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July 11, 2018

Turbo-props vs Jet Engines – What’s the difference?

Plane diagram

I’m often asked “what is the difference between a turboprop and a jet”, especially those new to aviation, says Chris Ralphs President of Great Circle Air Charter. In technical terms, it all comes down to the engine – which type of engine does the aircraft have?

When speaking about a turboprop (short for turbo propeller) engine, the gases produced by the output of the turbine engine drives the propeller, which in turn generates the aircraft’s power.

If you’re looking at a private cargo jet engine, the exhaust gases generate a direct power called “thrust”. Visually, you can see the differences if you look at them side-by-side on a runway: the turboprop will have obvious propellers on the outside of the aircraft.

But it’s certainly not true to say that propeller aircraft are slow or an inferior alternative to a jet.

There are many types of flights where a turboprop aircraft can be ideal, such as short and regional flights. Plus, they are more fuel-efficient and therefore, more cost-effective than a commercial jet aircraft. Additionally, they can also be very high tech and fast.

The world’s most successful turboprop is the Beechcraft King Air which has been significantly successful over the last 52 years.

What are the advantages of a turboprop aircraft?

  • More cost-effective for shorter distances
  • Instant power
  • Slower landing speed means it can access shorter runways and remote locations

What are the advantages of a jet aircraft?

  • More power and speed
  • Less engine noise
  • Longer range

Our 24-hour charter team can give you advice on which type of aircraft is best for your cargo charters. Call now at Toll Free: +1(877)441-6619

Plane diagram