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ENTRY-LEVEL & LIGHT JET REVIEW:
‘Light’ as a size measure- not as a capability description

Whatever options may exist in selecting an aircraft- the priority is to buy the right size to match the company mission needs. You should size your aircraft purchase to fit a budget. When matched correctly with the company mission requirement jets at the smallest end of the spectrum deliver large capabilities.

A full understanding of the mission and the budget often results in a light jet being chosen with results equal to what could be achieved with a larger business aircraft- but without the larger costs.

An Entry Level (Very Light Jet) or Light Jet may carry fewer people than a larger one- but the chances are that it can carry as many passengers as are actually needed most of the time: Typically- business aircraft carry two to four people- plus crew- on missions between 700 and 900 kilometers- which is well within the Light Jet capability.

In most cases- any speed difference between a Light Jet and its larger counterparts are nominal on such legs - just 10 to 20 minutes. Conversely- a Light Jet may need more stops- and a different route to connect city-pairs separated by larger distances- adding significant time when compared to the journey flown by a larger counterpart.

As aircraft increase in size- so do head-room and leg-room for increased cabin volume- but considering the Light and Entry Level jet is ideally designed for shorter-distance flying that is a relatively minor detail - you will not be flying for long enough to feel discomfort.

Today most arbiters define a Light Jet as anything under 9-000 kilograms to include the newly-emerging Entry-Level (Very Light) jet segment which starts at about 2-700 kilograms.

BOMBARDIER LEARJET
40XR/45XR
Since the Learjet 45 was certified in late 1997- the company has continued to evolve and improve it- expanding its appeal with today’s offerings on the Light Jet market - the Learjet 40XR and 45XR.

Among the attributes that continue to keep this pair in demand are their high-speed- excellent fuel efficiency and large cabins.

Those cabins offer similar measurements to the larger Medium category Learjet 60XR. At 1.50 meters tall and 1.56 meters wide- the Learjet 40XR and 45XR cabins differ only in length- with the 40XR at 5.4 meters and the 45XR just over a half-meter longer at 6.02.

The Learjet 45XR also offers more range (about 3-647 kilometers) thanks to its higher fuel capacity- but the smaller 40XR still offers a useful range of 3-191 kilometers. Prices are about $10.6 million for the Learjet 40XR- and $12.8 million for the 45XR.

More information from
www.aero.bombardier.com

CESSNA AIRCRAFT
The world’s largest business jet manufacturer offers six options in the Entry Level/Light Jet segment- four of them members of the same family.

Citation XLS+
Today’s Citation XLS+ represents years of design-advancements that keep the model functional and appealing within the Light jet category. The aircraft occupants benefit from a cabin measuring 1.73 meters tall- 1.68 meters wide- and more than 5.6 meters in length.

Further the Citation XLS+ can connect distances approaching 3-500 kilometers- while retaining the ability to use runways shorter than 1-100 meters. Expect to pay approximately $12.45 million to own an XLS+.

Cessna CJ1+- CJ2+- CJ3+ and CJ4
Introduced more than two decades ago as the CitationJet- Cessna has reinvented and developed this original aircraft into an entire family of Light Jets of varying capabilities to cover a range of owner-requirements. Three of these airplanes have been improved since first developed (the CJ1+- CJ2+ and CJ3+).

Common characteristics include the engine-maker (variations of a single model engine); avionics; and that they can be flown by a single- specially-rated pilot. In addition- they all share two of three cabin dimensions. All four cabins measure 1.45 meters high and 1.47 meters wide. In terms of length- the CJ1+ cabin is 3.35 meters; the CJ2+ measures 4.14 meters; the CJ3+ measures 4.78 meters; and the CJ4 measures 5.29 meters.

Unsurprisingly- the CJ4 is the fastest- and longest-ranging of the CJ family covering distances as long as 3-700 kilometers. The other three range from 2-400 kilometers for the CJ1+- 3-000 kilometers for the CJ2+- and nearly 3-500 kilometers for the CJ3+.

The CJ1+ costs about $5 million- while you will pay approximately $6.9 million for a CJ2+- and $8.2 million for a CJ3+. The CJ4 is priced at around $9 million.

Citation Mustang
Cessna’s Citation Mustang represents yet another reinvention of the Entry Level to business jet ownership. With a modern digital cockpit with avionics- engine and systems controls optimized for a single pilot- the $3 million Mustang caters for an owner-pilot population.

