The Cessna Citation Mustang and Embraer Phenom 100 are two fierce and direct competitors.
Chances are that if you are seeking a Very Light Jet (VLJ) for short missions around the US or Europe, you will be considering these two aircraft.
The Phenom 100 was the first in the family of Phenom 100 aircraft (with the new variants being the Phenom 100E and 100EV).
In comparison, the Mustang had just one variant being built between 2006 and 2017.
Therefore, let’s compare these two aircraft to find out where they differ, where they are similar, and which one makes the most sense for you.
First, in this comparison let’s take a look at the difference in performance of these two aircraft.
The Citation Mustang is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F engines, each producing a thrust output of 1,460 lbs (662 kg), giving it a total thrust output of 2,920 lbs (1,324 kg).
On the other hand, the Embraer Phenom 100 is equipped with two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW617F-E engines, each delivering a thrust output of 1,695 lbs (769 kg). This results in a total thrust output of 3,390 lbs (1,538 kg).
This power translates to a high-speed cruise of 340 knots (629 km/h) and a long-range cruise of 319 knots (591 km/h) for the Mustang.
These figures are considerably lower than that of the Phenom 100 which is capable of a high-speed cruise of 389 knots (720 km/h) and a long-range cruise of 333 knots (617 km/h).
If both aircraft are cruising at their maximum cruise speeds then over the distance of 1,000 nautical miles the Phenom 100 will save you over 20 minutes. Over multiple missions this time will really start to add up.
Both aircraft have a maximum cruise altitude of 41,000 feet (12,497 meters), with both aircraft achieving right from the initial cruise.
The Phenom 100 has a slightly higher rate of climb than the Mustang, at 3,061 feet (933 meters) per minute versus 3,010 feet (917 meters) per minute of the Mustang.
When it comes to fuel efficiency, the Citation Mustang burns 95 gallons (360 liters) per hour. Despite its higher performance metrics, the Phenom 100 burns less fuel than the Mustang, at 90 gallons (341 liters) per hour.
Estimating a flat price of Jet A fuel at $6 per gallon, and assuming both aircraft are flown for 300 hours a year, the Phenom 100 would save a marginal amount of money. With the Mustang burning 95 gallons per hour, the annual fuel cost would be $171,000. In contrast, the Phenom 100, burning 90 gallons per hour, would have an annual fuel cost of $162,000.
This means choosing the Phenom 100 would result in an annual saving of $9,000.
The range of a private jet is a crucial factor to consider when comparing different models.
The Cessna Citation Mustang boasts an impressive range of 1,343 nautical miles (2,486 kilometers), while the Embraer Phenom 100 has a shorter range of 1,178 nautical miles (2,182 kilometers).
Crucially, it is important to note that these range figures are under optimum conditions and can be affected by several factors.
Firstly, wind conditions play a significant role in the range of an aircraft.
Tailwinds can extend an aircraft’s range by pushing it forward, while headwinds can reduce the range by forcing the aircraft to use more fuel to maintain its speed.
Secondly, the weight of the aircraft at takeoff, including passengers, cargo, and fuel, can also affect the range. A heavier aircraft will burn more fuel, reducing its range.
Lastly, the temperature and altitude at the departure airport can influence the aircraft’s performance. Higher temperatures and altitudes can decrease engine efficiency, leading to a reduced range.
See the map below to visualize the maximum range of each aircraft starting from New York City.
The ground performance of a private jet, specifically its take-off distance, is another critical metric for comparison.
The Cessna Citation Mustang has a mimumum take-off distance of 3,110 feet (948 meters).
This is considerably shorter than the 3,400 feet (1,036 meters) minimum distance required by the Phenom.
Moreover, the Phenom 100 requires more runway to land with a minimum landing distance of 3,000 feet (914 meters) versus 2,380 feet (725 meters) for the Mustang.
A shorter take-off distance, like that of the Citation Mustang, allows an aircraft to operate from smaller airports with shorter runways, providing more flexibility in terms of departure and arrival locations.
However, it’s important to note that these figures represent the best-case scenario.
Several factors can influence the ground performance of an aircraft.
Firstly, the weight of the aircraft at take-off or landing, including passengers, cargo, and remaining fuel, can significantly affect the required runway length. A heavier aircraft will need a longer runway to take off or land safely.
Secondly, environmental conditions such as wind speed and direction, temperature, and atmospheric pressure can also alter ground performance. For instance, headwinds can shorten the take-off and landing distances, while tailwinds can extend them.
Lastly, the condition of the runway, including its length, width, surface material, and gradient, can impact an aircraft’s ground performance.
The interior dimensions of a private jet directly impacts passenger comfort, making it an essential aspect to consider.
The Cessna Citation Mustang has an interior length of 9.81 feet (2.99 meters), a width of 4.59 feet (1.40 meters), and a height of 4.49 feet (1.37 meters).
On the other hand, the Embraer Phenom 100 offers a slightly larger cabin with an interior length of 10.99 feet (3.35 meters), a width of 4.99 feet (1.52 meters), and a height of 4.00 feet (1.22 meters).
These dimensions translate into the Phenom 100 being able to, technically, carry more passengers than the Mustang.
It can carry up to six passengers in its maximum configuration but typically accommodates four. In comparison, the Mustang can accommodate up to five passengers in its maximum configuration, typically carrying four.
A longer cabin, such as that of the Phenom 100, allows for additional seating or more legroom, enhancing passenger comfort during flights. It also provides more space for amenities like workstations or refreshment areas, adding to the overall travel experience.
