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The Embraer Legacy 500 and Cessna Citation Latitude are two highly capable midsize private jets.

Both aircraft have similar range capabilities, similar performance, and when new they cost virtually the same.

Despite these similarities let’s take a look at where these aircraft differ and where each aircraft excels.

Additionally, let’s analyze the cost to purchase a pre-owned aircraft and find out which one will end up costing more.

Embraer Legacy 500 Exterior
Cessna Citation Latitude Exterior

Performance

Both jets are powered by different engines, the Legacy 500 is powered by Honeywell’s HTF7500E engine, while the Citation Latitude relies on Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW306D1 engine.

In terms of thrust output, the Legacy 500 gets ahead with a total thrust output of 14,072 pounds (6,383 kilograms), which is higher than the Citation Latitude’s total output of 11,814 pounds (5,359 kilograms).

Performance-wise, the Legacy 500 exhibits a higher cruise speed, offering a high-speed cruise of 466 knots (864 kilometers per hour) and a long-range cruise of 439 knots (813 kilometers per hour).

In contrast, the Citation Latitude manages a high-speed cruise of 446 knots (826 kilometers per hour) and a long-range cruise of 372 knots (689 kilometers per hour).

The advantage of a higher cruise speed lies in time efficiency; a jet that can fly faster can significantly reduce travel time, allowing passengers to reach their destinations quicker.

When it comes to the Legacy 500 and Citation Latitude, a difference in maximum cruise speed of 20 knots is of relative significance. Moreover, a difference of 67 knots in the long-range cruise speed will be noticeable in the real world.

Both aircraft can reach a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet (13,716 meters), enabling them to fly above most weather disturbances for smoother flights.

They also share the same initial cruise altitude of 43,000 feet (13,106 meters).

However, the Legacy 500 has a slightly higher rate of climb, ascending at 3,866 feet per minute (1,179 meters per minute) compared to the Citation Latitude’s 3,800 feet per minute (1,158 meters per minute).

This allows an aircraft to get to a smoother, more efficient aircraft quickly. However, this difference will likely go unnoticed in real world applications.

Fuel efficiency is another important factor to consider when comparing these two aircraft. The Legacy 500 consumes 243 gallons (920 liters) of fuel per hour, while the Citation Latitude is more fuel-efficient, burning only 210 gallons (795 liters) per hour.

The benefit of lower hourly fuel burn translates into significant savings over time, especially for frequent flyers.

Assuming that Jet A fuel costs $6 per gallon, and both aircraft fly 300 hours a year, choosing the Citation Latitude would result in substantial annual savings.

Specifically, the Legacy 500 would consume 72,900 gallons (276,131 liters) of fuel annually, costing $437,400. On the other hand, the Citation Latitude would only consume 63,000 gallons (238,481 liters) of fuel, costing $378,000. This represents an annual saving of $59,400 by opting for the Citation Latitude due to its lower fuel burn figure.

Range

The Embraer Legacy 500 and the Cessna Citation Latitude, both prominent private jets in the aviation industry, have distinct range capabilities.

The Legacy 500 boasts an impressive range of 3,125 nautical miles (5,787 kilometers), outpacing the Citation Latitude, which offers a range of 2,700 nautical miles (4,998 kilometers).

These range figures represent the maximum distance each aircraft can fly under optimal conditions and are precise.

However, it’s important to note that these range figures represent the best-case scenario. A variety of factors can influence an aircraft’s actual range.

For instance, weather conditions such as wind speed and direction can either extend or reduce the range. Similarly, the weight of the aircraft, including passengers, luggage, and fuel, can significantly impact the range. The altitude at which the aircraft is flown also influences its range, with higher altitudes generally offering better fuel efficiency.

As you can see from the map below, both aircraft can comfortably start in New York City and fly to almost everywhere in North America (excluding Alaska), without needing to stop for fuel.

However, the Legacy 500 can, theoretically, make it non-stop from New York to London. However, once you add passengers, baggage, and account for wind conditions, it is unlikely that the Legacy 500 will comfortably make this distance.

Maximum range of the Embraer Legacy 500 and Cessna Citation Latitude starting from New York City

Ground Performance

Ground performance is a crucial aspect to consider when comparing the Embraer Legacy 500 and the Cessna Citation Latitude.

In terms of take-off distance, the Legacy 500 requires at least 4,084 feet (1,245 meters) of runway. Whereas the Citation Latitude takes off in a shorter distance of 3,580 feet (1,091 meters).

Similarly, for landing, the Legacy 500 requires a distance of 2,122 feet (647 meters) compared to the Citation Latitude’s requirement of 2,480 feet (756 meters). These figures are precise and represent optimal conditions.

A shorter take-off distance is advantageous as it allows the aircraft to operate from smaller airports with shorter runways.

