• REVIEW - Embraer Phenom 300 by Carenado for FSX/P3Dv2


    WR269

    Review

    by Ray Marshall

     

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    This is an expanded review that covers the history of Embraer, the development of the Phenom 300, lots of detail about the Phenom 300 and competitive models, and details of the Carenado edition of the Phenom 300 including panel options, i.e. the optional Navigraph Expansion Pack and Flight1 GTN750.  Additionally, we have a section of outstanding screenshots in P3D, and we have lots of video links.  I urge you to click on the thumbnails often because many are simply stunning when viewed full screen.

     

    As a bonus, we have links for an incredible flight training tutorial video series featuring the Carenado Phenom 300 being delivered from the factory in Brazil to the USA by a real world pilot using FSX.

     

    How it all got started.

    Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer is a relative newcomer to the small business jet market.  Ten years before building the first private jet the company was best known for producing Brasilia EMB-120 prop driven commuter airplanes and the ever growing numbers of larger capacity regional jets.  The ERJ 135 and 145 jets were followed by the E-Jets 170 and 190 series with up to110 seats and powered by pure jet turbines.  All these airplanes were clean sheet designs, purpose built to fill a niche and fill them they did.

     

    The E-jets can be considered as support aircraft for the Airbus A319 or the most common of all, the Boeing 737NG.  The idea was to build, from scratch, a modern and efficient commuter airplane for a niche market of say 70 – 110 seats.  These were too small and boring for Boeing or Airbus, the big guys were more interested in how many seats they could design into an airplane, not how few. These Embraer commuter aircraft are now used as connectors for most major hubs all over the world.

     

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    The newest example is the recently introduced E-175 being flown in the USA by Continental United Express.

     

    When the Phenoms were being designed the only Embraer business airplane was the Legacy 600, a corporate version of the ERJ 135 and the predecessor to the Legacy 450 and 500.This is the one that Jackie Chan flies around promoting Embraer in China and around the world.

     

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    In May 2005, Embraer announced a totally new line of entry level executive jets, well a line of two at least – a few months later these plywood and cardboard mockups had some general sizing and were ready to go on a world tour. The small one was designed to compete head on and outclass the Cessna Mustang and Eclipse 500 – and the bigger one was designed to unseat the larger and faster Cessna CJ3.  Ten years later, the Phenom 100 and its larger brother, the Phenom 300 top all the entry level and light jet sales charts and own practically every available award or accolade.

     

    Envision, if you will, a group of military officers, running the largest and richest country in South America, with abundant natural resources, near perfect weather and no one in position to doubt or even question their motives, deciding they would like to have their own company to make their airplanes.  I’m sure they were thinking military airplanes, like most generals dream about, and not puddle jumping commuter planes or small business jets.  But, who knows what they were thinking.

     

    The leaders chose one of the most promising cities, Sao Jose dos Campos in the state of Sao Paulo, located on a major highway (to be built) to locate a major airport (to be built) with a huge industrial/commercial complex (to be built) and not that far from the engineering and academic center of Brazil (to be built).  You just need vision and no one to answer to get away with thinking like this.

     

    I am going to skip over the first 35 years of Embraer’s success and start sometime after the company was privatized and a democratic government was elected to run Brazil. 

     

    You can’t mispronounce Embraer, because it is not a word, it is simply a shortened version of Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica

     

    When I wrote the Avsim review of the FeelThere Embraer E-Jets v2 a few years ago, I used one of the free online services to practice saying Embraer.  My problem was the airline folks in the USA that operated these airplanes didn’t know how to pronounce it either so most just said, “Oh, you know, that Brazilian commuter airplane company”. 

     

    Of course you can always call up the ATC window in our Flight Simulator and ask the controller to repeat his last transmission  . . . “Embraer blah blah Romeo Mike you are cleared as filed.  Climb direct FL450”

     

    I also have another way.  Just listen to the Netjets video at the hoopla when Embraer Executive Jets delivered their first Signature Series Phenom 300 back in early May 2013.  Netjets and FlightOptions each placed billion, yes with a “B”, dollar orders for a couple of hundred Phenom 300s for their fractional share programs. 

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    The President of Embraer and the CEO of NetJetscan’t seem to agree on how to pronounce Embraer, so maybe it really doesn’t matter if we screw up the pronunciation a little.  The correct way may be somewhere close to Em-Bre-rer or Em-bra-ER.  But, I decided I liked the CEO of NetJets pronunciation better.  Phonetically, it isEm-bree-air.  Check out the short video here https://vimeo.com/65919760.

     

    So how do you suppose we came to have this gorgeous business jet, Embraer calls them executive jets, dropped in our lap?  When I look at the Phenom 300 from one angle, it looks like one of the many Cessna Citations, well maybe a combination of several Cessna Citations, but with swept wings and winglets, and without the bulge in the middle.  Then again, when I look at it from another angle it is a dead ringer for a Bombardier LearJet with larger windows and a somewhat shorter and fatter shaped fuselage.  A closer look and it doesn’t look quite like either a Citation or a Learjet.  Sitting on the ramp with the cabin door open it looks like a miniature Gulfstream at first glance.

     

     

    Ray’s Phenom Fable

    My grandfather had a way of explaining these type things. Using mostly bogus and made-up stuff, he spun an embellished story but with just enough facts to make it somewhat believable.  Let me try that approach for this one.

     

    The ‘recently retired generals’ or maybe their civilian replacements at Embraer, see how easy it is to say now, were sitting around one day dreaming about having their own personal jet to fly around the country.  Remember Brazil is a very large country, and they needed to check on their factories and airports they had built in the middle of nowhere.  Times were good, inflation was finally, more or less, in check, their commuter planes were selling like hotcakes all over the world, and the Chinese were dangling unknown gaZillions of dollars in their face to entice them to let them (the Chinese) build Embraer airplanes in China.

     

    So Sao says to Pao (it could have been Pedro and Fernando or Gustavo and Rafael). What if we started with a totally blank sheet of paper and designed our very own private jet airplane.  I personally like the Cessna Citations, so maybe we can make a better Cessna Mustang – one without that old school blunt nose, and enlarge the cabin so we can sit upright and have more leg room, and maybe fly higher, further, and a whole lot faster, but still takeoff and land on the smallest of runways. 

