Its design is completely unique and different from all other jets on the market, which makes it extremely popular. The most obvious features of the aircraft are the rear-facing engines and the three aerodynamic surfaces (the main wings, the tailplane and the canards on either side of the nose of the aircraft). But the Avanti impresses not only with its style but also with its high performance, which allows it to fly further and faster than many other turboprop aircraft.
The unconventional placement of the engines makes for a quieter cabin and reduces turbulence on the wings. The three separate wings reduce drag and support the high cruising speed and fuel-efficient flying of the unique turboprop: its speed and range are so great that it can compete with some light jets. And it does so with close to 40% greater fuel efficiency compared to most private business jets. With significantly lower capital and operating costs, the P180 offers the performance of a jet-powered business jet, with a cruise altitude of 12,500 metres and a top speed of 732 km/h.
The interior, too, with its seven to nine seats, is more like private aircraft of significantly more upmarket categories: For example, the Avanti cabin is quieter, higher and wider than Cessna's entire CJ range. Thanks to its combination of high performance and maximum comfort, unmatched for an aircraft in its class, Piaggio's Avanti is renowned for its fantastic value for money.
The Piaggio Avanti II was launched in 2004 as the successor to the original P180 Avanti. It also belongs to the turboprop category.
In 2014, the renowned Flying Magazine named the private aircraft the fastest civil turboprop twin. According to the magazine, the speed of the propeller aircraft is on par with the jet-powered M2 from Cessna. Compared to the Cessna, the Avanti offers more space and at lower operating costs. Since it leaves the turboprop competition far behind in most categories, the P180 is considered a serious alternative in the light jet segment.
Advantages of a Piaggio 180 as a rental aircraft:
Speed: One of the most remarkable advantages of the Piaggio P-180 Avanti is its exceptionally high speed for a turboprop. Thanks to its powerful engines, the aircraft has a cruising speed, altitude and range very similar to that of a jet aircraft.
Cost-effective: The charter costs of a Piaggio Avanti start at under 2,000 EUR per hour but vary depending on the model (P180 Avanti, Avanti II, Avanti EVO) and the equipment. As a rule, the Italian-built business aircraft is one of the most affordable private charter options for up to 7 people.
Suitability for short runways: The unique wing design and powerful engines enable take-offs and landings on shorter runways than many other jets and turboprops of its size. This makes it an excellent choice for passengers who need to reach remote or hard-to-reach airports.
Unique design: Avanti's distinctive design makes it an eye-catching aircraft on the tarmac. Design is not an end in itself at Piaggio, however, but also supports the aircraft's above-average performance. All in all, passengers can expect a flight experience that is both efficient and unforgettable.
Reduced environmental impact: Avanti's advanced turboprop engines produce significantly fewer emissions than conventional jet engines. This makes it a preferred option for individuals and businesses looking to reduce their environmental footprint - without sacrificing the comforts of private flight.
Disadvantages of a Piaggio 180 as a rental aircraft:
Noise level and vibrations: One of the most significant drawbacks of the P180 is the external noise emanating from its engine. Although the Avanti is significantly quieter on the road than other turboprop aircraft, its rear-facing pusher propellers generate the noise typical of turboprops and noticeable vibrations on board. This can be a serious problem for passengers who are sensitive to noise or for whom a quieter flying experience is a top priority.
Limited range: The range surpasses many other aircraft in its class and allows it to fly a respectable distance without refuelling. However, there may be better choices than the business jet for long-haul flights due to the required stopovers. Private jets with similar passenger capacity, such as the Embraer Phenom 300 or the Cessna Citation CJ4, fly significantly further on one tank of fuel.
Besides the Avanti, there are other interesting private aircraft that could be considered. Three possible charter alternatives of a Piaggio P-180 Avanti are:
King Air 350
Piaggio Avanti Evo
Like the Avanti, the King Air 350 is a powerful twin-engine turboprop. Nevertheless, there are some differences between the two aircraft that are relevant to the decision: The King Air 350 has a more conventional design with engines mounted on the front of the wings. In terms of performance, the Piaggio P-180 Avanti has the edge: it is the faster aircraft with a higher cruising speed and greater range. However, when it comes to maximum interior space, the King Air might be the preferred choice: it has a larger cabin and offers more room for passengers and cargo.
In 2014 Piaggio announced the development of the Avanti EVO, an updated version of its popular turboprop. In addition to the propellers, the winglets have been revised and the fuel tank capacity increased. The improvements provide 500 kilometres of additional range, improved climb performance, more economical fuel consumption and a significant reduction in external noise. The first EVO was delivered in April 2015. For turboprop sceptics, the new EVO could provide a smooth entry into the segment. More jet characteristics will be hard to find in a turboprop.
The Pilatus PC-12 is a versatile and powerful single-engine turboprop aircraft that could also be considered as a charter alternative to the Piaggio P-180 Avanti. Compared to the Avanti, the PC-12 is slightly slower, but offers a slightly longer range with a comparable cabin volume. The most significant difference is the Swiss-built Pilatus' suitability for extremely short and unpaved runways. Compared to the Piaggio, it only needs about half the distance to take off and land. This characteristic makes it predestined for missions to remote or largely inaccessible locations.
In summary, the Piaggio P-180 Avanti remains an excellent option for a private aircraft for charter, offering high speed, sufficient range and a comfortable cabin. Although there are more powerful aircraft available, the Piaggio-180 Avanti is a good choice for travellers looking for a combination of speed, range and comfort and looking for an attractively priced option. In addition, the aircraft is firmly established in the market as a reliable and proven charter aircraft, making it a safe and trustworthy choice for new and experienced private flyers.
Aircraft data / Technical data (Model: P180 Avanti II)
|Aircraft category||Turboprop, Light Jet (LJ)|
|Manufacturer||Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A..|
|Model||P180 Avanti II|
|Number of units produced||246 (as of: December 2020)|
|Production period||Since 1986|
|Engine||2 x Pratt Whitney Canada PT6A-66B|
|Price||US$7.5 million (list price at launch of the model)|
|Crew||1-2 pilots (single pilot operation approval)|
|Toilet||1 x rear|
|Take-off route||986 m|
|Landing distance||1.000 m|
|Maximum speed||745 km/h|
|Maximum flight altitude||12.500 m|
|Passenger capacity||9 passengers|
|Maximum payload with full tank||613 kg|
|Capacity of the most common rental variant||6 seats|
|Cabin volume||11,12 m³|
|Cabin (length x width x height)||4,55 m x 1,85 m x 1,75 m|