What is a Turboprop Plane?

A Turboprop on runway - what is a turboprop

A turboprop plane is an aircraft powered by a turbine engine that drives a propeller, combining high speed with fuel efficiency.

What is a turboprop plane? Have you ever heard of one? While they are popular and significant in the world of aviation, they do not often get the attention they deserve.

Turboprops include the best of both worlds. Propeller-driven aircraft are known to be highly efficient. And jets are known to be reliable. Turboprops combine these strengths, creating the greatest opportunity for safe regional travel.

While many are quick to turn a blind eye to turboprops, many others are taking advantage of all they have to offer. So, before you make a decision on your next chartered flight, get to know more about them.

So, again, what is a turboprop?

What is a Turboprop?

A turboprop is an aircraft that has a unique type of engine not found on other jets. More specifically, it is designed to use a turbine that, in turn, rotates the aircraft’s visible propeller.

This type of aircraft works beautifully for local or regional traveling. They tend to fly at slower speeds and at lower altitudes— and are commonly used to meet the needs of modern aviation.

Turboprops don’t have as many moving parts as other types of aircraft. Yet, this does not make them any less safe. Instead, they are easier to maintain. For those who want to invest in a private jet, having a turboprop can lead to lower costs of owning and operating.

How a Turboprop Works

What is a turboprop’s engine like? Understanding this is important since it is the exact thing that sets a turboprop apart from other jets. Here is how it works:

Simply put, a turboprop’s engine is a gas turbine that gives power to an external propeller. And this propeller is what makes the engine move forward.

Air is pulled into the engine and pushed through a compressor assembly. The airflow is slowed down so that pressure can build before it moves into the combustion chamber where the air and fuel combust, releasing hot gases capable of turning the turbines. As the air moves through them, the energy created is used to make the propeller rotate rather than just get pushed out as exhaust.

Keep in mind that this is just a general overview of a turboprop engine as there are different types found on these aircraft.

Turboprops are not to be confused with turbojets as these are two different things. For instance, a turbojet’s engine relies on the thrust it produces to gain forward momentum. A turboprop relies on the propeller to create the thrust needed for forward movement.

Benefits of Flying a Turboprop Plane

Interested in taking a flight on a turboprop plane? There are many benefits of doing so – in addition to being able to say you did it. Here are a few of the many worth noting.

  • Turboprops can take off with only a short runway (only requiring about 3200 feet)
  • They can increase their altitude quickly – with a much faster response time than jets
  • High level of fuel efficiency
  • Cost-effective to own and operate
  • Spacious and comfortable interior

While turboprops are not known for their fast speeds, they can still get you where you are going in a reasonable amount of time.

Chartering a Turboprop

Did you know that turboprops are available for charter? Aircraft such as the King Air 350i can give you a great charter experience in a comfortable and social environment.

Turboprops are great options for those trips that warrant air travel but don’t venture too far.

One thing worth noting is that chartering a turboprop can be a very affordable option—and do not mistake this for being less-than option because of it. Quite the contrary. Turboprops can create savings because they require less fuel than jets. And, since fuel is one of the greatest expenses for jets, this cost savings can be passed on to you.

What’s more, turboprops offer a lot of space to move around comfortably – and extra baggage space, too.

FAQs About Turboprops

What are turboprops good for?

Turboprops are good for local or regional travel due to their lightweight and fuel efficiency. They require very little maintenance and the costs of owning or chartering one are more affordable than other options. Turboprops are also good for not needing a lot of space to get in the air — and can increase their altitude at rapid rates.

Are turboprops as safe as jets?

Yes, turboprops are as safe as jets. They are, after all, powered by the same types of engines. Except, one has a visible propeller. Turbine engines are very reliable and easy to manage. So, whether you are traveling on a turboprop or a jet, you can feel confident in your level of safety.

Why are turboprops so noisy?

Turboprops may be noisy due to the propeller blades cutting through the air as they turn. This is what creates the sounds that make turboprops seem so noisy. The good news is that this noise has been greatly minimized while inside a cabin of a modern turboprop.

Charter a Turboprop Plane

Turboprops can be a fun experience next time you find yourself in need of local or regional travel. At Sun Air Jets, our charter fleet consists of the incredible King Air 350i. This turboprop with room for 8 passengers is ready to show you a whole new side to air travel.

Book your trip now.


Wherever your travels take you, consider a turboprop. This light aircraft with high fuel efficiency and room for your entire party (and their luggage), will give you an experience you won’t be disappointed in.

Contact Sun Air Jets today to book your next flight!

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