Turboprop planes are the ultimate hobby flying toy, and thanks to their reliable designs - many used models are still soaring through the sky to this day.
As jet aircraft became the standard for a lot of high-end aviators, turboprops seemed to be on their way out. However, with gas prices skyrocketing and hobby flying becoming more popular than ever - there has been a revival in turboprops being bought and sold.
The best used turboprops are the Beechcraft King Air C90A ($400,000 - $800,000), Cessna Grand Caravan 208B ($900,000), Piper M600 ($1.4 Million - $2.5 Million), Beechcraft 1900D ($800,000), Cessna 441 Conquest II ($1 Million), Daher Kodiak 100 ($1 Million), and the Pilatus PC-12 ($3.5 Million).
For so many aspiring aviators, getting a pilot license and owning a private plane is the dream of a lifetime. Traditionally, aviation has always been a very lucrative and expensive hobby that was reserved for the wealthy class, but thanks to the affordable costs of turboprops, owning an aircraft is a realistic goal for many private pilots. The mainstream adoption of jet engines resulted in many aircraft companies abandoning the production of traditional turboprops, as the technology could not match up to modern-age engines. With that being said, jet engines are considerably more expensive to operate and maintain. That is why there has been a resurgence of turboprop aircraft on the market - with demand now reaching a 20-year high. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at the best-used turboprops in more detail.
After extensively researching aircraft forums and turboprop marketplaces, I have been able to gather enough information to determine the best options that are on the market. My research has indicated that when buying used planes, you should always have the aircraft professionally inspected before your purchase to ensure that it is safe and reliable.
Best Used Turboprops
1. Beechcraft King Air C90A ($400,000 - $800,000)
Beechcraft has released a number of classic turboprops over the years, but a crowd-favorite among so many aviators is the Beechcraft King Air C90. This turboprop is part of Beechcraft's King Air series, which is critically acclaimed for performance and reliability.
The Beechcraft King Air C90 is high in demand among intro pilots and aviation enthusiasts who are on the hunt for an affordable turboprop. This aircraft has impressive specs and has been in production since the 1970s, but Beechcraft initiated some major design improvements to models that were made as of 1984.
The specs for the Beechcraft King Air C90 vary depending on the model that you opt for - with the 1984 variation offering a range of 721nm per refuel. This is an ideal distance for hobby fliers and pilots who are traveling around the country for fun. With that being said, some people still rely on the Beechcraft King Air C90 as an air taxi.
Most of the Beechcraft King Air C90s that are flown can seat upwards of 5 passengers on board. This makes the aircraft perfect for entertaining friends and going on casual trips around the country. If you are fine with making multiple fuel stops along the way, you can fly from coast to coast in 3 to 4 fuel stops. With a maximum cruise speed of 250kts, the Beechcraft King Air C90 offers solid speed and performance.
The cost of the aircraft can vary overall and you can expect models made after 1984 to cost quite a bit more. A brand new Beechcraft King Air C90 can cost upwards of $2 million, but with the majority of these planes being previously owned and used, you can expect to pay anywhere from $400,000 to $800,000 - with operational costs averaging $800 (or less) per hour.
2. Cessna Grand Caravan 208B ($900,000 - $3 Million)
Cessna’s planes are world-class and the Caravan 208B is the best of what the aircraft manufacturer has to offer as far as turboprops. The Cessna Grand Caravan 208B has been around for decades and it has proven itself as being one of the best turboprops ever made due to its rugged nature and reliable performance.
This Cessna turboprop was first introduced in 1982 when it received FAA clearance and its production continued into the 2000s with various model variations released over the years. Unlike the Beechcraft King Air, this is a much more dynamic aircraft and can be used for various types of flights.
The main reason for this is that the Cessna Grand Caravan 208B has an increased passenger capacity of 9 people and a max range of 782nm. That means that his turboprop will get you to more destinations with less refueling. In addition, with 4 extra passengers on board, the Cessna Grand Caravan 208B enables you to take more people with you wherever you go and it also encourages air taxi use.
Although this Cessna turboprop has been in manufacturing for over 30 years, the majority of these aircraft are equipped with a Garmin G1000 EFIS and high-end hardware. Landing and take-off with the Cessna Grand Caravan 208B are smooth and reliable overall and you can reach maximum flight speeds of 184ktas.
