Its humble (gliding) beginnings, able to accommodate but a single individual or a pair of people at most, has evolved into a wealth of high tech and luxurious options that form the fast paced, highly popular and often extravagant industry we have come to know today.
In earlier years, prior to the 1960’s, private jet charter was limited, with the notion of private jet ownership or private aviation having yet to really ‘take off’ – whereas now the sector offers a variation of options to suit the needs of clients, from fractional jet ownership to the ever increasing popularity of empty leg flights.
Much of early aviation development, as with many other notable advances throughout history, the unfortunate reality of war allows for heavy progress to be made. Pilots lucky enough to have returned home from the first world war, with a wealth of experience and zeal for flight, put their skills to use within the civilian domain, helping to ensure momentum within the sector was not lost.
A little over two decades since the success of the Wright brothers, in 1927 – the first nonstop trans-Atlantic flight was logged by a Mr. Charles Lindbergh, a rather significant progression.
In 1930 came the invention that acted a powerful catalyst within the development of private aviation and flight as a whole, the jet engine, by British inventor Frank Whittle and Dr. Hans von Ohain.
By this time, ambitious businessmen began utilising the quite obvious advantages of private aircraft to circumvent arduous journeys by road and to gain access to destinations perhaps not being flown to by commercial flights – this constituted the arrival of consumer demand within private jet aviation.
Over the next two decades from 1930-1950, the private aviation sector tried and tested various to methods and mechanics relating to the entire aircraft, but perfecting the engine was key – with both propeller powered aircraft and jet technologies being put through their paces and compared. It was determined that they both had their place, with propeller-driven suiting the shorter flights and jet engines working well with long haul.
In the 1950’s, private aviation was of course almost exclusively limited to the wealthiest of individuals and was yet to become as accessible as we know it to be today.
There was a clear gap in the market, and it wasn’t difficult to see, cue competition. It was in 1950 that the first dedicated business jet, capable of accommodating ten passengers, was produced by Lockheed and began its service. 1963 saw Mr. William Lear’s symbolic purpose-built private jet come onto the scene, both the lightest and fastest. These were followed closely by now industry titans Gulfstream and Boeing, each trumping the other in some way. Understandably, with the industry progressing at such a rate, the first airport devoted to private jets opened its runways in 1980, in Paris, France.
Private jet charter naturally evolved to better service the needs of the market, shifting and retracting from full ownership, in which your aircraft may be too large and inconvenient for short-haul and perhaps is grounded for much of the year, unused – to fractional ownership, in which you need to negotiate and navigate amongst the agendas of other fractional owners, to private charter.
Private charter affords you the ultimate convenience, you have the power to say when and where and be on your way in a jiffy.
If you would like to know more about private jet charter, or have up and coming travel requirements and would like to have a chat with someone in our team, please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you.