The Embraer Phenom 100 is a Very Light Jet (VLJ) that has been produced since 2007. The VLJ is defined as a jet that carries less than 8 passengers, weighs less than 10,000lbs, and is certified for single-pilot operation – essentially an entry-level jet. The VLJ category began to gain interest in the mid-2000s from air taxi services and private owners as a way to make short range business aviation more affordable. Several manufacturers have designs under development and several more have failed over the past ten years leaving Cessna, Eclipse, and Embraer as the only three to reach customer delivery thus far. .
Development began on the Phenom 100 in 2005, culminating in a flying prototype making its first flight on July 26, 2007. On December 24, 2008 the first aircraft was delivered to a customer. With a price of $3.6 million it quickly became a more affordable mode of business travel than traditional larger business jets. The Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines allow this jet to fly as high as 41,000 feet at 390 knots while only burning 668 pounds of fuel per hour. Inside, the Phenom 100 can accommodate 4-6 passengers in relative comfort. The outside of the Phenom 100 has a fairly common T-tail design with the engines mounted on the tail and four windows on the fuselage. Starting in 2014 Embraer made several improvements including new cabin finishes, upgraded instrument panels, and new spoilers that carry a new model designation called the 100E.
About one year after the debut of the Phenom 100, Embraer delivered the first aircraft of a larger variant called the Phenom 300. Externally, it is very similar to the Phenom 100 although it is billed as a clean-sheet design. The only noticeable differences are the addition of winglets and six windows on the fuselage with an 8-9 occupant capacity (pilot plus 8 passengers). This allowed Embraer to appeal to customers who prefer a larger aircraft while still staying within the confines of the VLJ category. More powerful engines give the Phenom 300 a faster speed, higher altitude (45,000 feet) and longer range – and also a higher pricetag at $8.95 million. The combined sales of both variants has led the Embraer Phenom line to become the highest selling VLJ, just slightly ahead of Cessna, and is considered best in class.
|Embraer Phenom 100 / 300 Specifications|
|First Flight||July 26, 2007 / April 29, 2008|
|Number Built||330 / 269 (2015)|
|Length||42ft 1in / 52ft 2in|
|Wingspan||40ft 4in / 53ft 2in|
|Height||14ft 3in / 16ft 5in|
|Maximum Takeoff Weight||10,472lbs / 17,968lbs|
|Powerplant||2x Pratt & Whitney PW617F-E (1,695lbs thrust) – Phenom 100
2x Pratt & Whitney PW535E (3,200lbs thrust) – Phenom 300
|Maximum Cruising Speed||390kts / 450kts|
|Maximum Range||1,178nm / 1,971nm|
|Passenger Capacity||4-6 / 6-8|