Piston airplanes have one or more piston-powered engines connected a propeller to provide thrust to move the aircraft on the ground and through the air. Piston-powered aircraft most commonly use 100 octane low-leaded fuel and fly at altitudes below 15,000 feet. The inside of a typical piston aircraft seats 1-6 passengers is configured similar to the interior of a small car. Piston aircraft used for business typically fly relatively short missions of 300-400 miles, using very small general aviation airports that are often without air traffic control towers.

Manufacturers of piston-driven airplanes include the following companies: