The First Business Jet Ever Produced: JetStar

  • How the first ever business jet was produced
  • The success Lockheed saw with this aircraft
  • Modifications to the design of the Lockheed JetStar


The first official private jet was the Lockheed Jetstar. This business jet was produced in the 1960s to the 70s. The JetStar was the only business jet built by Lockheed, and was one of the largest aircrafts in the class for many years seating 10 passengers plus two crew members. The most distinguishable part of this aircraft is the four engines, mounted on the rear of the fuselage. The first two prototypes were equipped with two Bristol Siddeley Orpheus engines, first flying three years before the JetStar went into production. The outer engines were mounted beside the inner engines, mimicked on the later aircrafts Vickers VC10 and Ilyushin II-62 airliners.

Wanting to reduce noise and fuel consumption, Lockheed developed the 731 JetStar with notifications such as Garrett TFE731 turbofan engines and larger external fuel tanks that sit with their upper surfaces flush with the wings. The 731 was so successful that Lockheed produced 40 new JetStars, renaming the 731 to the JetStar II. JetStar totalled 204 aircrafts in their 18 years of service, and most JetStars are now retired, except for the JetStar II models that are still flying.

When it comes to the design of this aircraft, the layout is pretty typical of business jets. The wing has a 30 degree sweepback, and has large fuel tanks extending in front and behind the wings. The tanks hold about 10,000 pounds of fuel, and the smaller tanks hold about 8,000 pounds of fuel for a total of 18,000 pounds of fuel total. The JetStar is a heavy aircraft for its class, at 44,500 lb the maximum speed this aircraft can hit is 657 mph with a range of 2,500 nautical miles.

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