     

    Oh, and we will put a real potty in our version and use the latest fuel efficient engines and still be certified for single pilot.  We will need a new, super modern wing design and larger engines to climb higher and faster and maybe we can hire that BMW consulting company to fluff up the interior just in case we want to sell some of them.

     

    Then Pao comes back with, yeah, that’s OK and I am OK with that design, Sao, but, I was thinking more along the lines of the Cessna Citation CJ3 or maybe the LearJet 40.  I would start with another blank sheet of paper, and take all the best parts of your new design, and then I would make a bigger, faster, higher flying, even more efficient private jet and add one of those sexy swept wings like the Citation X, you know, the fastest airplane in the world.

     

    And if we liked it and we decided we should make more than one, we could sell them to that American billionaire, what’s his name - Hathaway or Buffett or something like that - then we could add some special touches that only the bigger, more expensive business jets have.  Like single point refueling, external potty servicing, a big oversized airliner type cabin entry, more shoulder room, more head room, more baggage storage, and stuff like that.

     

    Maybe we could use that same BMW design company to come up with something other than a big pipe for a fuselage, something shaped more like an egg or a football (an American football) or something.  This one will have a ‘knock your socks off’ quiet cabin design, and plush seating to go with a greatly simplified and easy to use flight deck design.  Maybe we can also fly this one with a single-pilot.

     

    So Sao agrees with Pao and they grab pen and paper and start sketching their new designs.  Along comes a couple of their airliner type designers, Caio and Paulo, with senior pilot, Bruno, tagging along and they ask – Hey Sao and Pao, what you got there?  So under a shade tree one afternoon, with a cooler full of Brahma beer, and some really good input from their airliner designers and the senior pilot, Caio, Paulo, and Bruno, the Phenoms and the Prodigy flight decks are born.  (They all liked the P words)

     

    As time goes by, the Cessna spies, they are everywhere, gets wind of what’s cooking south of the border, and they rush out and spiffy up their CJ3 and come up with one of those creative new names, one that only Cessna could dream up, and they called it the CJ4.  Meanwhile the Bombardier lawyers are still snooping around looking for a crack in the Embraer armor to use in their world court challenge of the government subsidized ERJs that are putting the hurt on their government subsidized CRJs.  Next thing you know the Lear 60 XR is introduced as the next best LearJet and the Lear 75 and 85 are all on the drawing boards.

     

    I found some early designs while digging through some old files and piles of sketches and calculations that I found over in the corner of the original design office.  I selected a sketch of what may have been Pao’s original idea for the Phenom 300.  Take a look and see what you think.

     

    One of Pao’s original sketches showing his ideas for a new sleek and fast private jet?

     

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    Ten years go by in a flash, but, the story continues…

    Was this a successful venture for a company with their very first small business jet design?  Let’s ask Robb at Robb’s Report what he thinks of the Phenoms?

    June, 2014 - Robb Report's Best of the Best Award

    We are delighted to inform you, the Phenom 300 has been the recipient of this prestigious award for four years in a row now: 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. 

     

    Quote – “Toto, I’ve a feeling the best jets are not made in Kansas anymore.” – Dorothy

     

    Well, before you know it, these Phenom 100 and Phenom 300s are selling like fractional shares all over the world and tumbleweeds are blowing down the streets in Wichita and Independence.

     

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    Newsflash!

     

    Brevard County Florida is looking to assist in relocating a company, preferably a high-tech type company, to take advantage of the unemployed workforce left behind when NASA turned out the lights at the Space Center.

     

    Offering huge tax advantages for several years and other benefits, including prime locations at a modern airport with multiple runways and ample industrial sites for future growth. Embraer Executive Jets answered their ad and was swooped off their feet by the Governor of Florida and a slew of aggressive developers.

     

    Next thing you know, Embraer has a presence in Melbourne, Florida at KMLB and cutting the ribbon on the new Phenom 100 Assembly plant, then ribbon cutting the new Embraer Engineering and Technology Center, then the adjacent huge two-story maintenance and delivery facility, and then a huge new and totally separate complex dedicated to building the new Legacy 450 and 500 super business jets.

     

    Then, moving up the road to the next Florida airport – Spaceport Regional, the old TICO airport where I learned to fly way back before men walked on the moon, Embraer will soon have a new support company making airplane seats.

     

    Before you know it, it is announced that all the Phenom 300 work, except for the wings being shipped up from Brazil, will be assembled, tested, flown and delivered in Melbourne, Florida.  All the Netjets’ Signature Series Phenom 300s are being delivered in Melbourne already.

     

     

    The Early Days - The Birth of Embraer – 1969

     

    Embraer was established in 1969 by the Brazilian military government and was managed by the military until 1994 when it was privatized.  The start of the millennium brought a furry of new clean sheet and purpose-built designs to the highly competitive airline regional jet commuter market.

     

    In the 1980s and 90s, the company was well known for producing several military trainers, some under license, others native models, and license built the Macchi 326 trainer jets. Its main foray into regional turboprops was its firs real success, the EMB110 Bandeirante (“Bandit”)…later a bigger, faster and better performance model was rolled out which catapulted Embraer into the world skies: the EMB 120 Brasilia. It seemed that all that the regional airlines in the USA used the EMB-120 Brasilia in some form or fashion for the short connector routes.  These were the very modern looking 30 seat turboprops that everyone seemed to think was the modern DC-3 replacement.

    A few years into the 1990s and most everything started going South at Embraer.  Due to mismanagement of resources and the general lack of vision at the top, this shining star of South America was facing bankruptcy.  Fortunately, two entrepreneurs stepped up and with a drive for privation, not only saved the Company but they have taken Embraer far higher than most dreamed possible.

    It seems that from 2000 – 2005 practically every aviation related headline was something to do with one of the new introductions from Embraer. ERJ and E-Jets were the rave and the cost estimators and bean counters loved them along with the passengers that could now choose a pure jet with higher cruise speeds and more seats rather than the smaller and slower turboprops.

     

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    The newer version 2 E-Jets are starting to enter service and they are really something to behold.  These v2 series airliners are as modern and up-to-date as anything being produced by Airbus or Boeing.  Check out this cockpit.

