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In this month’s Aircraft Comparative Analysis- we provide information on two Pre-Owned business jets in the $27-33m price range for the purpose of valuing the New and Pre-owned Embraer Legacy 600. Can a smaller cabin size compete with the larger cabin volume of a Bombardier Challenger 850?

Mike Chase   |   1st August 2010
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Mike Chase Mike Chase

Mike Chase has thirty-five year's extensive global managerial experience in marketing,...
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Embraer Legacy 600
A look at the bizjets built on regional jet platforms.

In this month’s Aircraft Comparative Analysis- we provide information on two Pre-Owned business jets in the $27-33m price range for the purpose of valuing the New and Pre-owned Embraer Legacy 600. Can a smaller cabin size compete with the larger cabin volume of a Bombardier Challenger 850?

We’ll consider the productivity parameters - payload/range- speed and cabin size- and cover current and future market values as we work to find an answer to that question.

The Embraer Legacy 600 is a business jet derivative of the Embraer ERJ 145 family of commercial regional jet aircraft. The Legacy was first introduced in 2000 and the first flight was in 2001. JAA certification came in August 2002- and FAA certification followed soon after. The Legacy family is available in two versions: Legacy 600 Executive and Legacy Corporate Shuttle. There are currently 172 Legacy 600s and 11 Legacy Shuttles in operation around the globe.

The Legacy Shuttle- which is an ERJ 135 with a 19-seat passenger cabin configuration as standard (and a shorter range than the Legacy 600 Executive)- offers seating for 16 passengers in three partitioned sections- or seating for 19–37 in airline-style seats.

In the cockpit- the Legacy also includes a Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics suite- with a full glass cockpit. With sophisticated and personalized options for the configuration of the interior- the aircraft offers comfort- high performance and large cabin volume- with low purchase and maintenance costs. The Legacy is RVSM certified from the factory. Future additions to the Legacy aircraft family are the Legacy 450- 500 and the 650.

The data contained in Table A (left) is published in the B&CA- May 2010 issue- but is also sourced from Conklin & de Decker. As we mentioned in past articles- a potential operator should focus on payload capability. The Legacy 600’s ‘Available payload with Maximum Fuel’ at 1-506 pounds is four times greater than that offered by the Challenger 850 (358 pounds).

According to Conklin & de Decker- the cabin volume of the Legacy 600- at 1-650 cubic feet- is smaller by 17% compared to the Challenger 850 aircraft at 1-990 cubic feet- as shown in Chart A (left).

The Embraer Legacy 600 is powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce AE 3007A1E engines - each offering 7-987 pounds of thrust. By comparison- the Challenger 850 aircraft has two General Electric CF34-3B1 engines each offering 8-729 pounds of thrust.

Using data published in the May 2010 B&CA Planning and Purchasing Handbook and the August 2009 B&CA Operations Planning Guide we will compare our aircraft. Jet A fuel cost used from our source publications was $4.25 per gallon at press time for the August 2009 edition- 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 (left)- which details ‘Cost per Mile’- compares the Legacy 600 to its competition factoring direct costs and with all aircraft flying a 1-000nm mission with a 1-600 pound (eight passengers) payload. The Legacy 600 at $4.68 cost per mile is less expensive to operate per mile by 5.1% than the Challenger 850 at $4.93.

The ‘Total Variable Cost’- illustrated in Chart C (left)- is defined as the cost of Fuel Expense- Maintenance Labor Expense- Scheduled Parts Expense- and Miscellaneous trip expense. The total variable cost for the Legacy 600 at $1-925 is less expensive to operate compared to the Challenger 850 at $1-987 by 3.1%.

The points in Chart D (top right) center on the same two aircraft. Pricing used in the vertical axis is as published in the B&CA May 2010 Purchase Planning Handbook 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 Legacy 600- as shown in the productivity index Chart D- is competitive with the Challenger 850. It should be noted that the Challenger 850 is showing a greater productive index value compared to the Legacy 600 aircraft. In a direct comparison- the Legacy 600 has 17% less cabin volume- costs about 5.1% less to operate per mile and 3.1% less in variable cost- while offering a lower purchase price and ‘Available payload with Maximum Fuel’ at 1-506 pounds that is four times greater than the Challenger 850 at 358 pounds.

Perhaps the largest difference has been the market acceptance of these two aircraft in that both aircraft entered the market in 2006. However- the Legacy 600 has three times the number of aircraft in operation worldwide today at 172 versus the Challenger 850 at 54. Both aircraft create numerous sales opportunities in the pre-owned market for the savvy dealer/broker. Simply put- each aircraft has its own advantages to be weighed carefully with your mission requirement.

Table B (middle- right) contains the relative retail prices from B&CA magazine and from Vref for each aircraft. The number of aircraft in-operation and percentage ‘For Sale’ are sourced from JETNET.

The information displayed in Chart E (right) is compiled from JETNET’s STAR reporting system. The major based-at locations for the Legacy 600 are in Europe (38%)- North America (25%) and Asia (21%) where an aggregate 84% of the fleet resides.

As a sidebar- airport performance for our two comparative aircraft is illustrated in Table C (above). From these details- we can see that the Legacy 600 has the shortest take-off airport field length (TOFL)- Landing- and Balanced Field Length when compared to the Challenger 850.

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

We can safely conclude that the Legacy 600 aircraft fares well against its competition- so those operators in the market should find the preceding comparison of value. Our expectations are that the Legacy 600 aircraft will continue to do very well in the pre-owned market for the time being.

For more information: Michael Chase is president of Chase & Associates- and can be contacted at 1628 Snowmass Place- Lewisville- TX75077; Tel: 214-226-9882; Web:

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