The dynamic capabilities of the Cessna Grand Caravan 208B make it a go-to option for a lot of skydive businesses, parcel transports, and even flight schools. This is an easy-to-fly plane and it's dependable for both veteran and intro pilots.
The cost of buying one of these Cessna turboprops can vary quite a bit depending on the model that you choose and its years of service - with most options ranging from $900,000 - $3 million. Operating costs for the Cessna Grand Caravan 208B generally average around $820.00 per hour.
3. Piper M600 ($1.4 Million - $2.5 Million)
Piper is one of the most trusted and respected names in the world of aviation. Many aviators who own the M600 claim it is the best turboprop of all time and depending on the specs that you value in your aircraft, they may be right. This is a more luxurious turboprop with a lucrative interior that makes air travel comfortable for all passengers on board.
The main characteristic that makes the Piper M600 superior to the previous turboprops that we mention is the impressive range that it offers. With most turboprops of this size generally reaching maximum distances of 700 to 800nm, the M600 triumphs over the competition with a 1,484nm max range. With this kind of range at your disposal, you can greatly increase the number of destinations that you can fly to - enabling you to get from coast to coast on just 1-2 fuel stops.
The Piper M600 also strikes a balance between the Beechcraft and the Cessna as far as passenger capacity. You can bring upwards of 6 passengers on board with you when you fly in the M600. The excellent range combined with the comfortable interior and passenger capacity makes this Piper turboprop a great aircraft for corporate and business use.
The plane features integrated digital cabin pressurization and it can reach a maximum speed of 274kts. All in all, this is one of the best turboprops that money can buy and it has world-class specs for an aircraft of this size.
For the performance and capabilities that you get, the Piper M600 has a very reasonable price tag. Most of the older models on the market are being sold for $1.4 to $2.5 million. With that being said, new variations of the Piper M600 can still be found to this day, as manufacturing for this turboprop has not halted. A 2021 M600 can easily cost upwards of $3.3 million. Operational costs for this Piper aircraft are usually around $800 per hour.
4. Beechcraft 1900D ($800,000 - $1 Million+)
Beechcraft first launched its 1900D turboprop in 1982 and they continued to be popular for the next 2 decades. The majority of used Beechcraft 1900Ds that are sold on the market today are generally from the 1990s. In 1991, Beechcraft released a new and improved variation of the 1900D, which has been the most popular variation of this aircraft.
These are top-of-the-line turboprops that are praised for their performance and dynamic flight capabilities. Unlike the rest of the turboprops that we mentioned, the Beechcraft 1900D is an ideal plane for air-taxi vs casual flying.
The structure and passenger capacity encourage flights for transport rather than for hobby flying. The reason for this is that the Beechcraft 1900D can seat up to 19 passengers, which is considerably more than most turboprops flown by casual pilots.
With that being said, this characteristic also makes the Beechcraft 1900D an attractive aircraft for corporate and business flights. Although the aircraft is designed for 2 pilots, it can technically be operated by 1 which opens up another seat for a 20th passenger.
This turboprop can reach a maximum distance of 1,356nm and it has a height ceiling of 25,000ft. This impressive flight range implies that the aircraft can be used for long-distance domestic air travel and potentially even international flights. The Beechcraft 1900D is also regarded for its impressive safety features including a Ground Proximity Warning system, as well as a Pro Line 21 IDS system by Rockwell Collins.
Surprisingly, the Beechcraft 1900D is very affordable for a plane of its size. Prices can greatly vary depending on whether the plane was manufactured prior to 1991, but overall, you can expect costs as low as $800,000 - with more recent models priced at $1 million+. However, operational costs are considerably higher than most other turboprops, as prices average at $1,800 per hour.
5. Cessna 441 Conquest II ($1 Million+)
The 441 Conquest II is a powerful turboprop from Cessna, which is still incredibly popular to this day. Despite being introduced in 1977, the Cessna 441 Conquest II is widely considered to be one of the most reliable and practical turboprops around, which is why there are still so many used planes being bought and sold.
The Cessna 441 Conquest II has a passenger capacity of up to 6 people and 2 crew members. This turboprop’s specs are superior to the previous Cessna model that we mention - with an increased range and maximum speed. The Cessna 441 Conquest II can reach an impressive maximum distance of 1,720nm, which enables long-distance travel around the country with minimal fuel stops.
The excellent top speed of 300ktas also ensures that you will get to where you are going fast. The comfort level of the Cessna 441 Conquest II cannot quite match up with the Piper M600, but the performance is undeniably better for efficient air travel.
