The Embraer Phenom 300 is one of the four business jets leading the Brazilian company’s executive portfolio. With a standard seating capacity of 6 passengers and a maximum of 10, the Phenom 300 has become a bestseller in the light jet segment. This aircraft offers performance and comfort typically associated with larger aircraft but with a much friendlier price tag.
The Phenom Evolution
While the Phenom 300 is a clear derivative of the Phenom 100, design work on the jet began before the latter had flown. Embraer launched the Phenom 100 to a receptive audience at the 2005 NBAA Convention. While prospective customers loved the modern approach and affordable price tag, the need for something a little bigger was clear.
It took less than a year for the Phenom 300 to make a public debut, but its first delivery came in 2009. Over a decade after its introduction, the Phenom 300 remains the leader of the light jet segment in sales. The aircraft also holds the record for top speed and range among single-pilot business jets.
Bottom Line Up Front
The Embraer Phenom 300 is the answer to pleas from Phenom 100 clients for something bigger and better. This business jet carries up to 10 passengers and is rated for single-pilot operations. Due to its good balance of speed, range, and low maintenance costs, the Phenom 300 has established itself as the gold standard for modern light business jets.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Specs
Fact Sheet (Phenom 300E):
- Top Speed: Mach 0.80
- Range: 2010 nmi
- Length: 51 ft 4 in
- Height: 16 ft 9 in
- Wingspan: 52 ft 2 in
- Fuel Capacity: 5353 lbs
- Maximum Takeoff Weight: 17968 lbs
- Engines: PW535E1
- Thrust: 3478 lbf per engine
- Avionics: Embraer Prodigy Touch
The overall arrangement of the jet closely resembles that of the Phenom 100. The Phenom 300 is 51 ft 4 in long and has a wingspan of 52 ft 2 in. The wings are swept and feature winglets, unlike the Phenom 100. The horizontal stabilizer sits in a high T-tail configuration.
A pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535E turbofan engines power the Phenom 300, mounted on fuselage pylons by the rear. The initial engine models produced 3360 lbf of thrust each. The 2020 version of the Phenom 300E introduced uprated PW535E1 engines rated for 3478 lbf.
The fuel tanks on the Phenom 300 carry up to 5353 lbs, with a single-point refueling system to make ground operations quicker. The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 17968 lbs and an empty weight of 11793 lbs. The landing weight is 17042 lbs.
The cabin interior is 4.9 ft tall, 5.1 ft wide, and 17.2 ft long. The aisle is not flat, but the step between it and the seats is not pronounced. The back of the aircraft features a lavatory and a small area for refreshments and snacks. There are 84 cubic feet of luggage storage available.
The Embraer Phenom 300 is rated for single-pilot operations and seats up to 10 passengers. The most common cabin arrangement features six seats plus one or two pilots on the flight deck.
The cockpit originally packed the Embraer Prodigy Flight Deck based on the Garmin 1000 avionics suite. Later, the Phenom 300E variant introduced the Prodigy Touch, a Garmin 3000 modification. The Prodigy Touch is unavailable to baseline Phenom 300 owners, but Garmin offers the G1000 NXi package with similar capabilities. Embraer picked its signature M-shaped yoke handle.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Prices
In 2013, the original Phenom 300 sold for $8.76 million, while the first iteration of the Phenom 300E variant cost $9.45 million. A new Embraer Phenom 300E now costs $9.65 million. The improved PW535E1 engines make up the bulk of the price increases.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Performance and Handling
The original Phenom 300 has a top speed of Mach 0.78 and a service ceiling of 45000 ft. The standard climb profile for the Phenom 300 goes to 5000 ft at 200 knots indicated and a rate of climb of 4000 ft/min. Up to 24000 ft, the aircraft holds 260 KIAS before transitioning to Mach 0.75. At the cruise speed of Mach 0.77, the Phenom 300 has a range of 1970 nautical miles when carrying five passengers. This figure does not include reserves.