This opens up a wider range of possible destinations, especially in remote or congested areas where larger airports may not be available or convenient. Likewise, a shorter landing distance increases safety margins and provides more flexibility in choosing landing sites.

However, these distances are best-case scenarios and actual ground performance can be influenced by several factors. Aircraft weight is one such factor; a heavier aircraft will need a longer runway to take off and land. Weather conditions, particularly wind speed and direction, can also affect take-off and landing distances.

For example, a headwind will shorten the required runway length, while a tailwind will lengthen it. Additionally, the condition of the runway itself can have an impact. A wet or icy runway will increase the distance needed for take-off and landing due to reduced traction.

Interior Dimensions

The Legacy 500 boasts a cabin length of 27.30 feet (8.32 meters), providing more space compared to the Citation Latitude’s cabin length of 21.75 feet (6.63 meters).

A longer cabin typically allows for more seating arrangements, enhancing comfort and flexibility during travel. It also provides additional space for amenities such as a galley or lavatory, contributing to a more luxurious travel experience.

In terms of cabin width, the Legacy 500 offers a slightly wider space at 6.82 feet (2.08 meters) compared to the Citation Latitude’s 6.43 feet (1.96 meters).

A wider cabin can significantly enhance passenger comfort by providing additional personal space and allowing for wider seats or aisles. This can be particularly beneficial on longer flights, where the added space can help reduce feelings of confinement and contribute to a more enjoyable journey.

Interestingly, both aircraft share an identical cabin height of 6 feet (1.83 meters).

A taller cabin allows passengers to move around more comfortably, especially for taller individuals who will appreciate the extra headroom. It also contributes to a sense of spaciousness, which can make the flight experience more pleasant.

When it comes to passenger capacity, the Legacy 500 can accommodate up to 12 passengers in its maximum configuration, while typically carrying nine.

On the other hand, the Citation Latitude can carry up to nine passengers at its maximum, with eight being the typical number. The higher passenger capacity of the Legacy 500 offers greater flexibility for larger groups or families, while the Citation Latitude is perfectly suited for smaller groups seeking a more intimate travel experience.

Both aircraft feature a flat floor design, a valuable attribute in private aviation. A flat floor provides several benefits, including easier movement within the cabin and increased comfort when standing or walking. It also allows for more flexible seating arrangements and contributes to the overall sense of space and luxury.

Interior

The Embraer Legacy 500 and the Cessna Citation Latitude offer distinct cabin altitude features, contributing to passenger comfort during flight.

The Legacy 500 has a maximum cabin altitude of 5,800 feet (1,768 meters), slightly lower than the Citation Latitude’s maximum of 5,950 feet (1,814 meters).

A lower maximum cabin altitude is beneficial as it reduces the effects of altitude on the human body, such as fatigue, headaches, and shortness of breath. This ensures a more comfortable and enjoyable flight experience, particularly on long-haul journeys.

Moreover, the altitude at which each aircraft can maintain a sea-level cabin is another important measure of passenger comfort. The Legacy 500 can maintain a sea-level cabin until an impressive altitude of 27,050 feet (8,245 meters), whereas the Citation Latitude can do so up until 25,400 feet (7,742 meters).

Maintaining a sea-level cabin up to a higher altitude further minimizes the physiological impacts of flying, allowing passengers to feel more relaxed and comfortable during their journey.

Embraer Legacy 500

The interior of the Embraer Legacy 500 exemplifies high standards of craftsmanship. Despite its inception a decade ago, the design remains contemporary and appealing.

The Legacy 500 distinguishes itself from competitors by integrating unique elements while ensuring sustainable product evolution. Embraer characterizes the Legacy 500 as an epitome of unparalleled luxury.

A testament to Embraer’s meticulous attention to detail and superior craftsmanship, the Legacy 500 features a spacious cabin, six feet in height, with a completely flat floor for easy mobility within the cabin. The furniture-like design of the fully reclining seats delivers exceptional comfort to passengers. Ingeniously, all seats are positioned adjacent to windows, offering every passenger magnificent panoramic views of the world beneath.

The galley, typically located at the front of the cabin, presents an elegant introduction to the aircraft in the Legacy 500. At the time of its design, it was the largest in the midsize segment, making this aircraft an ideal choice for unrivaled in-flight dining.

The Legacy 500 cabin also offers ample space and functionality, attributed to stowable tables that open flush to the side ledge. Coupled with the functional galley, the cabin becomes a versatile space where passengers can work, dine, and relax with ease.