This aircraft is particularly popular with a lot of collectors and aviation enthusiasts due to it being the first turboprop that Cessna ever manufactured. The 441 Conquest II is a historic plane for Cessna and a lot of people want to get their hands on this plane based on this factor alone.
The Cessna conquest can vary in price. Older variations of their aircraft can be acquired for under $1 million, but newer and well-serviced models can cost considerably more than this. In addition, it is worth noting that the Cessna 441 Conquest II has a high operating cost for a plane of its size - with $1,200 to $1,300 being the average per hour.
6. Daher Kodiak 100 ($1 Million - $3 Million)
Daher is a name within the aviation industry that carries a lot of weight, as they are the first airplane manufacturer in history. Daher has been in production since 1911 and they continue to make planes to this day - with 110+ years of experience in the business.
Their innovation has not ceased since they first started designing planes, but the turboprop that still turns heads to this day from Daher is the Kodiak 100. The Daher Kodiak 100 was first introduced in 2004 when it had its first flight and manufacturing began shortly after in 2007. The Kodiak 100 was so successful that Daher still produces new variations of the aircraft to this day.
This is a high-performance turboprop with impressive specs and capabilities. What makes the Daher Kodiak 100 truly standout amongst the competition is the excellent landing and take-off distances. Unlike virtually every other turboprop on our list, the Daher Kodiak 100 only needs 765ft to land and 934ft to takeoff. This greatly expands the number of places that you can land and it also increases the safety of the aircraft overall.
Given that the Daher Kodiak 100 is a more modern plane, the manufacturer has optimized all of the performance capabilities of the aircraft, which makes it superior to older turboprops. The Kodiak 100 has a 10-person passenger capacity - making it a great aircraft for air taxi use, as well as casual flights for hobby fliers. Remarkably, even with a 10-passenger capacity, this Kodiak plane has a great payload amount of 2,500lb+.
The overall range of the Daher Kodiak 100 is solid and you can expect to reach a maximum flight distance of 845nm per fuel stop - at 184kts. With these specs in mind, you should be able to reach long flight distances - potentially even traveling from coast to coast on 1-2 tanks.
Older variations of the Daher Kodiak 100 are quite a bit cheaper and can be acquired for as little as $1 million. However, newer models are considerably more expensive and there are certain Kodiak variations that come equipped with water landing gear, which raises the price to upwards of $3 million. With that said, one of the characteristics that tends to win a lot of pilots over is the very reasonable operating costs of the Daher Kodiak 100 - with prices averaging at around $634.00 per hour.
7. Pilatus PC-12 ($3.5 Million to $5 Million)
Pilatus is a Swiss aircraft manufacturer that is particularly known for designing planes for niche markets. Their turboprops have stood the test of time and they have a number of top-notch planes that are highly regarded by aviation enthusiasts.
Their Pilatus PC-12w turboprop has earned a reputation as being the world’s best single-pilot aircraft. This plane’s dynamic capabilities, stellar flight performance, and impressive range leave a lot of pilots convinced that this truly is one of the greatest planes ever manufactured.
The Pilatus PC-12 had its first flight in 1991 and production started in 1994. The PC-12 was so successful that the production of their aircraft never halted and you can still find new models and variations being released.
One of the characteristics that make the Pilatus PC-12 such a powerful turboprop is its maximum range. You can reach distances of up to 1,635nm in a Pilatus PC-12 at a ceiling of 30,000ft, which enables you to travel to just about anywhere in the country on a single fuel stop. This factor alone makes the Pilatus PC-12 a very popular aircraft in the business and corporate world.
The only reason that this turboprop is not as widely used for air taxis is that it does not have the largest passenger capacity. You can seat up to 7 passengers on board the Pilatus PC-12, which is great for hobby flying and business use. The solid max speed of 280kts, as well as the great range, will get you to where you are going quickly and efficiently.
The Pilatus PC-12s that were made prior to the early 2000s are generally sold for around $3.5 million. However, more affordable options can also be tracked down. Any PC-12 that was made recently will cost a lot more than this - with most going for $4 million to $5 million. Operating costs for the Pilatus PC-12 are also quite reasonable - averaging $940.00 per hour.
About THE AUTHOR
After spending years watching every video I could find about flying, I finally scratched the itch and got my pilots license. Now I fly every chance I get, and share the information I learn, here.Read More About Joe Haygood