The latest version of the Phenom 300 holds the title of the fastest and longest-range single-pilot business jet. Thanks to the more powerful PW535E1 engines, the top speed increased from 446 to 464 knots, with a marginally better range. At standard cruise settings, the aircraft burns through 1000 lbs per hour. This figure can go as low as 763 lbs/h at the expense of speed.
Pilots consider the Phenom 300 handling nearly identical to that of the Phenom 100. The general consensus is that their type ratings have no business being separate in the United States.
A member of the Phenom Pilots group argues that the cockpit procedures and performance between the two Phenoms are much closer than the Cessna Citation CJ and the CJ4, which have a common type rating. The Brazilian and European Union aviation agencies agree with this assessment and regulate the Phenom 100 and 300 under one type rating.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Maintenance Schedule
The structural life of the Phenom 300 is set at 35000 hours or 28000 cycles, whichever is met first. The standard maintenance schedule for the Phenom 300 contains one yearly inspection plus a visit to the shop every 800 hours. The calendar maintenance package lists periodic 24-month and 36-month inspections as well. Embraer uses MSG-3 methodology to keep the maintenance schedules on par with operational realities, which means these figures may eventually change.
It makes sense to align the flight hour, periodic, and component checks into one whenever possible, and the maintenance manual lists the allowable tolerances to help with that. The calendar inspections have a tolerance of 1 month, while flight hour checks can be moved around with a 30-hour delta.
The landing gear on the Phenom 300 needs to be inspected and overhauled every 10 years. In 2020, the price for this check ran at approximately $145000, plus repair costs. Marcus Adolfsson and Guilherme Schmidt at the Phenom Pilots group list the base estimate to be around $50000 for an aircraft kept in good condition and outside of corrosive environments. The turnaround time goes from 7 to 8 weeks, depending on parts availability.
The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535E engine fitted to the Phenom 300 has a time between overhaul (TBO) set at 5000 hours, with a tolerance of 100 hours. There is also a scheduled light inspection every 12 months, typically synced with the airframe yearly check.
Hot section inspections (HSI) for the Phenom 300 come every 2500 flight hours, with a tolerance of 50 hours. This is a substantial extension from the Phenom 100, where the engine HSI interval is 1750 flight hours.
HSI costs are included for aircraft covered under the Pratt & Whitney Canada Eagle Service Plan (ESP). Owners must still cover the travel costs of the PWC maintenance team unless they visit an owned facility. Without this plan, the inspections run well over $100000 per engine.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Modifications and Upgrades
Executive aviation thrives on blending comfort with performance, and most upgrades to the Phenom 300 reflect this. The most popular modifications for passenger comfort are communications packages.
Colorado provider Gogo offers two families of the AVANCE inflight internet kits for the Phenom 300. The AVANCE L3 comes in the Core, Plus, and Max versions. This series provides speeds in line with 3G connections. The main difference between packages is the number of devices connected simultaneously. The AVANCE L3 Core has unlimited data for $99 per hour, while the Plus and Max plans charge a monthly fee of $4095.
Users seeking faster connections usually pick the AVANCE L5 setting. Gogo data shows the L5 performs at 50 to 80% faster than the L3 under the same conditions. The monthly costs for unlimited data on the L5 are only marginally higher than the slower options, at $4345 versus $4095. The AVANCE L5 can be upgraded to work with 5G networks when available.
Marcus Adolfsson from Phenom Pilots compared acquisition and installation quotes for the L3 and L5 systems. The AVANCE L3 series runs from $99000 to $127000 on average, while the AVANCE L5 costs around $180000.
Garmin G1000 NXi Avionics
The original Phenom 300 shipped with the Embraer Prodigy, a version of the Garmin G1000 avionics suite. Garmin began fielding the G1000 NXi upgrade in 2021. At a glance, the physical side remains identical between the G1000 and the NXi. The new version adds a host of mission and quality-of-life features that make the upgrade worth it.
Among the new features is runway monitoring technology to warn pilots of any imminent dangers in time to abort a takeoff or landing, new visual approach guidance cues, and split-screen mode in the MFD. The Phenom 300 version of the upgrade also comes with an optional GWX 75 weather radar that integrates seamlessly into the avionics.
The field upgrade kit for the G1000 NXi cost $59995 in 2020, with an additional $22995 for the weather radar option. These values do not include installation costs.
Phenom 300E (2018)
Embraer introduced a revision of the Phenom 300 in March 2018. The Phenom 300E is a collaborative effort between Embraer and Phenom 300 operators to bring the jet to its full potential. Most changes in the 300E model are inside the aircraft.
The flight deck replaced the Prodigy with the Prodigy Touch, based on the Garmin G3000 avionics suite. As the name suggests, this introduced touchscreen controls as part of an interface overhaul that makes the systems much easier to work with. Another pilot favorite from this upgrade is the new ground power mode, which makes taxiing more comfortable.
Passengers also received plenty of love in the new Phenom 300E. Embraer worked with Lufthansa Technik to redesign the seats, tables, and windows to make the experience more luxurious. The seats can now pivot away from the walls, allowing passengers to enjoy the cabin room. As a result of a cabin redesign, the aisle is now 3 inches wider.
Phenom 300E (2020)
In January 2020, Embraer announced further improvements to the Phenom 300E model. The latest version in production features uprated Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535E1 engines with an additional 118 lbf of thrust per engine. The change increased top speeds from Mach 0.78 to 0.80 and a range of 2010 nmi with five occupants plus reserves.
The passenger cabin received a redesigned acoustic insulation set and other minor changes to reduce noise. Customers wanting an additional touch of luxury can purchase the new “Bossa Nova” cabin design option for $150000.
Optional software updates add a host of safety features to the Garmin 3000 set. These include warnings for predictive wind shear and runway overrun. Most of these are available to original Phenom 300 owners in the Garmin 1000 NXi upgrade package.
The global crisis of 2020 changed many perspectives on healthcare, and the deficiency in air transport for patients was highlighted. The Embraer ERJ-145ER fleet in the Brazilian Air Force played a crucial role in the air bridge linking patients from oversaturated areas to available hospital beds across the country.
Embraer took notes from the operation and designed the Phenom 300MED with Umlaut. This package is a supplemental type certificate (STC) conversion using Aerolite equipment. GrandView Aviation was the first company to purchase this modification.
The standard Phenom 300MED arrangement allows for two patients on stretchers and four seats for medical staff or relatives. The forward stretcher can give way to an incubator, while the rear stretcher can be replaced by an additional passenger.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Where to Find Replacement Parts
As of August 2022, Embraer owned six service centers and worked with 67 authorized ones across the globe. The company’s facilities are all in the United States, Brazil, France, and Portugal. I hope the growth of the fleet eventually allows Embraer to open its own service center in Asia, given the popularity of the owned facilities among owners. Operators in the eastern part of the world are not short on choice, with centers in Australia, India, China, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates working on the Phenom 300 and Phenom 100.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Common Problems
Most operators regard the Phenom 300 as a perfect jet to own. Like most modern aircraft, the business jet went through some teething issues during its introduction. The most common offenders were false crew alerting system messages and lighting issues, but software updates took care of them.
In its early days, the Phenom 300 gave pilots a workout in some fields due to certification issues with flap deployment. Testing revealed that the spoilers could float when flaps were fully deployed. The Phenom spent a short time using only three of the four positions, with a detent preventing the crew from commanding full flaps. This led to faster landing speeds and longer distances needed to stop. Pilots flying out of high-altitude fields were the most affected by it. The certification issues were solved quickly.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Insurance Options
Sunset Aviation Insurance quotes an annual premium of $29500 for a Phenom 300E crewed by two type-rated pilots. This includes $20500 to cover physical damages to the aircraft and $9000 for liability coverage.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Resale Value
Data from the Aircraft Bluebook shows the Embraer Phenom 300 ranges between $8.45 and 10.25 million. This data covers units built from 2016 to 2020, with the manufacturing year being the most influential factor in the asking price.
In 2020, 490 of the 498 Phenom 300 built remained in operation, with the vast majority owned by a single owner or company. It is possible to find models on sale on most continents, owing to the type’s popularity among executive customers.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Owner Reviews
In 2021, Embraer delivered the 600th Phenom 300. The aircraft’s place as the best-selling light jet in the market speaks volumes, but this is not just a case of sound engineering. Part of why operators love the Phenom 300 so much is because Embraer designed the plane by extensively consulting with clients to find out their requirements. This close relationship with customers continued throughout the aircraft’s life and was the primary driver for Phenom 300E design changes.
Pilots love the intuitive avionics suite, especially those who have had the fortune to work with the touchscreen versions. All Phenom 300 variants use the classic M-shaped Embraer yoke, despite the company slowly moving toward sidestick designs in many of their lines.
The cabin design of the Phenom 300 is a hit among customers. Most operators describe the baseline entertainment package as just short of greatness. While Embraer and Lufthansa did a phenomenal job setting up a smooth user interface, the lack of internet and phone service is a jarring omission in today’s interconnected world. Data by Embraer shows that almost all Phenom 300 units today have Gogo internet kits installed.
Embraer has bested its competitors in the support department and took the top spot in the AIN Product Support Survey of 2022. The 2022 survey was unique because it demonstrated how these companies coped with global supply chain disruptions that threatened the serviceability of their aircraft.
Operators rated the parts availability of the Legacy, Phenom, and Praetor families as considerably worse than the Gulfstream and Citation lines. The figures were on par with the Bombardier Challenger and Learjet families.
Executive Marsha Woelber stated the company is investing in inventory to exceed the growth rate of the aircraft fleet. The goal is to ensure parts are available for many years and have a safety cushion in case of cataclysmic events. Embraer now operates two 24-hour support lines that serve customers globally as part of the company’s push to improve support.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Similar Aircraft
The Embraer Phenom 300 has ruled the light business jet segment since its introduction, despite tough competition from the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the Pilatus PC-24. There are also stubborn veterans still vying for a spot in the market. The two standout names in this category are the Cessna Citation Encore and the Learjet 40.
Cessna Citation CJ4
The Citation CJ4 is the closest aircraft to the Phenom 300E in the market. The Cessna jet boasts almost identical parameters for speed, payload, and range. The Citation CJ4 also requires a single pilot to operate and is in the same price range.
In the second-hand market, the Citation CJ4 goes from $5.6 to 7 million, considerably less than almost all Phenom 300 listings. The Cessna offering has slightly higher fuel burn, so the costs even out over prolonged operation periods. The cockpit uses the sleek Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite.
While most business jets fit their category well, the PC-24 is an awkward duckling. Pilatus markets its creation as a “Super Versatile Jet,” marketing speak for attacking multiple segments.
The PC-24 has a larger cabin and can operate from dirt and grass fields out of the Phenom’s reach at the expense of speed. The Pilatus typically cruises at 440 knots, compared to 464 kts for the Phenom 300E. Their range is identical in practical terms.
Acquisition costs are similar, with the PC-24 costing $1 million more than the Phenom 300E. The Swiss jet is considerably more expensive to operate, which shows in its average charter price. The hourly rate for the PC-24 is estimated at $4150, compared to $3150 for the Phenom 300E.
Cessna Citation Encore
The Citation Encore is the ultimate version of the 1988 Model 560, marketed as the Citation V. While this jet matches the Embraer offer in terms of range, its top speed sits at a lackluster Mach 0.755. Despite its last variants entering service less than a decade before the Phenom 300, the age of the Model 560 family shows its age.
All Model 560 variants except the Citation Encore+ lack FADEC and pack a Honeywell Primus 1000 cockpit. This is one of the last lines from Honeywell to use bulky and expensive CRT displays. The aircraft also features an airline-style FMS. Overall, this is a very work-intensive cockpit despite bearing the single-pilot rating.
Bombardier Learjet 40
The Bombardier Learjet 40 is a shorter variant of the famous Learjet 45. It entered service in January 2004, but the Canadian company released an upgrade that same year. The Model 40 continues a long tradition in the Learjet family of excellent performance, with a top speed of Mach 0.81 and a service ceiling set at 51000 ft. Its range is marginally shorter than that of the Phenom 300, at 1857 nautical miles.
Like the Citation Encore, the Learjet 40 uses the Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics suite inherited from the Learjet 45. However, certification choices by Bombardier mandate a crew of two to fly it. Having a pair of pilots is a much more sensible approach to this cockpit, which Embraer also uses on the ERJ regional jet family, introduced in the late 1990s.
The Citation Encore and the Learjet 40 are more expensive to maintain than the Phenom 300 in the long run, but there are much lower entry costs. According to Aircraft Cost Calculator, the average price for the Citation Encore is around $2.5 million, and $1.9 million for the Learjet 40.
Embraer Phenom 300 / Clubs You Can Join
Executive aviation typically has little room for clubs and groups, but the Phenom is an exception.
Embraer Jet Operators Association
The Embraer Jet Operators Association is the biggest gathering of Phenom, Praetor, and Legacy jets worldwide. The group spawned from the Phenom Jet Association in 2016.
You can apply for EJOA membership if you own 25% or more of an Embraer business jet, have a type rating, or work with the aircraft or Embraer’s executive division. Membership fees start at $250 a year, and the association holds an annual conference in the United States.
Executive director Mark Stear says the association aims to pool knowledge on the Phenom, Legacy, and Praetor platforms. His goal is so those who own or work with them can ask questions, share valuable resources, or even just stories and images from their experience with the jets.
While the Embraer Jets Operators Association works as a general group, pilots love to have a corner to discuss cockpit matters. That is where the Phenom Pilots forums come in. This group offers a discussion board and resources for current and aspiring Phenom 300 and 100 pilots while providing information relevant to pilot owners, like maintenance centers and modification guides.
The most unique service on the Phenom Pilots group is the “Talk To An Owner” tab. Some members have volunteered to answer all sorts of questions about the Phenom family. The site contains a form to fill in your preferred contact information and detail your question or problem. Members able to help can then answer and help in any way they can.
Phenom Pilots have also introduced the myPhenom Flight Calculator app for the iPad. This complimentary tool helps pilots with balance and performance calculations and is an excellent aid for flight planning. A Phenom Pilots account is required to use myPhenom, but the basic membership and the app are free.
Question: How much does an Embraer Phenom 300 cost?
Answer: The listing price of a new Embraer Phenom 300 was $8.76 million in 2013, but this has risen to a minimum of $9.45 million since the Phenom 300E model. In the second-hand market, prices for the Phenom 300 hover between the two figures, with young aircraft sometimes exceeding the cost of a new jet if they are available immediately.
Question: Does the Embraer Phenom 300 require two pilots?
Answer: No. Like the smaller Phenom 100, the Embraer Phenom 300 is rated for single-pilot operations. The cockpit uses variants of the Garmin G1000 and G3000, often seen on single-pilot jets and turboprop aircraft.
Question: How far can the Embraer Phenom 300E fly?
Answer: The Embraer Phenom 300E has a range of 2010 nautical miles with five occupants, plus NBAA IFR reserves and additional fuel for a 100 nmi divert. Under similar conditions, the original Phenom 300 could reach 1970 nmi.
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