The history of jets begins in the mid-1930s when Frank Whittle from Great Britain drew the first plans for a jet plane. While the first jet fighter planes debuted towards the end of World War II. It was immediately after the war commercial airlines quickly recognized the value of the jet, when everyone was eager to get to where they were going quicker. People knew that the less time one spent in the air- the less jet lag there would be while having more time on the ground to get things done. Finally, in the 1960's business travelers started taking advantage of business jets.
During that time when the business jet emerged, a whole industry of small jets designed for the well-to-do developed alongside the Boeing 727 and other larger commercial jets. The ultimate in private business jet travel was provided by Lockheed, Gulfstream, and Lear Jet. These hand-built jets had price tags of around $1 million and were commonly used by the oil elite of the middle east and the millionaires of that time in history.
The private business jets during that period had rooms as elegant as five star hotels and very powerful engines for traveling long distances. This trend continued until the 1980s. In the 1990s the interiors became more 'corporate' in nature with office equipment, video monitors and satellite phones. Some were equipped with conference rooms and sleeping quarters to be conducive for doing business 24/7.
At the turn of the century, the business jets became larger for more comfort when traveling globally but smaller jets were designed to lower operating costs when traveling domestically. Continuing the small but local trend, the new VLJ or Very Light Jet models like the HondaJet were produced. The range is still impressive but with the lighter weight production and operating costs are cut. Even elite jet-setters are looking for opportunities for frugality.
The world of the business jet is forever evolving. Soon we will see groups of average business men and women forming partial ownerships to take advantage of business jet travel.