Aircraft Comparative Analysis - Embraer Phenom 300
Category: Corporate Aircraft – Comparative Analysis
Author: Mike Chase
Embraer Phenom 300
In this month’s Aircraft Comparative Analysis, we provide information on a selection of pre-owned business jets in the $6.4-$8.9 million range for the purpose of valuing the new and pre-owned Embraer Phenom 300. The current New/Used percentage split for the Phenom 300 aircraft is 60% new and 40% pre-owned.
Across the following paragraphs, we’ll consider the usual productivity parameters - payload/range, speed and cabin size, and cover current and future market values. Thefield in this study includes the Cessna Citation CJ4 and Citation Encore+.
Embraer’s Phenom 300 has a capacity for six passengers in its normal configuration with a single pilot. Interior configurations also offer options of a side-facing seat and belted toilet.
The Phenom 300, powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW535E engines first flew in May 2008. It earned FAA Certification in December 2009 and first delivery to a private customer took place that same month.
An early indicator of future success for the Phenom 300 is its selection by leading fractional providers Flight Options and NetJets. Flight Options placed a significant 10-year, 300-aircraft order (with 50-options), while NetJets ordered up to 125 ‘Platinum Edition’ Phenom 300s. NetJets plans to start taking delivery of its Phenom 300s in late 2012 or early 2013.
PAYLOAD AND RANGE
The data contained in Table A is published in the B&CA, May 2011 issue, and also sourced from Conklin & de Decker. As we mentioned in previous Comparative Analyses, a potential operator should focus on payload capability as a key factor. Embraer’s Phenom 300’s ‘Available payload with Maximum Fuel’ at 942 lbs is in fact lower than the 1,000 lbs for the CJ4 and 1,170 lbs for the Encore+ aircraft.
According to Conklin & de Decker, the cabin volume of the Embraer Phenom 300 at 325 cubic feet is greater than both the CJ4 at 311 cubic feet and the Encore+ at 307 cubic feet, as Chart A shows.
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535E engines, the Phenom 300 powerplants each offer 3,200 lbst. Both the CJ4 and Encore+ engines offer 3,400 lbst, although powered by entirely different powerplants. The CJ4 is powered by two Williams FJ44-4A engines and the Encore+ is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535B engines.
Table B shows the fuel usage by each aircraft model in this field of study. The Phenom 300 at 161 gallons per hour (GPH) leads the rest of the field as the most frugal, followed by the Encore+ at 180 GPH and the CJ4 at 186 GPH. Comparing the Phenom 300 with the CJ4 the average fuel usage shows 25 GPH (or 13.4%) less fuel burn (source JETNET).
COST PER MILE COMPARISONS
Using data published in the May 2011 B&CA Planning and Purchasing Handbook and the August 2011 B&CA Operations Planning Guide we will compare our aircraft. The nationwide average Jet-A fuel cost used from the August 2011 edition was $6.04 per gallon at press time, so for the sake of comparison we’ll chart the numbers as published.
Note: The fuel price used from this source does not represent an average fuel price for the year.
Chart B details “Cost per Mile”, and compares the Phenom 300 to its competition factoring direct costs and with all aircraft flying a 600nm mission with an 800 pound (four passengers) payload. The Phenom 300 at $2.93 cost per mile is significantly more frugal than the CJ4 at $3.44 and the Encore+ at $3.76.
TOTAL VARIABLE COST COMPARISONS
The ‘Total Variable Cost’, illustrated in Chart C, is defined as the cost of Fuel Expense, Maintenance Labor Expense, Scheduled Parts Expense and Miscellaneous Trip Expense. The total variable cost for the Phenom 300 at $1,172 is considerably less than the CJ4 or the Encore+.
The points in Chart D center on the same aircraft group. Pricing used in the vertical axis is as published in the B&CA August 2011 Operations Planning Guide and Vref. The productivity index requires further discussion in that the factors used can be somewhat arbitrary.
Productivity can be defined (and it is here) as the multiple of three factors:
1. Range with full payload and available fuel;
2. The long range cruise speed flown to achieve that range;
3. The cabin volume available for passengers and amenities.
The result is a very large number so for the purpose of charting, each result is divided by one billion. The examples plotted are confined to the aircraft in this study. A computed curve fit on this plot would not be very tight, but when all business jet aircraft are considered the “r” squared factor would equal a number above 0.9. Others may choose different parameters, but serious business aircraft buyers are usually impressed with Price, Range, Speed and Cabin Size.
After consideration of the Price, Range, Speed and Cabin Size, we can conclude that the Phenom 300, as shown in the productivity index (Chart D), is productive compared with its competitors - largely due to the fact that the Phenom 300 offers a larger cabin and lower operating costs including a 25 GPH or 13.4% average fuel burn savings.
However, the Phenom 300 ‘Available payload with Maximum Fuel’ at 942 lbs is the lowest in this field of comparison and that has a bearing on the overall productivity within this field of aircraft. Of course, the lower price of the Phenom 300 at $8 million compared to the CJ4 at $8.3 million adds to its competitiveness.
Table C contains the average retail price from Vref for each aircraft with the latest model produced and the price year in parentheses. The average speed, cabin volume and maximum payload values are from Conklin and De Decker and B&CA magazine. The number of aircraft in-operation and fleet percentage ‘For Sale’ are reported by JETNET.
LOCATION BY CONTINENT
As of October 2011, the major based-at locations for the Phenom 300 were the United States (where 60% of the fleet resided), followed by South America (23%), see Table D.
The airport performance is illustrated in Table E and includes airport take-off field length (TOFL), Landing, and Balanced Field Length. The Phenom 300 is again competitive based on these airport performance criteria, offering the lowest take-off and landing distances of the group.
Within the preceding paragraphs we have touched upon several of the attributes that business aircraft operators value. There are other qualities such as terminal area performance, time to climb performance, and maximum transition to altitude levels that might factor in a buying decision, too, however.
The Embraer Phenom 300 fares well against its competition, so those operators in the market should find the preceding comparison of value. Our expectations are that the Phenom 300 aircraft will continue to do very well in the new and pre-owned market.
For more information: Michael Chase is president of Chase & Associates, and can be contacted at 1628 Snowmass Place, Lewisville, TX 75077; Tel: 214-226-9882; Web: www.mdchase.com Do you have any questions or opinions on the above topic? Get them answered/published in World Aircraft Sales Magazine. Email feedback to: email@example.com