    The military aircraft production side of the business has two or three continuous hot sellers and new designs are the drawing boards to compete head on with the likes of Boeing and Lockheed.  The successful EMB110 and EMB120 regional transports are available as link or utility military transports, as well as sensor mounted Early Warning platformsThe newest military cargo looks like a scaled down version of the USAF C-17 with only two engines.  The EMB 312 Tucano and follow-on versions are one of the most popular trainers all over the world and the Super Tucano is the mainline fighter in many smaller countries.

     

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    In 2003 to 2005, when Jet Blue placed orders for the thoroughly modern Embraer 190 and U.S. Airways commissioned the Embraer 170 as launch customer for the USA, business was off and running.  A year or two later they were to be seen all over Europe.  This was the resounding response to the 70–110 seat market aircraft throughout the world. The following year new and updated models appeared and the E-Jet family had grown to 4 models with the arrival of the EMB-175 and 195.

    Times were good, Embraer was making all the right decisions at the right time and the market was responding.  Now may be a good time to think about getting into the Executive Jet market. Has anyone seen Pao and Sao?

    Embraer now has major facilities outside Brazil in the United States, China, Portugal, France, and Singapore. North America, Europe and China are naturally the primary target markets.  Here are photos showing the Phenom 300 and 3 of its larger siblings at EBACE 2014, and a couple of photos from the family album.

     

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    Embraer has a lot of jets, but the ones I am zeroing in on are just the Executive Jets

    The two Phenoms are at the very bottom of the totem pole and are positioned as the introductory and beginning  or light jets.  The step up to the Legacy models is a big step up indeed.  I hope we see one of the Legacy mid-sized jets in the flight sim one day.  My vote is for the Legacy 450, it appears to be a grown up Phenom 300 with more of everything.  Checkout the dual wheels all around and the side stick.  Except for the difference in size, from a distance one could easily mistake the Phenom 300 for a Legacy 450.  The Cessna Latitude that is currently in flight testing will be a direct competitor for the Legacy 450.

    The first Legacy 450 was delivered to a happy customer in Orlando, Florida, just a week or so ago. Within days, the first European customer took delivery of their Legacy 450in Luxembourg.  You can charter this one in Brussels.

     

    Legacy 450 – 3 views

     

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    A Comparison photo of the Phenom 300 and Legacy 450

    Although the Legacy 450 and the Phenom 300 are very similar in appearance at first glance, the Legacy 450 is substantially larger and therefore a heavier and robust aircraft.  I only show these comparisons so you will be ready just in case one of our vendors decides to bring the Legacy line to FSX/P3D in the near future.  Embraer Executive Jet expects the Legacy 450/500 to outsell the Phenom 100/300. Hmmm.

     

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    Florida – the most recent success story for Embraer.

    Brevard County, where the Banana and Indian Rivers converge making partial year round sand bars and the home of the Kennedy Space Center is now a hum of activity, again.  Most of the newer buildings and facilities have a name with the word Embraer somewhere near the beginning.

     

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    Why Florida?Easy.  The workforce was already there, remnants of the space program.  With the demise of the Space Shuttle and the few remaining military programs, a trained workforce was ready to go back to work.  Not too many years ago the PiperJet dream died along with the Piper Aircraft Company just a few miles to the South.  I bet there are still a few airplane builders still looking for work down near Vero Beach.

    With substantial tax incentives available, the great year around weather and plenty of customers willing to travel to the area with their family for holiday or vacation, why not?  They can drop in at the Melbourne airport (MLB), take a tour of one of the four, maybe five Embraer facilities by now, and pick out the colors and fabrics for their new Phenom.  The kids can visit the Space Center, MGM, Paramount, or Disney and swim with the dolphins, Mom can work on her suntan at the nearby beach and Dad can play a round of golf or two.

    The first Embraer presence at the Melbourne airport was the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 final assembly and delivery plant and global customer care center.  This employs about 400 workers and has experienced a steady growth in business.

    This first plant was started in December, 2008 as a final assembly and flight test facility for the Phenom 100.  The first Florida assembled and completed Phenom 100 made its first test flight exactly 3 years later in December, 2011.  In September 2012, the Phenom 300 assembly was added to the Florida operation. Two months later, the first Florida assembled Phenom 300 took flight and set 3 new world speed records on a flight from Melbourne to Southern California with a fuel stop in El Paso, Texas.

    The 2nd expansion was the $24 million dollar Embraer Engineering and Technology Center.  This 64,000 sf facility covers 13 acres and employees 200 people.  This was announced in March, 2012 and the doors opened for business in September, 2014.

     

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    The 3rd Florida facility was the recently announced Assembly Plant for the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 aircraft family.  This $76 million dollar expansion will mean 600 more new jobs in the area.  This new site will encompass 38 acres, with 700 new parking spaces and include a final assembly building, a two-story support building, fuselage junction building and a flight prep and configuration hangar.  A 35,000 sf paint building and a 26,000 sf twin bay delivery hangar adjacent to the existing design-delivery center will complete the project. Ground breaking was in October, 2014 with expected completion in 2016.  The first Florida built Legacy 450 is expected to roll off the line in December, 2016.

    The latest announcement of Embraer’s continued expansion is the purchase and relocation of a California luxury seat manufacturing company.  The company was renamed the Embraer Aero Seating Technologies and will be located in Titusville, Florida, about 40 miles North of the Melbourne facilities. Aero’s150 workers will design and manufacture seats for Embraer aircraft and possibly other aerospace companies.

     

    Embraer moves more Brazil work to Melbourne

    Dateline Melbourne, FL, May 18, 2015

    Embraer Executive Jets is expected to formally announce this week that it is transferring all Phenom 100 and 300 assembly operations to its facility at Melbourne International Airport over the next year.

    The news eventually will mean more aviation technician hires but the additional employment won't happen immediately. It will be a more drawn out hiring process over the next few years as the increased assembly business ramps up, Embraer representatives say.

     

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    "The ramp up of Melbourne's production will occur very gradually throughout 2015 and be completed in 2016," the company said in a statement to FLORIDA TODAY.

    Embraer opened its Melbourne facility in February 2011 to assemble the Phenom series of executive jets. Embraer has also been assembling the jets in GaviaoPeixoto, Brazil. Embraer's plant in Botucatu, Brazil, will continue to manufacture and export the wing and fuselage for the Phenom 100 and 300.

