Citation Mustang vs Phenom 100E Jet Comparison

In this month’s Jet Comparison, Mike Chase explores the pros and cons of two popular pre-owned Entry-Level Jets. How do the range, payload, operating costs and cabins of the Cessna Citation Mustang and Embraer Phenom 100E compare side-by-side? Find out here...

Mike Chase  |  01st July 2024
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    Mike Chase
    Mike Chase

    Michael Chase owns Chase & Associates, an aviation consulting firm specialized in industry product...

    Cessna Citation Mustang


    Last produced in 2017, as of April 2024 the Cessna Citation Mustang was the top-selling business jet on the pre-owned market during the preceding 12 months with a total of 90 transactions, or an average of 7.5 transactions monthly.


    What makes the Citation Mustang so popular on the used aircraft sales market, and how does it compare against the Embraer Phenom 100E, which also ceased production in 2017 to be replaced with the Phenom 100EV?

    Following, we will explore some of the key productivity parameters, including payload, range, speed, and cabin size, and cover current market values.

    Cessna Citation Mustang

    The Cessna Citation Mustang is smaller and lighter than Cessna’s first-ever Citation 500 corporate jet built in 1971. First announced in 2002 amidst the wave of Very Light Jet concepts, Cessna’s Citation Mustang quickly became a front-runner and was one of the few to make it through development and certification, entering the market in 2006.

    Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW615F turbofans, the Citation Mustang incorporates Garmin’s G1000 flight deck, and is certified for single-pilot operations.

    Helping define the Entry-Level Jet category, over an 11-year production run, hundreds of units were built and shipped to owners and operators around the world. Of 472 Mustangs that remained in operation at the time of writing, 448 were wholly owned and 24 units were under shared ownership, per JETNET data. North America was home to the largest Mustang fleet percentage (59%), followed by Europe (20%), then South America (11%).

    Embraer Phenom 100 and 100E

    Embraer’s original Phenom 100 was approved by the Embraer board in 2005, reaching the market in 2008. It enjoyed a ten-year production run, during which - in 2013 - Embraer also introduced the Phenom 100E.

    Similarly certified for single-pilot operations, the updated Phenom 100E included the introduction of multifunction spoilers, Embraer’s Prodigy Flight Deck (based on Garmin’s G1000 avionics) and PW617F-E engines and spoiler panels. The Phenom 100E remained in production for another five years before Embraer introduced the 100EV with further upgrades, and more recently the 100EX.

    Combining the Embraer Phenom 100 and Phenom 100E data, as of this writing a total fleet of 336 jets remained in operation around the world, including 311 wholly-owned jets, 23 in shared ownership, and two operating in Fractional Ownership fleets. Fifteen units had been retired.

    North America had the largest fleet percentage (54%), followed by South America (28%) and Europe (13%), accounting for 95% of the worldwide fleet.

    Citation Mustang vs Phenom 100E Payload Comparison

    As we have mentioned in past articles, a potential operator should focus on payload capability as a key factor when comparing similar aircraft. Table A depicts the Cessna Citation Mustang ‘Available payload with Maximum Fuel’ is 550lbs, which is a little less than that offered by the Embraer Phenom 100E (602lbs).

    Table A - Cessna Citation Mustang vs Embraer Phenom 100E Payload Comparison

    Citation Mustang vs Phenom 100E Cabin Comparison

    Chart A offers a cabin cross-section comparison between the two jets. Cessna’s Citation Mustang offers less width (4.6ft versus 5.1ft) and height (4.5 ft versus 4.9ft) than the Phenom 100E.

    Not depicted in the cross-section, the cabin length also favors the Embraer Phenom 100E (11ft versus 9.8ft), and the overall cabin volume is greater for the Phenom 100E (212cu.ft versus 163cu.ft).

    The Phenom 100E also provides slightly more baggage volume than the Citation Mustang (70cu.ft. versus 63cu.ft.), with most of the luggage space being located externally in the case of both aircraft.

    Chart A - Cessna Citation Mustang vs Embraer Phenom 100E Cabin Comparison

    Citation Mustang vs Phenom 100E Range Comparison

    As depicted by Chart B using Wichita, Kansas as the origin point, and with both jets carrying four passengers with available fuel, the Cessna Citation Mustang shows less range coverage (963nm) than the Embraer Phenom 100E (1,050nm).

    Chart B - Cessna Citation Mustang vs Embraer Phenom 100E Range Comparison

    Note: For jets, ‘four passengers with available fuel’ represents the maximum IFR range of the aircraft at long-range cruise with four passenger seats occupied. NBAA IFR fuel reserve calculation for a 200nm alternate is assumed. The lines depicted do not include winds aloft or any other weather-related obstacles.

    Citation Mustang vs Phenom 100E Powerplant Details

    The Citation Mustang is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW615F engines with 1,460lbst. The fuel burn is 87 gallons of fuel/hour (gph). By comparison, the Phenom 100E utilizes two Pratt & Whitney PW617F-E engines, each offering 1,695lbst and burning 106gph fuel.

    Citation Mustang vs Phenom 100E Cost Per Mile Comparison

    Chart C details ‘Cost per Mile’ and compares the Citation Mustang to the Phenom 100E, factoring direct costs and with each aircraft flying a 1,000nm mission with an 800lbs (four passengers) payload.

    Just three cents separates the two models, with the Mustang costing $3.39/nm compared to the Phenom 100E at $3.36/nm.

    Chart C - Cessna Citation Mustang vs Embraer Phenom 100E Cost Per Mile Comparison

    Citation Mustang vs Phenom 100E Variable Hourly Cost Comparison

    The ‘Total Variable Cost’ illustrated in Chart D is defined as the cost of fuel expense, maintenance labor expense, scheduled parts expense and miscellaneous trip expense. As depicted, the Total Variable Cost for the Citation Mustang is $766 per hour, which is less than the Phenom 100E ($885 per hour).

    Note that these costs DO NOT represent a direct source into every flight department and their trip support expenses. For comparative purposes, the costs presented are the relative differences, not the actual differences since these may vary from one flight department to another.

    Chart D - Cessna Citation Mustang vs Embraer Phenom 100E Variable Cost Comparison

    Market Comparison

    Table C contains the pre-owned prices from Aircraft Bluebook (Spring 2024 data) for each aircraft. The average speed and four passenger ranges are from B&CA, while the number of aircraft in-operation, fleet percentage ‘For Sale’ and average pre-owned aircraft sold monthly are as reported by JETNET.

    The Cessna Citation Mustang had 7.4% of its fleet ‘For Sale’ at the time of writing while 6.3% of the Embraer Phenom 100 and 100E fleet was available ‘For Sale’. Meanwhile, the average number of pre-owned transactions (sold) per month for the Citation Mustang stood at an industry-leading 7.5 aircraft per month, compared to 4.8 for the Embraer Phenom 100 and Phenom 100E.

    Table C - Cessna Citation Mustang vs Embraer Phenom 100E Market Comparison

    Jet Asking Prices & Quantity for Sale

    There were 36 Citation Mustang jets available for sale on the used aircraft market at the time of writing, 16 of which showed asking prices ranging between $559k and $2.495m. The majority invited buyers to make enquiries or offers. Six aircraft had sales pending.

    By comparison, 23 Embraer Phenom 100 and 100E were for sale and eight showed asking prices ranging from $1.975m to $3.995m. The majority of those available for sale invited offers and enquiries from interested buyers. Two had sales pending.

    While each serial number is unique, the Airframe Total Time (AFTT) and age/condition of an aircraft will cause great variation in the price of a specific aircraft – even between two aircraft from the same year of manufacture.

    The final negotiated price remains to be decided between the seller and buyer before the sale of an aircraft is completed.

    Depreciation Schedule

    Aircraft that are owned and operated by businesses are often depreciable for income tax purposes under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). Under MACRS, taxpayers can use accelerated depreciation of assets by taking a greater percentage of the deductions during the first few years of the applicable recovery period.

    In certain cases, aircraft may not qualify under the MACRS system and must be depreciated under the less favorable Alternative Depreciation System (ADS), based on a straight-line method meaning that equal deductions are taken during each year of the applicable recovery period. In most cases, recovery periods under ADS are longer than recovery periods available under MACRS.

    There are a variety of factors that taxpayers must consider in determining if an aircraft may be depreciated, and if so, the correct depreciation method and recovery period that should be utilized. For example, aircraft used in charter service (i.e. Part 135) are normally depreciated under MACRS over a seven-year recovery period, or under ADS using a twelve-year recovery period.

    Aircraft used for qualified business purposes, such as Part 91 business use flights, are generally depreciated under MACRS over a period of five years or by using ADS with a six-year recovery period.

    There are certain uses of the aircraft, such as non-business flights, that may have an impact on the allowable depreciation deduction available in any given year.

    The US enacted the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act into law on December 22, 2017. Under the new Act, taxpayers may be able to deduct up to 100% of the cost of a new or pre-owned aircraft purchased after September 27, 2017, and placed in service before January 1, 2023.

    This 100% expensing provision was a huge bonus for aircraft owners and operators. After December 31, 2022 the Act decreased the percentage available each year by 20% through December 31, 2026 when it will phase out. As of 2024, the percentage rate available has been reduced to 60%.

    Table C and D depicts an example of using the MACRS schedule for a 2017-model $3.05m Cessna Citation Mustang and $3.55m Embraer Phenom 100E, respectively, in private (Part 91) and charter (Part 135) operations over five and seven-year periods. The prices are per Aircraft Bluebook (Summer 2024 data).

    Tables C and D - Sample Jet MACRS Tax Depreciation Schedules

    Citation Mustang vs Phenom 100E Productivity Comparison

    The points in Chart E are centered on the same aircraft. Pricing used in the vertical axis is as published in the Aircraft Bluebook (Summer 2024 data) for 2017 model jets – the most recent year both aircraft were in production.

    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. Four passenger range with available fuel;

    2. The long-range cruise speed flown to achieve that range;

    3. The cabin volume available for passengers and amenities.

    Chart E - Cessna Citation Mustang vs Embraer Phenom 100E Productivity Comparison

    Others may choose different parameters, but serious business aircraft buyers are usually impressed with price, range, speed and cabin size.

    As we’ve seen, comparison of price, range, speed and cabin size favors the Embraer Phenom 100E – and as a result the Phenom 100E shows a higher productivity rating on Chart E (above). However, we can’t overlook the popularity of the Citation Mustang on the pre-owned market at this time...

    With a lower purchase price and lower hourly variable operating cost, it could be argued that the Citation Mustang remains a very affordable Entry-Level Jet option in a market segment where buyers potentially will be more price sensitive, though it could also be attributable to the large fleet size available.

    Buyers need to weigh the operational gains they receive with the Embraer Phenom 100E against the additional purchase/operating cost. It is important to keep one’s mission requirements at the forefront of any decision to buy.

    In Summary...

    Within the preceding paragraphs we have touched upon several of the attributes that business aircraft operators value. There are other qualities such as airport performance, terminal area performance, and time to climb that might factor in a buying decision.

    The Citation Mustang appears to be as popular today as when it ended production after 12 years of manufacture.

    Those who are in the market for pre-owned Entry-Level Jets should find the preceding comparison useful. Our expectations are that the Citation Mustang and Phenom 100E will both continue to do well in the pre-owned markets for the foreseeable future.

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    Mike Chase

    Mike Chase

    Editor, Aircraft Comparisons

    Michael Chase owns Chase & Associates, an aviation consulting firm specialized in industry product and market research in the Commercial & Business Aviation sectors.

    With over five decades of extensive experience, Michael has worked as a director of special projects for JETNET, LLC; served as Senior Management Consultant for Sabre Holding; and was Director of Market & Sales Research for Gulfstream Aerospace, leading sales and product research, including feasibility and viability studies.


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