Looking back at 2008, the VLJ or Very Light Jet market was still a young market segment made up of the Eclipse Jet and the Citation Mustang. However, that would soon change as other manufacturers either already announced, or would shortly announce aircraft to fill this market segment. While the VLJ market was originally considered that of small light jets with a MTOW (max takeoff weight) of 10,000lbs or less. The VLJ market soon consisted of new entries with MTOW slightly above the previous 10,000 pound mark.
One of these new entries to the VLJ market in 2008 was that of the single pilot certified Embraer Phenom 100, first announced at NBAA-BACE in fall of 2006. The new (at the time) Phenom 100 then manufactured in Brazil, would help to better define what a VLJ could offer when it entered the market. With a 4’11” tall, 11′ long cabin, the Phenom 100 provides seating to accommodate up to 7 passengers with a single pilot while providing an aft belted lav.
With the growing popularity of the Phenom 100, Embraer introduced the first enhancements to the airframe with the introduction of the Phenom 100E in 2014. With this introduction of the “E” variant came several upgrades to the cabin which includes upgrades to the interior options, a solid privacy door for the aft lav. While the aircraft received refinements inside, the Phenom 100E still utilized the Pratt & Whitney PW617-F power plant as found in the previous variant. One of the biggest problems for this popular aircraft was the lack of thrust reversers on the PW617-F engines. This resulted in early braking and decent issues that the 100E addressed with the introduction of multi-function spoilers and continued improvements to the aircraft braking system.
While the “E” variation provided further improvement to the aircraft, the Phenom 100E still struggled with the requirements and performance demands of high and hot airport environments. Embraer worked closely with Pratt and Whitney for a solution on what the next evolution of the Phenom 100E. In 2016 as Embraer moved it aircraft production to their new production facility in Melbourne Florida, so came the next variant of successful and popular Phenom 100 with the new Phenom 100EV.
With the introduction of the new Phenom 100EV came an improved power plant for the aircraft with the PW617F1-E producing a 15% increase in thrust than its predecessors. This improvement has provided a significant reduction in the 100EV’s takeoff distance and providing greater ability out of high and hot airfields. Speaking with Embraer on the Phenom 100EV, this performance increase allows for a MTOW takeoff out of Henderson NV on a 110 degree day, and greatly improves the performance out of Aspen Colorado. With an increased cruise speed of just over 400 knots operators will find an NBAA 4 passenger IFR range of 1,092 nautical miles.
Inside the aircraft operators will also find improved comfort with a redesign of the floor sill increasing the aisle width. Power outlets have also been relocated providing further convenience to passengers. In the cockpit pilots will find the biggest change, with the previous G1000 suite having been replaced with the Garmin Prodigy Touch G3000 suite. The new avionics package features three 14” touch screen displays and two Garmin Touch Controllers.
Around the globe the Phenom 100 variants are being put to work in missions ranging from charter and corporate flight department operations, pilot flight training, to owner-flown aircraft. With over 370 Phenom 100 variants already delivered since 2008, with a factory new purchase price of around $4.5 million, the Phenom 100EV continues to be a popular aircraft in the VLJ market segment.
Embraer 100EV Aircraft Specifications
|NBAA 4 Pax IFR Range
|Max Cruise Speed (ktas)
|Long Range Cruise (ktas)
|Max Payload (lbs)
|Takeoff Distance (SL, ISA, MTOW))
|Service Ceiling (ft)
|PW617F1-E x 2
|Thrust per engine (lbf)
|Est. Cost Per Hour
|Passengers + Crew
|Cabin Length (excluding baggage)
|5 ft 1 in
|4 ft 11 in
|42 ft 1 in
|40 ft 4 in
|10 cu ft
|60 cu ft