     

     

    The Executive Jets

    Although the Phenom 100 and the larger and faster Phenom 300 were both envisioned in early 2005, the balance of the year was spent fine tuning the early concepts.  Mock ups were assembled and taken on a global tour for review and input from potential customers in early 2006. 

    As the plans started coming together BMW Designworks USA was chosen for all interior work and would be handling all the interior design details.

    Garmin was selected to provide the 3-panel Prodigy Flight Deck. Pratt and Whitney was chosen to supply the engines and a joint venture with CAE SimuFlight was established to provide training services in Dallas, Texas.

    The Embraer Executive Customer Care program was started before the first mock-up was completed.

    In mid-2007 the decision was made to extend the cabin of the Phenom 300 for greater passenger comfort and increased floor plan flexibility.  The fuselage gained an additional 14 inches resulting in an additional 15cu ft of interior space.

     

     

    Those really BigPhenom 300 orders.

    In December 2007, U. S. based FlightOptions, a large executive jet fractional ownership company places an order for 100 Phenom 300 aircraft with an option for an additional 50.  Full value of this order is $1.2 billion.

    In October 2010, Embraer earns its second $1.0 billion order when NetJets places a firm order for 50 specially equipped Phenom 300 airplanes with an option for an additional 75. These are customized with comfort and technology requirements for the NetJets fractional owners and are now known as the Signature Series.

    TheNetJets Signature Series Phenom 300s are the first to have the recently certified Prodigy Touch Flight Deck included.  This new ‘Touch’  Flight Deck is now an optional upgrade for factory-new Phenom 300s.

     

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    Although some of the NetJets Signature Series aircraft will be built in Brazil, all will be delivered at the Melbourne, FL facility. NetJets took delivery of its first “Signature Series’ Phenom 300 in Melbourne on May 1, 2013.  The 25th specially equipped Phenom 300 was delivered to NetJets on July 25, 2014 and the 40th NetJets Phenom 300 was delivered April 6, 2015.

     

    This is what you can read at the EmbraerExecutiveJets.com website:

    The Phenom 300 is a Light Jet (LJ) category aircraft. It is one of the fastest planes in its class, besides providing excellent performance on short runways.

    Its interior, designed in collaboration with BMW Group DesignworksUSA, brought solutions of unparalleled style and ergonomics, offering pilots and passengers unequalled comfort in their categories. It was built to withstand up to 1,500 hours of average annual use, five times more than the average in the industry, which means less need for maintenance and more reliability and availability. (This was a result of the input from Ciao, Paulo, and Bruno)

     

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    In view of these favorable features, in May 2008, the Phenom 100, together with the Phenom 300 and Lineage 1000 airplanes from Embraer, won the IDEA/Brazil design award, the national version of the IDEA/USA award—one of the most prestigious design awards in the world. The deliberation was based on questions of sustainability and design excellence, including aesthetics and harmony of form, as well as innovation and benefits to users, customers, society and the environment.

    In late May 2006, a model of the Phenom 300 performed tests in the wind tunnel. As with the Phenom 100 model, the results were above the forecast. The Phenom 300’s rollout was on April 12, 2008, and the maiden flight was on April 29, 2008.

    Let’s zero in on the Executive Jet Division of Embraer.

    Most everyone has heard about the Phenom 100 and many know about the big brother Phenom 300.  It seems to be a fairly common concept that the Phenom 300 is simply a slightly larger Phenom 100.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The Phenom 100 rollout was on June 16, 2007, and the maiden flight was made on July 26, 2007. The first customer, an American couple, received the aircraft in December 2008.

     

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    Beginning as a true clean-sheet design, it appears the designers took dead aim at the Cessna Citation Mustang that was the star at the time but did not have the best of specs but was Cessna biggest seller.  The Mustang was designed as a ‘first Jet’ or upgrade for the turboprop owners and operators.  Many of the Cessna Mustang sales were attributed to the demise of the Eclipse 500 when those on that waiting list jumped over to the Cessna waiting list.

    Naturally, the Embraer Phenom 100 designers corrected and exploited any weaknesses of the Mustang while amplifying the advantage of a totally new design.  Any changes or additions would simply be on paper and not in the metal shop or affect the production line as would be the case or any changes or updates by Cessna.

    Ask any Citation Mustang owner/operator what they would like to have in the next edition of the Mustang and you would mostly likely hear – More Speed, better climbing power, more payload capability and more head and leg room, but, keep the short field takeoff and landing features.

    It is not surprising that the list of features of the new clean sheet Phenom 100 sported all of the above with only a slightly higher price tag.  All this in addition to the advanced design, more efficient wing, modern shapely nose, more baggage space and that big new door to give it instant ramp appeal.

     

     

    External Links for additional reading.

    Should you want to know more about the Embraer aircraft that we have available for flight simulation, you can follow these links.  Otherwise, just skip them and continue reading the review.

    http://www.avsim.com/pages/1210/feelThere/Ejets.html  Award winning E-Jets v.2 by feelthere.September 10, 2010 review.

    http://www.avsim.com/index.php/_/reviews/aircraft/phenom-100-r1377   the Avsim review of the first payware add on for FSX of the Phenom 100.Published June 06, 2013.

    Carenado released their version of the Phenom 100 for FSX/P3D in early 2014.The avsim review written by Marion Cartercan be found here.(http://www.avsim.com/index.php/_/reviews/aircraft/review-embraer-phenom-100-by-carenado-r2369)Published July 10, 2014.Marion’s  review features a gazillion screen shots of the Phenom 100 and Prodigy 100 panels.

    http://asn.aerosoft.com/?page_id=29688AerosoftSim News review of the Carenado Phenom 100 written by Peter Lavieri and published September 6, 2014.Short but concise review.

    http://reviews3000.rssing.com/browser.php?indx=13165573&item=35My Cessna and the Citations review has some indepth discussion on the Cessna Citation Mustang and business jets in general that may be of interest to some readers.

     

     

    Links for some real world Pilot Reports and other videos for sights and sounds.