The Citation Mustang offers comfortable accommodation for as many as five in the cabin- which measures 1.37 meters tall- 1.4 meters wide and about 3 meters long.

Loaded and fueled- the Mustang doesn’t even weigh 4-000 kilograms- yet it is capable of flying four people more than 2-100 kilometers on less fuel than any other multi-engine jet currently on the market.

More information from
www.cessna.com

CIRRUS AIRCRAFT
SF50 Vision
The SF50 Vision is a first jet design from a company that only certificated its first aircraft - the innovative SR20 piston single-engine aircraft - a little over a decade ago.

Although still in development- the SF50 Vision flies on only one engine and is designed for single-pilot use. A key feature to help the SF50 Vision find appeal among the safety-conscious buyer is the inclusion of an airframe parachute - a system pioneered by Cirrus- and standard on all company products.

While the maximum weight target is about 2-727 kilograms- the SF50 Vision is expected to offer a range approaching 1-850 kilometers in exchange for its projected $1.72 million price (currently the lowest available price for a jet aircraft). An exact certification and initial delivery date is unconfirmed.

More information from
http://cirrusaircraft.com

DIAMOND AIRCRAFT
D-JET
Another single-engine design- the D-JET has been in development for about five years- and is nearing certification now. This is again an aircraft built for single-pilot use.

The D-JET offers comparatively generous interior room and baggage space- comfortably accommodating four passengers and luggage. Preliminary specifications indicate that the D-JET will be capable of connecting cities 2-500 kilometers apart. The current price of $1.85 million reveals another high-value aircraft.

More information from
www.diamond-air.at

ECLIPSE AVIATION
Eclipse 500
A twin-engine jet that arguably started the Entry Level/Very Light Jet segment- the Eclipse 500 owes its existence to new-technology engines and avionics.

Its cabin measures 1.27 meters tall- 1.42 meters wide and 3.76 meters long- and is comparable in size to today’s leading piston-twin engine aircraft - but travels twice as fast- connecting cities 2-000 kilometers apart.

While the $2.15 million Eclipse is not currently in production- Eclipse Aerospace is selling like-new refurbished aircraft- and the company is working toward resuming manufacture of the smallest twin-engine jet certified.

More information from
www.eclipseaerospace.net

EMBRAER
Phenom 100
Embraer designed its Phenom 100 to deliver outstanding performance- utility and efficiency in the Entry Level arena. As Embraer’s smallest and lightest jet to date- the Phenom 100 can seat up to seven passengers in a 3.35-meter-long cabin that stands 1.5 meters tall- and spans 1.55 meters wide.

The Phenom 100 can cover distances of nearly 2-200 kilometers- and is priced at about $3.9 million (January 2011 economic conditions). Embraer enjoyed some strong sales numbers for its smallest jet during 2010.

Phenom 300
Embraer’s Phenom 300 fits comfortably within the Light Jet segment- and while it shares its cabin height and width with the Phenom 100- the Phenom 300 cabin stretches to 5.23 meters in length.

Flying at higher altitude and speed than the Phenom 100- the 300 can achieve around 3-650 kilometers in range. You can expect to pay about $8.5 million (January 2011 economic conditions) to own a Phenom 300.

More information from
www.embraerexecutivejets.com

HAWKER BEECHCRAFT
Hawker 200
Hawker Beechcraft offers two jets in the Light Jet segment. The Hawker 200 is one of those aircraft. Formerly the Premier II- the Hawker 200 offers a spacious cabin measuring 1.65 meters tall- 1.68 meters wide and nearly 4.2 meters long (larger than many of its contemporaries).

The Hawker 200 is capable of covering cities nearly 2-800 kilometers apart. Approved for single-pilot operations- the Hawker 200 is priced at $7.495 million.

Hawker 400XP
A recent interior redesign made the Hawker 400XP cabin more spacious- and today it offers height of 1.45 meters- 1.5 meters width- and more than 4.7 meters length. This $7.775 million jet offers a maximum range exceeding 2-700 kilometers.

More information from
www.hawkerbeechcraft.com

HONDA AIRCRAFT
HondaJet
Launched after more than two decades of patient- behind-the-scenes work- the HondaJet brings into play several unique design characteristics and advances in engine and airframe design. The engine- a product of Honda itself- boasts extraordinary fuel efficiency.

Even the arrangement of the engine on the aircraft design benefits the cabin’s length measurement which- at 5.43 meters long- 1.51 meters tall and 1.52 meters wide provides space for a single pilot and up to five passengers.

