It seems to me that in the world of aviation today, the goal of every pilot is to “hit the big time” and fly a jet of some sort. While jets are amazingly cool feats of humanity (and I too drool over them), the thousands of other planes with propellers are just as beautiful and capable. In fact, I think this sphere of aircraft has a unique experience to offer that jets cannot. For starters, they offer a very classy and cozy ride for any passenger. Most private propeller-driven aircraft can have just as nice interiors as a Falcon or Learjet.
In my opinion they have the feeling a private flight in all aircraft should give. You feel like you are in a private airplane, not just a regular plane with nobody else allowed on. Private jets offer a luxurious ride as well, but are so massive that they still feel a bit commercial. Public commercial flights in propeller-driven aircraft are also very special. I’ve talked with many people (non-pilots) who were talking with me about my training and lit up as soon as they heard I fly a small Cessna. They all told me a story about riding in small connector route in a propeller-driven aircraft. While they admitted to being a little weary of something different, they always thought it the plane was “cool/an experience.” I have not heard this as often with your regular Boeing or Airbus jumbo jet. They stand out from the crowd and have a distinct appearance and ride that just brings a smile to people’s faces.
Aircraft with propellers also just have a presence to them. They sound amazing, and have a retro feel, just like a good old-fashioned P-51 Mustang…
They’re reliable, beautiful and have a unique shape. They make aviation fun, and each model has a different experience to offer. So next time you walk by an airplane with a propeller on it, don’t be condescending to it. Look at it like it’s just as sexy as it’s cousin the jet.