    Here is a great Phenom 100 Pilot Report by Robert P. Mark published in September 2009 for real world operations.  http://www.ainonline.com/sites/ainonline.com/files/fileadmin/template/main/pdfs/2009_Phenom100_Pilot_Report_AIN.pdf

    https://vimeo.com/65919760 3:21NetJets Signature Series Phenom 300 Delivery May 1, 2013.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHpQKGm4Q-A 3:52 Landing, close up taxi, takeoff – good sounds.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1vaN9Uixys3:10  First test flight of first assembled in USA Phenom 300 - Dec 12, 2012

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELBgUs6fHM0 1:46 Phenom 300 taxiing, good view, nice sounds. Destin, FL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbQ6s--_1uo 9:40 Another Acceptance video, good closeups of gear operation and air work. D-CRCR

     

     

    Airliner DNA

    The design advancements made by Embraer in their airliner fleet is routinely ported over to the smaller Executive Jets.  A close view of this 2nd generation E-Jet panel shows many features that we see in the Phenom 300 panel.

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    The Times they are a changing.

    For the last so many years when you saw a photo of a ramp filled with small business jets it was usually one of the Cessna distributors or dealers.  Now, you seldom see those photos anymore.  What you do see are Embraer Phenom dealerships with a dozen or more new jets ready for delivery.  Even our friend Clay Lacy out in Southern California that promoted the Lears for so many years is now a major Embraer Phenom service center.

     

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    A serious contender.

     

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    I think it is important to understand the differences in the Phenom 100 and the Phenom 300 so I have assembled some comparisons and other information for you.  As before, if you are not interested in anything other than the Carenado Phenom 300 then you can skip this next section also.

     

     

    Phenom 100 vs Cessna Citation Mustang

    In 2006, Ron Gruner of Boston, Mass., decided he was ready to step up to a jet. He had been flying his friendly Cessna 195 for 2,000 hours, and his travel needs dictated that he consider something faster and more comfortable. Gruner had a vacation home in Naples, Fla., and the 1,050 nm trip back and forth was just too time-consuming in his classic Cessna.

     

    "The Sun 'n Fun Show in Lakeland is well-known for showcasing many of the best aircraft in general aviation," says Gruner, "and in 2006, I dropped in to see what might be my next step." Gruner was especially interested in the SOCATA TBM-850, the Eclipse 500, the Cessna Mustang and the Phenom 100.

    He stopped by the Eclipse booth at the Lakeland show, and though he was impressed with the technology, he felt the cabin was too small for his needs. He had the same opinion of the TBM-850. "They were both very exciting machines, and the build quality was impressive, but the lack of an onboard lav disqualified them both for our applications.”

    "I visited the Cessna Mustang display, and that airplane was very attractive, plush and comfortable, and fitted with a raft of automatic systems," Gruner explained. "The FADEC system was especially impressive." Trouble was, the cabin didn't seem quite large enough for the CEO's needs.

     

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    Finally, Gruner visited the Embraer booth, and in his words "I struck gold. The Phenom 100 was almost the ideal airplane for my needs. It had slightly more powerful Pratt & Whitney engines with essentially the same FADEC system as the Mustang. At the time, the 100 was only about $500,000 more than the Mustang, it had a large cabin, and there was an onboard potty."

    Gruner operates his Phenom 100 on a regular basis for both business and pleasure, and everyone who flies with him loves the jet. "It's an easy airplane to fly, and the systems are fairly idiot proof," He said. "I regularly cruise between FL350 and 410 and see 335 to 340 knots up high. Optimum altitude for speed is FL300, where you can manage slightly over 390 knots under the proper conditions."

     

     

    Cessna Sales’ View of the Phenom 100

    The Cessna Sales Director actually put out a booklet with the Cessna logo on the cover that states this is a comparison of the Mustang to the Phenom 100. This 31 page document should be an embarrassment to all Cessna employees and actually anyone that made it past the 3rd grade.  Most of the comparisons are absurd and so blatantly biased in favor of Cessna that they are laughable.  On the Avionics comparison page it doesn’t even acknowledge the Phenom Garmin Prodigy 100 or for that matter that any avionics at all is installed in the Phenom 100.

    Here is how Cessna Sales puts the spin on the inferior cruise speed of the Mustang (Mustang-340 kts vs Phenom 395 kts) “The Phenom 100 will complete its missions only a few minutes before that of the Mustang.” And further states that if the Mustang can utilize an airport closer to the user and closer to the destination, the reduction in drive time could more than offset any flight time savings by the Phenom 100.  Duh. Well, sure. But, there can’t be many airports that a Mustang would use that a Phenom 100 could not also use? How about you compare the same flight for the two planes?

    I suppose if the Mustang pilot could not find a favorable airport closer to his destination he could just take the company limo for the trip and not fly at all.  Geez Louise.

     

     

    Flight1 Mustang vs Carenado Phenom 300

    One of our most respected forum members, Gregg Seipp,  posted his thoughts about the Carenado Phenom 300 on the front page at Avsim:  My thought is "How does it compare to the Flight1 Mustang?  It will need to be close in order for me to consider buying it.”

     

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    Gregg, unfortunately the Flight1 Mustang does not compare very well at all to the Carenado Phenom 300.  Airplane to airplane you would need to compare the Flight1 Mustang to the Phenom 100. In that scenario, most of the points would go to the Carenado Phenom 100 when looking at the physical model, inside and out.  On the other side of the coin, most of the remaining points would favor the Flight1 G1000 implementation over the Carenado ‘lite’ version of the Prodigy 100.

    I think Gregg probably did not mean for us to literally compare the Phenom 300 to the Mustang 510.  He is more of a systems guy so let’s proceed with the assumption that his true interest is in the depth and accuracy of the Phenom 300 systems.

    In this case, the Phenom 300 is a much more sophisticated and complex aircraft although much of the complexity has been masked in the cockpit with the Prodigy 300 flight deck.  A closer comparison would be the newer Cessna Citation M2 or maybe the CJ1+, but then again the Phenom 300 would still come out the winner by most measurements and evaluations.

     

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    The Phenom 300 cockpit is highly ergonomic, obviously designed by experienced jetliner pilots. Outward visibility is excellent, well suited to single-pilot operations. All switches and knobs used for flying are in reach of the left seat.  Embraer Prodigy’s EFIS colors are intuitive. Checklists are intentionally abbreviated and most systems checks are automated, however, the electronic checklists built into the MFD are very extensive and easy to use.