A wider cabin, again as seen in the Phenom 100, can offer more shoulder room and personal space, reducing the feeling of being cramped and allowing passengers to move comfortably within the cabin. It can also accommodate wider seats, which can significantly improve passenger comfort on longer flights.
The interior atmosphere of a private jet, particularly the cabin altitude, plays a vital role in passenger comfort.
Both the Cessna Citation Mustang and the Embraer Phenom 100 maintain a maximum cabin altitude of 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) during flight.
This means that even when these aircraft are flying at their maximum altitude of 41,000 feet (12,497 meters), the pressure inside the cabin is equivalent to the atmospheric pressure found at 8,000 feet above sea level.
A lower cabin altitude provides several benefits. It reduces the physiological stress on the body associated with high-altitude travel, such as fatigue, nausea, and headaches. It also helps to maintain more comfortable humidity levels, reducing the dryness commonly experienced in aircraft cabins.
Another noteworthy feature of both the Citation Mustang and the Phenom 100 is their ability to maintain a sea-level cabin up to an altitude of 21,280 feet (6,487 meters).
This means that up to this altitude, the pressure inside the cabin is the same as it would be at sea level, providing an even more comfortable environment for passengers.
One crucial difference to consider between these two aircraft is the toilet facilities. Namely, the Cessna Citation Mustang only has what is known as an “emergency” toilet.
This is a chemical toilet that is shielded by a curtain. However, given the mission profiles of these types of aircraft the majority of people will not be in the air long enough to require the toilet frequently.
Cessna Citation Mustang
Although the interior cabin is relatively small compared to larger options on the market, it uses its available space efficiently and stylishly.
Ergonomic seating is comparable to many larger models including fully-reclinable leather seats with AC power supply, storage space consoles, retractable work tables, and comfortable armrests.
Additionally, the Mustang has an impressive amount of storage space for a jet of its category boasting 57 cubic feet (or 620 lbs) of external baggage volume.
If you are looking for the ideal entry-level jet for one to three passengers, the Mustang is an incredibly cost-effective, comfortable, and efficient choice for short-range trips.
While the Mustang isn’t capable of going coast to coast, it’s a breath of fresh air for those who know where they need to go and want to get there quickly. It excels at state-to-state travel and luxury vacationing with recessed walls to accommodate ski transport.
Cessna Citation Mustang
Embraer Phenom 100
Embraer Phenom 100
The design of the cabin is comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.
It features large leather seats that include armrests, power outlets, and multiple controls at your fingertips, and nice-looking wood finishing that is consistent throughout.
The Phenom’s interior can be configured using seven pre-defined factory options.
When it comes to chartering a private jet, the cost is obviously a significant factor to consider.
Interestingly, both the Cessna Citation Mustang and the Embraer Phenom 100 come in at the same price point, with a charter cost of $2,500 per hour.
This makes them equally attractive options from a financial perspective.
However, it’s important to note that the hourly charter cost can be influenced by a variety of factors in real-world applications.
Firstly, the distance and duration of the flight play a significant role. Longer flights require more fuel and may also necessitate additional crew members or overnight accommodation for the crew, all of which can increase the total cost.
Secondly, the size and type of the aircraft can also impact the cost. Larger jets that offer more amenities and comfort typically come with a higher price tag. Similarly, newer aircraft or those with advanced technology may command higher rates.
Lastly, the departure and arrival locations can influence the cost. Airports charge landing fees, which vary from one airport to another. Additionally, if the departure location is different from the aircraft’s home base, repositioning costs may be added to the total cost.
The acquisition cost is a paramount consideration when purchasing a private jet, whether brand new or pre-owned.
The Cessna Citation Mustang had a new list price of $3,350,000 while the Embraer Phenom 100 came with a new list price of $2,850,000.
If you’re looking at pre-owned models from 2010, for example, the Mustang is currently valued at $2,300,000 whereas the Phenom 100 is valued slightly higher at $3,000,000.
However, it’s equally important to consider depreciation, as this can significantly impact the total cost of ownership over time.
The Mustang depreciates at an annual rate of 5.2%, while the Phenom 100 has a much lower annual depreciation rate of 1.62%.
Looking forward to the next three years, the Mustang’s value is expected to drop to $1,959,534, representing a loss of $340,466 from its current value.
On the other hand, the Phenom 100’s future value is estimated to be $2,856,549, implying a much smaller loss of $143,451 compared to its current value.
This means that, in terms of absolute dollar amounts, the Mustang is expected to lose more money over the ownership period compared to the Phenom 100.
Depreciation rates for private jets are influenced by several factors.
Firstly, the age of the aircraft plays a significant role, with older jets typically depreciating faster than newer ones.
Secondly, the condition of the aircraft, including its maintenance history and usage, can impact its depreciation rate.
Lastly, market conditions, such as supply and demand dynamics for a particular model or type of aircraft, can also affect depreciation rates.
The Cessna Citation Mustang and Embraer Phenom 100 are two fierce competitors.
The Mustang stands out with its superior range and better ground performance, having shorter take-off and landing distances. It also has a slightly taller cabin, which can offer more headroom for passengers.
However, it tends to depreciate faster and is expected to lose more value over the next three years compared to the Phenom 100.
On the other hand, the Phenom 100 offers a larger cabin in terms of length and width, providing more space and comfort for passengers.
The Phenom 100n also holds its value far better than the Mustang. Moreover, it comes equipped with a toilet. A feature that the Mustang lacks.
Despite this, there is a reason that GlobeAir has chosen to exclusively fly Mustangs.