The designs of three short takeoff and landing (STOL) commercial transports are described, and their initial and direct operating costs compared with those of conventional high-speed jet transports. STOL performance can be provided at comparable costs by propeller driven aircraft, but at a large sacrifice in cruise speed. STOL performance and comparable cruise speeds result in airplanes with significantly increased costs.
Existing airports in the United States are classified by field length, to show the available number of smaller airports which could be used by STOL aircraft. It is suggested that, for business aircraft, the ability to operate from shorter fields does not justify the higher costs, since it may be less expensive to increase runway lengths than to operate significantly more expensive airplanes. For airline operations between congested metropolitan city-centers, however, the additional costs of STOL may be justified by reduced over-all travel time and passenger convenience.