    The aircraft epitomizes the quiet, dark cockpit design philosophy. With most knobs in the 12 o’clock position, annunciator button lights extinguished and a few normal CAS messages displayed, the aircraft is ready to start.

    To start the engines, you need only to switch on the hydraulics, check that the throttles are fully back at idle and twist each engine run switch to the 2 o’clock start position. The aircraft automatically changes the configuration of pneumatic, fuel, electrical and environmental systems for the start sequence and normal operation.  Once you have the beginning of a good start, fully aided by the FADEC, the engine run switch automatically returns to the 12 o’clock position.

     

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    I came across this mnemonic for the Take Off check list that I thought was creative.

    Fly The Line, Run With Speed.  This is what we want to remember. Here is how it goes:

    Fly is for – Flight Plan, got to have a flight plan, this is a jet.

    The is for – Temperature, set the OAT for the FADEC backup calculations.

    Line is for – Landing Field Elevation, for the environmental systems to operate.

    Run is for – Radar, set to Standby so the antenna doesn’t bang against the stops when taxiing.

    With is for – Weight, complete the W & B calculations.

    Speed is for – Speeds, input your calculated V-speeds for PFD reference.

    Pretty neat, huh. The ”NoTake Off” verbal nag message will remind you to set the trim, deploy flaps, and release the parking brake if you move the throttles forward giving the indication that you might be adding takeoff thrust.

    Embraer engineers and airliner pilots spent many months tuning and fine tuning the flight deck to better aid the single pilot.  No switches, knobs, or such are placed in the cockpit that cannot be reached from the left seat.  Of course, the enhanced FADEC makes life so much easier for the single pilot, not just in em040xergencies,but, in the normal day-to-day operation of flying the Phenom 300.

    The Phenom 300 incorporates cruise control of sorts – called current speed control – that allows the FADEC as much as a 10-percent variation of engine N1 to hold a particular airspeed when the aircraft is in level flight with the autopilot engaged. Not quite an autothrottle but certainly a move in that direction.

     

    The 300 also features an automatic thrust reserve that boosts power on the good engine when it senses a failure of the other engine. The engine is set never to exceed the upper performance limits of the design, making monitoring by the pilot not a constant chore.

     

    Of course, all the really niffy features like the Single Point Fueling system, the external serviceable potty, auto spoiler deployment when landing and a host of other airliner type features will be fully explored later in the review.
     

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    If one insisted on comparing the Flight1 Mustang to the Carenado Phenom 300, the Flight1 G1000 would still be the clear winner in the avionics comparison but, the features, beauty, and performance of the basic Phenom 300 with the updated Prodigy 300 with Navigraph updates would make a powerful argument for the Carenado edition.  The substantial increase in speeds, size, and performance and enhanced features would surely tilt the scales to favor the Carenado edition. 

    Should we compare the Flight1 Flight Guide for the Mustang to the small collection of pdfs that Carenado groups in the ‘Documentation’ folder in lieu of writing a flight guide or manual then Flight1 would get all those points.

    One item that may be of interest to those that have been flying the Flight1 Mustang all these years and yearning to fly in Prepar3d v2 is the possibility to adapt the excellent flight tutorials by Maury and Yoda.

    It is always going to be difficult to compare a 2008 released add on of a 10 year old airplane to a similar brand spanking new add on of a 2014 model.  All things being equal, I would go with the Carenado Phenom 300 for all those previously mentioned reasons but using the included P3Dv2 installer as the tie-breaker.  Unfortunately, we can’t fly the Flight1 Mustang in P3Dv2.

    Just one last point to consider.  Any BerntStolle FDE gets a few extra points in my calculations and comparisons. (Phenom 300 FDE)

     

     

    So, is thisjust more pretty graphics from Carenado?

    I don’t think so.  This one might be the one that actually has a little more meat.  The fact that the Carenado design team finally decided to design a new autopilot from scratch for the Phenom 300 might be the start of some new game changing designs.  Adding the available updated Nav data from Navigraph with update capability adds another feather in their hat.

    One additional thought to consider is the Embraer Phenom 300 itself.  It now flies the banner of the ‘best of the best’ along with most any other award of merit or sales goal. I don’t see any announced competitive model coming from Cessna or Bombardier that has any chance on moving it off the Gold Medal podium anytime soon.

    Whether it makes any real difference or not, all future Phenoms will be assembled and delivered at the Embraer plant in Melbourne, Florida, USA.  The wings will still be built in Brazil, then shipped, al la Airbus, to Florida for final assembly.  The only real difference may be the ‘Made in the USA’ sticker on the fuselage.

    Embraer may have understated the performance of Phenom 300 back in 2005.

    I would like to explore how a2014 production year model –the one Carenado used as a guide – matches up with the company’s plans from 2005. Embraer’s initial estimates called for an eight-seat aircraft capable of flying 1,800 nm with an Mmo of Mach 0.78 and a maximum cruise speed of 450 knots at 45,000 feet.

     

    The company wanted the Phenom 300 to use no more than 2,950 feet on landing and no more than 3,700 feet of takeoff roll at max weight. On a typical 1,000-nm trip, Embraer targeted a maximum fuel burn of 2,564 pounds with engines producing approximately 3,200 pounds of thrust. It would also be critical that the new plane meet Stage 4 noise requirements.

     

    So, just how well does the Phenom 300 measure up against the expectations the company set in 2005.

     

    Planned range was 1,800 nm; certified range is just a tad under 2,000 nm.

    Planned high-speed cruise 450 knots comes in at 453 knots.

    Certified landing distance is 2,621 feet versus the planned 2,950 feet.

    Takeoff roll is 3,138 feet vs the goal of 3,700 feet (20 % better)

    Block fuel for a 1,000-nm mission is 2,403 pounds, vs 2,564 pounds.

    and finally, the Phenom 300 clocked in at 24 EPNdb below Stage 4 limits.

     

    Item for item, the design team gets a tick mark for each line item, with a few gold stars on a couple of them.  Well done, Embraer.

