Operators’ Favorite Features . . .
Performance, starting on takeoff roll, topped the list of operators' five favorite features. Citations historically have offered the best runway performance in the light jet class, but the Phenom 300 now is a strong rival. On a typical 600-nm trip, the Phenom 300 needs 2,747 ft. of pavement compared to 2,616 ft. for the CJ3 and 2,448 ft. for the CJ4. When departing at MTOW, however, the Phenom 300 can use a 3,138-ft. strip while the CJ3 needs 3,180 ft. of pavement and the CJ4 requires 3,190 ft.
Assuming standard day conditions, the Phenom 300 can climb directly to FL 450 in 25 min., compared to 28 min. for the CJ4 and about 35 min. for the CJ3. The Brazilian jet's typical cruise speeds are 380 to 440 KTAS depending upon aircraft weight, with fuel flows averaging 810 to 892 pph varying with cruise speed. That's about 100 pph less fuel flow than the CJ4 burns while traveling at the same speeds.
Notably, operators said the aircraft meets or exceeds's performance projections. One operator told BCA that it costs 15-20% less to operate a Phenom 300 than its closest competitor.
Tanks-full payload is another strong point. Embraer quotes a single-pilot BOW for the aircraft of 11,583 lb., assuming typical equipment. With full fuel, the available payload is 1,142 lb. Single-pilot operators reported BOWs of 11,300 lb. to 11,600 lb. for aircraft configured with seven seats.
Two-crew operators reported BOWs of 11,700 to 11,900 lb. But most of the these operators carry life rafts, survival gear, fully stocked galleys and a tow bar adapter, among other operational equipment.
The “Oval Lite” cabin cross-section is another favorite feature, operators say. The cabin offers considerably more head and shoulder room than the circular cross-section of a CJ and its comparatively large windows flood the cabin with ambient light. Operators also like the windows in the lavatory since they brighten the space and make it appear larger than its actual dimensions.
High cabin pressurization and best-in-class baggage capacity are favorites for operators. Maximum cabin altitude is 6,600 ft. at FL 450. The aircraft has 8 cu. ft. of crew storage in the nose compartment, 66 cu. ft. of capacity in the aft external baggage compartment and another 11 cu. ft. in the lavatory. Operators recommend opting for the aft baggage compartment heating system to prevent cold soaking or freezing of gels and liquids stored in luggage.
The externally serviced toilet scored high with corporate and fleet operators who carry executives and paying passengers. Lavatory servicing is on the right side of the aircraft, well away from the aircraft entry door. Owner-operators didn't express a strong preference for an externally serviced lavatory because they don't carry as many passengers or any passengers at all.
Operators commented favorably about Embraer's Garmin G1000-based Prodigy avionics system, saying that it has a highly discoverable interface, good use of colors and symbols, and most features they need for light jet operations. The Garmin suite was especially attractive for owner-operators who previously flew lower performance aircraft fitted with a G1000 package.
The aircraft's wing and horizontal tail leading edges are heated by bleed air for ice protection, which operators say is a significant asset. They prefer that configuration to the hybrid hot wing and boot system fitted to most current production Citations.
Single point pressure refueling (SPPR) is a strong point, a feature that the Phenom 300 shares only with the CJ4 and current production Learjets in the light jet class. SPPR is a near must for some corporate and fleet operators and is especially advantageous when refueling in inclement weather because it minimizes the chance of water contaminating the fuel. It also keeps the fuel truck clear of the left side of the airplane, thereby facilitating the loading of passengers and baggage.
Ease of maintenance is a big plus for fleet and fractional operators. They say that the 600-hr. maintenance intervals keep the aircraft flying and out of the shop. The aircraft is also easy to work on, shortening the maintenance hours required to complete scheduled tasks and slashing overall maintenance costs.
Embraer's customer support frequently also is mentioned as one of the operators' five favorite features. Plumb, for instance, said that Embraer's part distribution center, run bySupply Chain Solutions in Louisville, Ky., provides “excellent” response. “It's quicker than counter to counter [air freight service].”