. When it first came out in 2003, many touted it as revolutionary due to the integrated cockpit design.
Even with all that, it's safe to say this isn't a plane for enthusiasts or recreational use. Those who own one usually are more skilled in flying and favor a lavish aircraft.
Piper Cherokee 140
When it comes to classic small airplanes, one has to think about the Piper Cherokee 140. It stirs up nostalgia when you consider aviation history. Production first began in January 1960 and they're still being made today.
With four seats, the Cherokee 140 was originally for flight training and recreational use with its single prop engine. The single cabin is also unpressurized, which is favorable to many pilots. If you wish to grab one, you can get it for around $75,000.
Cessna 172 Skyhawk
Since its first flight in 1955, the Cessna 172 Skyhawk has been built more than any other aircraft. The compact plane has four seats, high wings, and a single-engine that allows it to fly across the sky.
Compared to its predecessor, this model has increased engine speed, additional fuel tank space in the wingtips, added wheel pants to help reduce drag, among other things. This is considered one of the most popular planes on the market.
This tiny plane is the ERCO Ercoupe, an aircraft that was up in the sky back in 1937. Although it was built a bit before World Was II, the ERCO didn't become popular until the war was over, in the '60s.
The two-seat plane is for those who hold a sports pilot license, and not necessarily for commercial pilots. If you're interested in purchasing one, the ERCO is relatively affordable. They run for about $7,500.
Introduced to the world in 1947, the Beechcraft Bonanza comes from the Beechcraft Aircraft Corporation in Wichita, Kansas. This small plane sits up to six and carries a single-engine inside as well.
The Beechcraft Bonanza still gets produced today and remains the aircraft with the longest production in airplane history. That can indicate many things, such as low production costs, or it's a great aircraft to fly the friendly skies. You've probably seen one fly over you in the past but didn't realize what it was!
Grumman G-21 Goose
World War II had this beauty on the loose, the amphibious Grumman G-21 Goose. The monoplane came out in 1937, and it represented plenty of firsts for the company that manufactured it.
For starters, it was Grumman's first monoplane to take flight. Secondly, it was also the first to have twin-engines. Lastly, the G-21 Goose was the first Grumman plane to go into commercial airline services. Those are all some significant accomplishments for an amphibious aircraft.
North American T-6 Texan
The North American T-6 Texan was crucial in WW2 but ended up retiring in 1995. It may not be in production anymore, but that doesn't erase the past it has attached to it.
Many designations used the Texan, depending on which model and air force. Several nations utilized the capabilities of the Texan in their air force, which makes this plane an important part of history. Owning a vintage one would be a nice addition.
Between 1948 to 1956, Cessna Aircraft Company manufactured the Cessna 170. It's small, but in 1948, it was certified with a gross weight of 2,200 pounds and as a Normal category airplane.
That's a fancy way of saying it will get you to where you need to go safely, regardless of size, as long as you abide by the weight allotments. Overall, if you owned one of these, you'd have an exciting time in the sky, and you can even customize the paint as you see in the photo.
Beechcraft King Air
The Beechcraft King Air came about in 1964, and the US Army, Navy, Philippine Navy, and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force all put it to good use. Not only does it carry an appealing look, but it gets the job done safely.
There are many variations of the King Air design, which have twin-turboprop models divided into Super King Airs and King Airs depending on what they can do. Beechcraft eventually dropped the "Super" title in 1996.
Who wouldn't want to own an airplane that looks like a miniature car with wings attached to the top? That question might be rhetorical, but there are only six examples of the Taylor Aerocar ever built.
It never went into production, but it was a roadable aircraft that Moulton Taylor designed in 1949. This looks like the aircraft equivalent to a clown car, which makes it even better. If someone did have a Taylor Aerocar, we wonder if they would try using it on the streets since its roadable.
How often do you see airplanes on U.S. postage? It doesn't happen all the time, and it has to be very special for that to happen. The Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" managed to accomplish that feat, as it's on older $0.24 stamps.
Today, it's over 100 years old and is a staple in American aviation history. If you look closely, you'll notice bicycle spokes on the tires, something you don't anywhere anymore. If you want to buy one, you should look for a refurbished model which goes for around $150,000.
The Cirrus SR22 is a newer aircraft that was built back in 2001 and has been the best-selling general aviation aircraft on the market since 2003. It is known as the "plane with the parachute," one of its safety features, which could be the reason why it's one of the most produced planes of the 21st century.
This model is a more powerful version of the SR20, having a 310-horsepower engine, larger wings, more power, and higher fuel capacity.
Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
The Beechcraft T-34 Mentor was nothing more than a military trainer aircraft that came into play in 1953. It wasn't limited to one nation, as the Japan Air Self Defense Force, the Philippine Air Force, US Air Force, and Navy all put it to good use.