     

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    I am still of the opinion that the Embraer planners may have had a photo of the Cessna Citation CJ3 taped to the wall as they pondered the goals and aspirations of their new design.  Cessna may have put the Embraer team into the overtime mode when the Citation CJ4 – a 90% clean sheet design – according to Cessna, was announced with a new partially swept wing, much larger engines, a larger and fancier cabin and even a larger new optional cabin entry door.  And just to let folks know what Cessna considered as their new competition, finally a newly designed sharper nose.

     

    I was just thinking how similar the designs of this latest batch of light executive jets really are.  I know that all of them are considered ‘small learjets’ by the casual observers looking over the fence at the local airport.  Maybe I can come up with some screenshots or photos that captures what I am thinking.

     

     

    300th Phenom 300 delivered – October 14, 2015

    Embraer is celebrating the 300th Phenom 300 delivery.  The commemorative aircraft was delivered at the Melbourne facility on October 14, 2015.   The Phenom 300 fleet has reached a 57% market share in the light-jet category and has been the most-delivered business jet in the world for two consecutive years (2013 and 2014).

     

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    The bar chart shows how severely the Phenom 300 has hammered the competition.  In 2009, when the first Phenom 300 was available for purchase, three Cessna business jets garnered 74% of the Light Jet market. (CJ4/CJ3/CJ2+)  Each year since then, Cessna’s market share has been steadily decreasing.  In 2014, the last year of data, the three Cessna jets only managed a 37% share of the market.  Now who would have thought that would even be possible?

     

    Sales for 2015 are even higher than the two previous years so in a few more months Embraer expects to celebrate three consecutive years as the most-delivered business jet in the world.  Overall, Embraer Executive Jets has delivered more than 900 business jets to 580 operators in 60 countries in their first 10 years of operation.

     

     

    Spec Chart for the Phenom 300 (2014 model with Prodigy 300)

     

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    So what is the competition for the Phenom 300?

    I think the closest competitor might be the Cessna Citation CJ4, which many consider to be the best Citation built to date.  I also hear and read about comparisons to the Citation CJ3 or CJ3+.  I think this has to do more with the CJ3+ having the Garmin G3000 which includes the Touch Screens and is now one of the newest options for the Phenom 300, the Prodigy Touch as it is called.

    While reading some of the sales promotion literature coming out of Melbourne, I noticed one chart that is quite revealing on who or what Embraer considers the competition for their Phenom 300.  I really had not considered the Bombardier LearJet 40/45 XR as a competitor, mostly due to the Lear’s higher price, higher cruise altitude , higher speeds and age, but they are on the list.

    Take a look at this cut and paste comparison chart for the CJ4 and Phenom 300.

     

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aVi-icQEkc  5:38 Excellent closeups and discussion of a new CJ4.

    I seriously doubt you will find two competing executive jets with more similarities and specs that are any closer than these two.  Unfortunately, no one makes a CJ4 for FSX/P3D.  I suppose it is good to compare some of the real world flight tests and performances figures because there are so many published articles available for the Citation CJ3 and CJ4.  The journalists seem to think the LearJet 45 XR is the competitor of choice for the CJ4.   Hmm.  I may have to do some more cut and pasting to add the Lear to the comparison chart.

     

    A closer look at the Phenom 300

     

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    How much does it cost to fly these Jets?

    There are a lot of ways at looking at the cost of operating a business jet, but AOPA just released the most up-to-date study of the hourly operating costs of 45 business jets.  Whatever their criteria, it is the same for all 45, so the numbers should be relatively correct, as least for comparison to each other.  I selected just the ones that may be of interest to the Phenom 300 drivers and the direct competitors for review.  How does $1,757dollars/hour sound for the Phenom 300?  Remember, this is only the variable Cost/hour as tabulated by AOPA.

     

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    Time to Preflight the Carenado Phenom 300

    I have a couple of type ratings but none of them prepared me for the sheer beauty of the Embraer Phenom 300 and the physical size of this one sitting on the ramp.  I guess you know the Phenom 300 is the biggest and heaviest of all the single-pilot light jets.  I am more familiar with with the older Citations and the first couple of generations of CJs.

    When I compare this new Phenom 300 to my all time favorite CJ1+ all I see are improvements.  The Embraer is bigger, faster, flies higher and further and carries more passengers.  But forgetting the Citations for a while, let’s do a walkaround of N64RM.

    Nobody, and I do mean nobody, misses that big Gulfstream inspired cabin entry door.  It is wider and taller than all the competitors and it gives you the perception that the Phenom is even larger than it is. Following the recommended walkaround sequence and even before opening the forward cabin storage area,  you will notice the traditional pitot tubes, static port and AOA vanes have been replaced with ‘smart probes’.

     

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    These are the latest things and are easily replaceable should that be necessary. Made by Goodrich, the SmartProbe Data System combines multi-function sensing probes, pressure sensors and processors in one unit, decreasing weight, drag and complexity while improving reliability. This is another first for small business jets.

    Most pilots tend to reserve the forward baggage area as their personal external storage area.  It is just the right size for all your personal stuff with room to spare in case the owner wishes to share it with you.  Be sure to double check the doors are fully closed and locked.

    I tend to gently brush the new shapely nose with care because I have wished that Cessna would do something similar for soooo many years.  Not only did Embraer solve the icing problem that Cessna used as their excuse in not streamlining the Citation’s blunt nose, but they made a much more aesthetically pleasing and aerodynamically correct snout .  The fact that it is much easier to see more out the windshield is just gravy.

    Note:  I came across a press release about the flight testing of the new Cessna Latitude and what grabbed my attention is the new nose design and the cabin entry ladder – I actually thought is was one of the Embraer Legacy models.  Even the windshield design has an Embraer look to it.  Wow, I think the pendulum may have swung full tilt.  Who wuddathunk it?

     

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    Moving to the starboard side we find the single point refueling panel that allows you to preselect a desired fuel quantity and the system will automatically close the refueling valve when that quantity is reached.  Not only that but it has easy to read large digital readouts for night use. Same here, check that the door is fully closed and latched.

    Moving along the leading edge of the wing, you will notice the absence of any boots or tiny holes for de-icing. This one uses bleed air and has enough umph to have the proper quantity when needed.  Check out those sexy winglets.  Just the right shape and size to do their job and enhance speed, control, and endurance.