These HondaJet design traits produce an airplane capable of cruising as far as 2-000 kilometers on very little fuel. At $4.5 million- Honda has a long line of HondaJet customers ahead of certification in 2012.

More information from http://hondajet.honda.com

PIPER AIRCRAFT
PiperJet Altaire
The PiperJet Altaire is a single-pilot- single-engine design that appeals to pilots looking to move up from piston or turboprop single-engine aircraft.

With seating for five- in addition to the pilot- the Altair has recently undergone a cabin redesign- and now offers 1.4 meters height and width- and almost 5.4 meters length. In addition- Piper promises a maximum range exceeding 2-400 kilometers and a price under $2.5 million.

More information from
www.piper.com

ENTRY LEVEL & LIGHT JET PRICE AND VOLUME CHARTS
The points in Chart A - representing ‘Entry Level and Light Jet Price Index’ center on the same aircraft that featured in our review on the preceding pages. Where models are excluded- it is because they are in development- and the necessary specifications are currently missing to place them on our graphs.

Pricing used in the vertical axis are as published in the B&CA August 2010 Operations Planning Guide. The Price index requires further discussion in that the factors used can be somewhat arbitrary.

The aircraft are indexed on our chart 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 our review. 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.

It should be noted that different prospective buyers of business aircraft can index aircraft on the basis of several different factors- depending to those core to the mission requirement for a Business Aircraft. We have used Price- Range- Speed and Cabin Size as an example of an efficient way to index aircraft- but other priority factors are just as valid.

Due to some aircraft in the review being in development- and therefore with unconfirmed Price- Range- Speed or Cabin Size numbers- we have been unable to chart those aircraft.

In Chart B- we have listed a quick-view Cabin Volume guide for all the aircraft in our review. Allowance should be made for the fact that the Entry Level and Light Jet category is broad- and the aircraft within the category serve a vast array of missions. Therefore- the difference in size between the largest and smallest cabin in this range is unsurprising.

EIGHT KEY STATISTICS - ENTRY LEVEL & LIGHT JETS AT A GLANCE
Following is a list of Entry Level and Light Jets currently available from the manufacturers- or that will be available in the very near future. The figures are as up to date as possible but readers are advised to use them as a guide only. Always contact the manufacturer to confirm performance and specifications.

BOMBARDIER AEROSPACE:
Learjet 40XR
Crew 2
Typical passenger 6
Interior cabin height 1.50 meters (4 feet 11 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.56 meters (5 feet 1 inch)
Interior cabin length 5.39 meters (17 feet 7 inches)
Maximum range 3-687km (1-991nm)
Max cruise speed 861km (465 ktas)
Price $10.6m

Learjet 45XR
Crew 2
Typical passenger 8
Interior cabin height 1.50 meters (4 feet 11 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.56 meters (5 feet 1 inch)
Interior cabin length 6.02 meters (19 feet 8 inches)
Maximum range 3-650km (1-971nm)
Max cruise speed 860km (465 ktas)
Price $12.78m

CESSNA AIRCRAFT:
Citation CJ1+
Crew 1 or 2 (certified for single pilot)
Typical passenger 1 to 7
Interior cabin height 1.45 meters (4 feet 9 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.47 meters (4 feet 10 inches)
Interior cabin length 3.35 meters (11 feet)
Maximum range 2-408km (1-300nm)
Max cruise speed 720km (389 ktas)
Price $5.06m

Citation CJ2+
Crew 1 or 2 (certified for single pilot)
Typical passenger 1 to 8
Interior cabin height 1.45 meters (4 feet 9 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.47 meters (4 feet 10 inches)
Interior cabin length 4.14 meters (13 feet 7 inches)
Maximum range 2-987km (1-613nm)
Max cruise speed 774km (418 ktas)
Price $6.89m

Citation CJ3
Crew 1 or 2 (certified for single pilot)
Typical passenger 1 to 8
Interior cabin height 1.45 meters (4 feet 9 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.47 meters (4 feet 10 inches)
Interior cabin length 4.78 meters (15 feet 8 inches)
Maximum range 3-475km (1-875nm)
Max cruise speed 771km (416 ktas)
Price $8.15m