There are seven different models of this aircraft, including the YT-34C, T-34C Turbo-Mentor, T-34C-1, YT-34, T-34A, T-34B, and Turbo-Mentor 34C. There is one prototype model, and that's the YT-34.
The People Liberation Army Air Force used the Nanchang CJ-6, which was a Chinese aircraft. Introduced in 1960, this plane has eight different models: the CJ-6B, BT-6, PT-6A, Haiyan A, CJ-6, CJ-6A, Haiyan B, and Haiyan C.
As a maiden production aircraft, it's integrated with a Zhuzhou Huosai HS-6 radial piston engine, equipped with 260hp. There's a reason why the Liberation Army took these aircraft out for a spin. Can you imagine owning one?
The Luscombe 8 is a striking aircraft. Luscombe Aircraft produced this monoplane in 1937 after Don Luscombe worked for the majority of his adult life to make and develop an all-metal airplane.
During the process, Luscombe faced near-constant money issues. In 1933, Luscombe left Mono Aircraft, the developers of the fast Monocoupes, and began a company in Kansas City, Missouri. If you're looking to buy, you can find them ranging between $20,000 and $35,000 depending on where you look.
The Cessna Skymaster was introduced in 1961, designed with a twin-engine. This aircraft was manufactured from 1963 to 1982 but continued to be flown by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for over a decade after.
One of the special features of the Skymaster is the center-line thrust, where you'll notice the fuselage has the design of a nacelle. The front possesses an engine that has a counter-rotating propeller. Is that not different enough for you? Well, the rear has a second engine with a pusher propeller creating what Cessna calls "push-pull".
Piper PA-32R Saratoga
Located in Vero Beach, Florida, the Piper Aircraft produced the Piper PA-32R, which is a metal fixed-wing airplane. They made it from 1975 to 2009, but it started off with a completely different style.
The first designs started as the Piper Lance, which was a retractable version of the Piper Cherokee Six. As time passed, it eventually became the Piper Saratoga, what you see here. It has that nostril feature discussed earlier that the Legend Club has.
The Cessna 195 went into production in the '40s and can hold at least six passengers. During that time, it wasn't very spacious, but folks did consider it comfortable. Back then, you couldn't complain about much while flying.
One of the downsides about this aircraft is the overwing design. This makes you feel the aircraft more than usual when it swings and sways compared to an onboard wing plane. Whatever the con is, the Cessna 195 is still a classic.
Beriev designed the BE-103, but KnAAPO manufactured this beauty. It first took flight on July 15, 1997, and is an amphibious seaplane. The Russians might've built it, but in English, they sometimes call the Beriev "Snipe".
The primary goal of Snipe is an autonomous operation in the far-out areas of Siberia. If there was an inaccessible route that featured a lake, stream, or river, then the Snipe was the go-to option. Only three of these are on the United States civil register as of 2010.
AT-6 Harvard Texan
Have you ever heard of the Harvard formation team called Yellow Thunder? The classic AT-6 Harvard Texan is part of that unit. Designed in 1934, these aircraft are a sight to see when they're flying in formation!
They're powered by a Pratt & Whitney supercharged radial engine that can get up to 600hp. A crazy fact about the Harvard is that the tips of the propeller exceed the speed of sound, helping the plane make a vigorous roar.
With any field that deals with innovation, there's always a turning point when something epic takes the spotlight. In aviation, that was the case when the Curtiss-Wright AT-9 hit the skies.
After making a prototype in 1941, production began in 1942. Although they used fabric to cover the wings on the prototype, they switched over to metal in the real construction. Sadly, it wasn't easy to handle, so they used it to teach new pilots how to perform under duress. Curtiss-Wright stopped making these in 1943.
Havilland Airco DH-9
The Havilland Airco DH-9 was built in the 1920s as an upgraded version of the DH-4 model. The DH-9 promised a better performance thanks to a new fuselage and Adriatic engine. Before its retirement in 1937, the primary pilots of this aircraft were the Royal Air Force, Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service, and the South African Air Force.
Today, only a few Havilland Airco DH-9 survive. If you're interested in seeing one of these warplanes, you can find them at various museums around the world, including the Imperial War Museum in England.
Junkers JU 52
The first flight for the Junkers JU 52 was on October 13, 1930. During the rise of Nazi Germany, many of these planes were developed for the military as a means of transportation, as it allowed up to 17 passengers. Because of all of the space, the planes were also used as utility transport, too.
As of 2018, there are only two Junkers JU 52s that are operational, mainly for plane shows and pleasure flights out of Dubendorf airport in Switzerland.