In terms of aircraft size the majority of turboprop aircraft are larger than piston-powered aircraft, and can therefore carry more passengers, fuel and payload than piston-powered aircraft, fly missions requiring 600-1,000 miles of range and can fly higher altitudes up to 35,000 feet.
They also have lower operating costs than jets because they burn less fuel, but are not as fast as jet aircraft.
In business operation, turboprop aircraft provide several advantages; namely the ability to land on short runways and landing strips; handle steeper descents to airports, airfields and challenging runway accessibility, more demanding terrain and provide lower operating costs.
Turboprop aircraft cabins are typically pressurized allowing these planes to be able to fly at higher altitudes of 20,000 to 30,000 feet, and at average speed of 250 to 300 ktas and distances of up to 1,000 miles.
Powering the aircraft is a gas turbine engine that drives a propeller consisting of an intake, compressor, combustor, turbine, and a propelling nozzle. The turboprop engine works by a turbine that drives a rotating shaft, which in turn drives a reduction gear which drives a propeller at the required revolutions.
Like turbojet and turbofan engines, Turboprop engines rely on a gas turbine for power.
Maintenance – Turboprop engines have far fewer moving parts and the smooth, vibration free operation of a turboprop engine typically offers greater reliability – and longer time between overhaul (TBO) – than a piston aircraft. In other words, you can generally log more hours on your turboprop before you need to bring it in for inspection.
Performance – The power of a turbine engine almost always allows turboprop aircraft to travel at higher speeds than piston aircraft.
Turboprop aircraft are most efficient at flight speeds below 725 km/h (450 mph; 390 knots) limited by the velocity of the propeller and exhaust.
Manufacturers of turboprop aircraft include the following companies: