In this month’s Aircraft Comparative Analysis- we provide information on the Cessna Citation Bravo. We’ll consider some of the productivity parameters including payload- range- speed and cabin size- along with current market value. The field of study also includes the Hawker 400XP.Back to Articles
In this month’s Aircraft Comparative Analysis- we provide information on the Cessna Citation Bravo. We’ll consider some of the productivity parameters including payload- range- speed and cabin size- along with current market value. The field of study also includes the Hawker 400XP.
The Citation brand encompasses six distinct families of aircraft. The Bravo came from the Citation II family and the first flight of the Citation Bravo took place on April 25- 1995. The last Citation Bravo rolled off the production line over a decade later in 2006. During that time- a total 336 Citation Bravo aircraft were built from 1997 to 2006.
The 100th Bravo was delivered in December 1999 at a time when the Wichita production line was producing an aircraft every three days- and of the 6-700+ business jets built by Cessna- the Citation Bravo currently ranks ninth on the OEM’s list of individual models built (by units) behind the Citation II- Mustang and CJ3 among others.
As the successor to the Citation II- the Bravo features more powerful and more fuel-efficient PW530A engines- resulting in a higher MGTOW- a faster cruise speed and longer range. An advanced avionics suite includes a Honeywell Primus 1000 flight guidance system and AlliedSignal CNI-5000 Silver Crown panel-mounted radios. This aircraft can be RVSM certified when Service Bulletin SB-550-34-70 is complied with. The Bravo can climb to a maximum flight level of 45-000 feet.
Payload & Range
The data contained in Table A is sourced from Conklin & de Decker with elements also published in the B&CA May 2013 issue. A potential operator should focus on payload capability as a key factor. As shown- the Citation Bravo’s ‘Available payload with Maximum Fuel’ (801 pounds) offers more payload capability than the Hawker 400XP- at 603 lbs. Also- depicted- according to Aircraft Cost Calculator the Citation Bravo burns 152 gallons per hour (GPH) which is 47 GPH - or 24% - less fuel than the Hawker 400XP (199 GPH).
According to Conklin & de Decker- the cabin volume of the Citation Bravo at 278 cubic feet is nine percent smaller than that of the Hawker 400XP aircraft (305 cu ft.). As depicted in Chart A- the cabins have a major difference in that the Hawker 400XP is designed with a flat floor. The cabin cross-section illustrations are provided by Upcast Jetbook- the bizjet comparison app for the iPad.
Each of the Citation Bravo’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW530A engines offer a thrust rating of 2-887 pounds. The Hawker 400XP- meanwhile- is also powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada powerplants – this time a pair of JT15D-5R engines- each with a thrust rating of 2-965 pounds.
Cost Per Mile Comparison
Using data published in the May 2013 B&CA Planning and Purchasing Handbook and the August 2013 B&CA Operations Planning Guide we will compare our aircraft. The nationwide average Jet-A fuel cost in the August 2013 edition was $6.08 per gallon at press time- so for the sake of comparison we’ll chart the numbers as published.
Note: Fuel price used from this source does not represent an average price for the year.
Chart B details ‘Cost per Mile’- and compares the Citation Bravo to the Hawker 400XP factoring direct costs- and with each aircraft flying a 1-000 nm mission with 800 pounds (four passengers) payload. The Citation Bravo cost at $3.68 per nautical mile is higher than the Hawker 400XP at $3.43 by 25 cents per mile (or 7.3%).
Total Variable Cost Comparison
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 Citation Bravo at $1-256 is 13% lower per hour compared to the Hawker 400XP ($1-448).
The points in Chart D center on the Bravo and Hawker 400XP aircraft. Pricing used in the vertical axis is as published in 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 jets are considered the “r” squared factor would equal a number above 0.9. Others may choose different parameters- but serious business jet 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 Citation Bravo- as shown in productivity index Chart D- is productive compared to the Hawker 400XP. In spite of its higher cost per mile- the Bravo has a lower variable hourly cost- lower fuel usage and greater payload capability which many operators value. This comes at a higher retail cost- however- and with a smaller cabin volume.
Table B represents the average pre-owned retail price from Vref for each aircraft - a 2006 model Citation Bravo costs $3m- whereas a 2006 model Hawker 400XP retails for $1.8m (as represented in the Productivity Chart). The last two columns of information show the number of aircraft in-operation- and the percentage ‘For Sale’- as per JETNET. It is interesting to note that with 333 aircraft in-operation today- 13.2% of the Citation Bravo fleet is currently for sale (traditionally a buyer’s market). The Hawker 400XP is in a traditional ‘seller’s market’ position with just 8.7% of the fleet for sale.
Asking Prices VS Make Offer
Chart E- sourced from the Multidimensional Economic Evaluators (MEE) Inc.- (www.meevaluators.com)- shows a scatter chart of Asking Price vs Airframe Total Time (TTAF) vs Days on the Market for the Citation Bravo. The current pre-owned market for the Bravo has 44 aircraft ‘For Sale’. However- 25 out of the 44 are ‘Make Offer’ with 19 showing actual asking prices. Charts E(a) and E(b) are two charts representing average asking prices compared to the TTAF (Chart E(a)) and average asking prices compared to the average days on the market (Chart E(b)).
Within our analysis of Chart E(a)- the red trend line and four red dots represent 15-year old Bravos. Two red dots are right on the line- two are higher. Points 1 and 2 (as indicated) are $500k and $400k higher than the trend line and may be overpriced. The red trend line in Chart E(b) and four red dots again represent 15-year old Bravos. Here- three aircraft are above the trend line and one is below. Point 1 is the same airplane in both charts- and will continue to remain on the market (almost two years now) until the price is reduced and a buyer is attracted.
Depreciation Schedule For Business Aircraft
Aircraft that are used in a trade- business- or for the production of income that are primarily operated domestically- and not used in common or contract carriage may be depreciated over a five-year Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) schedule.
Aircraft used in common or contract carriage (e.g.- Part 135) are depreciable under seven-year MACRS- see Table C. Table D shows an example of using the MACRS schedule for a 2006 Cessna Citation Bravo in private (Part 91) and charter (Part 135) operations over five- and seven-year periods assuming a Vref retail value of $3.0 million.
Location by Continent
Broken down by continent- North America is home to the majority of the fleet of Citation Bravos (203 units- or 65%)- followed by Europe (50 jets- 16%). Currently- ten Citation Bravos are in shared ownership- and 11 are in a fractional-ownership arrangement. These are not included in the fleet breakdown.
Chart F shows the circle ranges from Kansas- USA for both the Bravo and Hawker 400XP. The Bravo shows greater range coverage than the Hawker 400XP (data from Aircraft Cost Calculator).
Note: For Jets & Turboprops ‘Seats Full Range’ represents the maximum IFR range of the aircraft at Long-Range Cruise with all passenger seats occupied. ACC assumes NBAA IFR fuel reserve calculation for a 200 nautical mile alternate. The lines depicted do not account for winds aloft or any other weather related obstacles.
Within the preceding paragraphs we have touched upon several of the key attributes that business jet operators value. However- there are often other qualities such as service and support that factor in a buying decision- but which are beyond the scope of this article.
The Citation Bravo business jet has its advantages - so those operators in the market should find the preceding comparison of value. The aircraft is very popular and operated by private individuals- companies- fractional and charter operators and aircraft management companies. Our expectations are that the Citation Bravo will continue to do very well in the pre-owned market for the foreseeable future.
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