Embraer Legacy 500

Embraer Legacy 500 Interior
Embraer legacy 500 interior with divan, cream leather seats looking forward to the cockpit

Cessna Citation Latitude

Cessna Citation Latitude Interior
Cessna Citation Latitude Interior

Cessna Citation Latitude

The Cessna Citation Latitude is replete with amenities designed for passenger comfort and luxury. The aircraft’s design begins with an electrically-operated door, offering ease of entry and exit due to its ample size.

On entering the cabin, you are greeted by two seats that can be optionally substituted with a larger refreshment center. While this may slightly decrease the aircraft’s seating capacity, it allows passengers to have access to an extensive array of hot and cold meals, thus elevating the in-flight dining experience.

The seating arrangement in the Latitude presents a generous 30 inches (76.2 cm) of legroom with fully berthable seats. These seats are fully adjustable and offer a customizable club configuration. The cabin’s flat floor design facilitates easy movement within the aircraft. Additionally, ten large windows are strategically positioned throughout the cabin, allowing for abundant natural light and captivating views of the terrain below.

The Latitude also prioritizes connectivity during flights. A top-tier cabin management system enables passengers to control various cabin features from their seats. This wireless system, which comes standard, provides access to digital media, moving maps, and satellite radio, keeping passengers entertained and informed throughout their journey.

Towards the rear of the cabin, there’s a sizable lavatory that can be customized according to preference. Cessna claims this lavatory to be 60 percent larger than those found in comparable aircraft, describing it as “exceptionally spacious.”

The aircraft concludes with a baggage compartment situated behind the lavatory. This compartment can accommodate up to 1,000 lbs of luggage and features integrated steps for effortless loading. However, it’s worth noting that, unlike some other aircraft in its class, the luggage compartment cannot be accessed during flight.

Charter Price

In the realm of private aviation, the Embraer Legacy 500 and the Cessna Citation Latitude are two highly sought-after aircraft. However, when comparing the hourly charter costs between these two, a difference is observed.

The Embraer Legacy 500 comes in at $4,550 per hour, while the Cessna Citation Latitude is slightly less expensive at $4,000 per hour.

This difference in charter cost can be attributed to a variety of factors.

Firstly, the specific features and amenities offered by each aircraft play a significant role. For instance, an aircraft equipped with high-end amenities or advanced technological features may command a higher price.

Secondly, the size and capacity of the aircraft can also influence the cost. Larger aircraft that can accommodate more passengers will typically have higher charter costs due to increased fuel consumption and operating expenses.

Lastly, the age and maintenance history of the aircraft can impact the charter price. Newer aircraft or those with impeccable maintenance records may command higher prices due to their perceived reliability and performance.

Purchase Price

When comparing the acquisition costs of the Embraer Legacy 500 and the Cessna Citation Latitude, both new and pre-owned models must be considered.

The new list price for the Embraer Legacy 500 is $18,400,000, while the Cessna Citation Latitude is listed slightly lower at $18,000,000.

Turning our attention to pre-owned models, the current value of a 2015 model Embraer Legacy 500 stands at $14,400,000, whereas a 2015 model Cessna Citation Latitude is valued at $12,400,000.

Looking ahead to predictions of future values, the Legacy 500 is expected to depreciate to $12.1 million, while the Citation Latitude’s future value is projected at $10.3 million.

When considering the annual depreciation rates, the Legacy 500 depreciates at a rate of 5.49% per annum, while the Citation Latitude depreciates slightly faster at 5.72% annually.

Therefore, over the ownership period, the Cessna Citation Latitude will lose more money in terms of actual dollar amounts due to its higher depreciation rate.

The depreciation rate of a private jet is influenced by several factors.

Firstly, the original cost of the aircraft plays a significant role; higher-priced aircraft often depreciate at a faster rate.

Secondly, the age and condition of the aircraft can significantly impact its depreciation. An older aircraft or one that hasn’t been well maintained will likely depreciate faster.

Lastly, market demand for a specific model can influence its depreciation rate. Models with high demand tend to retain their value better than those with lower demand.

Summary

So, which aircraft is best for you?

One of the key benefits of the Legacy 500 is the higher speed of the Latitude. However, this benefit is somewhat reduced by the higher hourly fuel burn of the aircraft.

Then again, the Legacy 500 does allow for inflight baggage access which is a plus. Moreover, the Legacy 500 has a longer and wider cabin, allowing for greater comfort levels.

The Legacy 500 also costs more to purchase, however, will hold its value better. But, given the higher hourly fuel burn, the Legacy 500 does cost more to operate per hour which over the course of a year will result in greater operating costs.

Therefore, the best option will likely be decided by the cruise speed and cabin environment. If you are happy with a slightly slower aircraft then the Latitude is a great, efficient choice.

If you want a faster and larger aircraft, the Legacy 500 is the one to choose.

Benedict

Benedict is a dedicated writer, specializing in in-depth discussions of private aviation ownership and its associated topics.

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