Citation CJ4
Crew 1 or 2 (certified for single pilot)
Typical passenger 1 to 8
Interior cabin height 1.45 meters (4 feet 9 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.47 meters (4 feet 10 inches)
Interior cabin length 5.29 meters (17 feet 4 inches)
Maximum range 3-704km (2-002nm)
Max cruise speed 839km (453 ktas)
Price $9.04m

Citation Mustang
Crew 1 or 2 (certified for single pilot)
Typical passenger 1 to 5
Interior cabin height 1.37 meters (4 feet 6 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.40 meters (4 feet 7 inches)
Interior cabin length 2.97 meters (9 feet 9 inches)
Maximum range 2-130km (1-150nm)
Max cruise speed 630km (340 ktas)
Price $3.07m

Citation XLS+
Crew 2
Typical passenger 9
Interior cabin height 1.73 meters (5 feet 8 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.68 meters (5 feet 6 inches)
Interior cabin length 5.64 meters (18 feet 6 inches)
Maximum range 3-441km (1-858nm)
Max cruise speed 817km (441 ktas)
Price $12.45m

CIRRUS AIRCRAFT:
SF50 Vision (In Development)
Crew 1 or 2 (certified for single pilot)
Typical passenger 1 to 4
Interior cabin height not known
Interior cabin width not known
Interior cabin length not known
Maximum range estimated 1-852km (1-000nm)
Max cruise speed 555km (300 ktas)
Price $1.72m

DIAMOND AIRCRAFT:
D-JET (In Development)
Crew 2
Typical passenger 2 to 3
Interior cabin height 1.44 meters (4 feet 8 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.42 meters (4 feet 8 inches)
Interior cabin length not known
Maximum range 2-502km (1-350nm)
Max cruise speed 583km (315 ktas)
Price $1.85m

ECLIPSE AEROSPACE INC:
Eclipse 500
Crew 1 (certified for single pilot)
Typical passenger up to 4
Interior cabin height 1.27 meters (4 feet 2 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.42 meters (4 feet 8 inches)
Interior cabin length 3.76 meters (12 feet 4 inches)
Maximum range 2-084km (1-125nm)
Max cruise speed 685km (370 ktas)
Price $2.15m

EMBRAER AIRCRAFT:
Phenom 100
Crew 1 (certified for single pilot)
Typical passenger 1 to 7
Interior cabin height 1.50 meters (4 feet 11 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.55 meters (4 feet 11 inches)
Interior cabin length 3.35 meters (11 feet)
Maximum range 2-182km (1-178nm)
Max cruise speed 722km (390 ktas)
Price $3.9m

Phenom 300
Crew 1 (certified for single pilot)
Typical passenger 1 to 7
Interior cabin height 1.50 meters (4 feet 11 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.55 meters (5 feet 1 inch)
Interior cabin length 5.23 meters (17 feet 2 inches)
Maximum range 3-650km (1-971nm)
Max cruise speed 839km (453 ktas)
Price $8.5m

HAWKER BEECHCRAFT:
Hawker 200
Crew 1 to 2 (certified for single pilot)
Typical passenger 6 to 7
Interior cabin height 1.65 meters (5 feet 5 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.68 meters (5 feet 6 inches)
Interior cabin length 4.17 meters (13 feet 6 inches)
Maximum range 2-834km (1-625nm)
Max cruise speed 876km (473 ktas)
Price $7.495m

Hawker 400XP
Crew 2
Typical passenger 7 to 9
Interior cabin height 1.45 meters (4 feet 9 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.50 meters (4 feet 11 inches)
Interior cabin length 4.72 meters (15 feet 6 inches)
Maximum range 2-744km (1-482nm)
Max cruise speed 861km (465 ktas)
Price $7.775m

HONDA AIRCRAFT:
HondaJet (In Development)
Crew 2
Typical passenger 5
Interior cabin height 1.51 meters (4 feet 11 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.52 meters (5 feet)
Interior cabin length 5.43 meters (17 feet 10 inches)
Maximum range 2-037km (1-180nm)
Max cruise speed 778km (420 ktas)
Price $4.5m

PIPER AIRCRAFT:
PiperJet Altair (In Development)
Crew 1 (aircraft will be single pilot certified)
Typical passenger 4-5
Interior cabin height 1.40 meters (4 feet 7 inches)
Interior cabin width 1.40 meters (4 feet 7 inches)
Interior cabin length 5.36 meters (17 feet 7 inches)
Maximum range 2-408km (1-300nm)
Max cruise speed 667km (360ktas)
Price $2.5m


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