     

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    As we come back to the fuselage, we notice something that is totally new to the light jet family.  This one has external servicing of the lavatory and potty.  No more sweating bullets while walking through the cabin with a bucket of honey dew.

    As we get to the tail area it is a long way up to the horizontal stabilizer. Would you believe 1 1/2 stories high? You will notice the Phenom does not have the traditional elevator trim tabs.  Instead, it features a trimmable stabilizer like the big Boeings and Airbuses.  Remember, the Airliner guys had a big hand in the Phenom design.

    When you move the trim tab on the console in the cockpit an electric jackscrew moves the entire leading edge of the stabilizer either up or down.  Take a look at some of the photos of a Phenom 300 on the ramp and some of them have a odd angle on the stabilizer when the trim is not set for takeoff.  See Photo.

    One of the items that is in reach of inspection is something never before seen on a small jet.  This is a unique control surface called a ventral rudder.  Yes, I know the LearJets have them, but theirs are fixed pieces of metal.  This one functions as an automatic yaw damper in all phases of flight and requires no input from the pilot.  Should the primary Yaw Damper fail for some reason, this will serve as a functional yaw damper.

    I hope you didn’t miss the fact that we have heavy duty trailing link main landing gear.  This is just to ensure that all landings are greasers.

    The engine inlet covers and exhaust plugs can be stored in the oversized aft baggage storage area.  Same as the other doors – double check that the door is properly closed and locked.

    Some close-up views of the walkaround

     

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    This is when you realize that this is not your typiclal entry level or small business jet.  It is very obvious that the Embraer airliner DNA was present when the Phenom 300 was designed.  Be sure to zoom these images up to full screen for some dazzling detail.

     

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    The Interior may be just as important to some folks and it is also outstanding.

    Top row is photos from real world Phenom 300s.  Bottom row is interior screenshots of Carenado’s Phenom 300.  Outstanding.

     

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    Jump in cockpit and look over my shoulder or buckle up in the right seat.Shhh, quiet cockpit.

    For an old Citation driver that is use to seeing a mix of all sorts, shapes, and sizes of flight instruments and panels, the clean flat look of the Prodigy 300s three large panels is a bit of a shock.  One of the first things that I noticed is the absence of the 3 round backup instruments that is usually front and center.  This one has the all-in-one square Thales look-alike display sitting just where you would want it if you needed it to fly in an emergency.  Shift + 8 pops it up.

    The AFCS, Automatic Flight Contol Unit, will always just be the AP to me, but it looks like most any other remote AP unit for a Garmin G1000 3-panel flight system.

     

    Hands and eyes fall readily to controls, with top-notch cockpit ergonomics. The ram’s horn control yoke design is said to be the most logical choice of design for two human hands.  According to the designers, if you are sitting and reach out to hold onto something with both hands the natural position of your hands will fall comfortably on the angled yoke.

    I wonder why Cessna and Boeing never figured that out?  Hmmm. the Concorde had a very similar yoke design, but they called it an M shaped design.  I think all Embraer airplanes has the ram horn control yoke except the most recent ones that have side sticks.  I do remember a couple of the Aero Commanders had a similar yoke design.

     

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    Embraer’s quiet, dark cockpit philosophy, honed through several generations of airliner development, is readily apparent and it works. With lights out, aural alarms silenced and knobs at 12 o’clock, all systems are go for the applicable phase of flight. I am impressed with the subtle use of color on the Prodigy Flight Deck 300 displays. Each colored symbol, graphic or number represents essential information. Colors are not used for aesthetics or decoration.

     

    This is probably a good time to discuss the Checklists.

     

    Although the Prodigy Flight Deck and the Phenom cockpit was designed from day one for single pilot operation, many operators require two pilots for all except ferry flights.  In good weather and when flying in comfortable areas, single pilot operation is easy, but add some deteriorating weather, an unexpected failure or two, and the single pilot will be wishing he had some help keeping up with ATC and the emergency checklists.

     

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    Just try the engine failure at rotation and a complicated approach at an unfamiliar airport with poor visibility and gusty conditions.  The pucker factor curve is rather steep.

    Quite a lead -in for checklists.eh?  Sure that is when those memory items become critical and the engine out procedure better make sense. Trying to hold heading, attitude and airspeed is more important than twisting that outer dial and keeping track of the cursor when flying the missed approach or climbing to your holding position.  This may have been the impetus for the new touch screens. The Phenom 300 Normal Checklist still has 10 separate checklists, they are just a lot shorter than you may be using in your current aircraft.  They will all fit on one side of a standard sheet of paper.  I like to have mine folded and laminated.

     

    As you might expect, the Emergency and Abnormal are longer and more detailed. There are also the special checklists for Windshear, TAWS, Emergency Descent, Rejected Takeoff (RTO), Engine failure, Engine fires, and Emergency Evacuation.  Another full set of checklists and procedures are available for Cold Weather operations.

     

     

    The Carenado Phenom 300 Electronic Checklists (MFD)

    When I first brought up the electronic checklist, I was in awe at the not only the number of individual checklists but the extent of some of them.  If you like checklists, then you will love the Carenado Phenom 300. It is up to you to figure out how to switch between the checklists and there are a couple of methods of advance down the lists.  The Inner knob and Outer knob play a roll in using the checklist, along with the ENT button on the MFD frame.

     

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    Progress is shown by a check mark being added to the box and the color turning from cyan to green.  See graphic.

    The broad grouping is Normal Procedures and Emergency Procedures.

    If it seems like the movement among the various checklists is not correct you can try the VC mode and then try the popup mode.  This may have been fixed in one of the updates.

     

     

    Crew Alerting System - CAS Messages

    The CAS messages are key to corrective action in many cases. Golden and Warning messages require immediate crew action while Caution and Advisory messages require immediate awareness and subsequent corrective actions.  As far as I can tell, there is not any Carenado documentation on the CAS system, list of expected messages, color coding, etc.

     

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    While Carenado is silent on the what is included, or more importantly, what is not included, a free pdf copy of the real world Garmin Embraer Prodigy Flight Deck 300 Pilot’s Guide for the Phenom 300 is available for downloading from the Garmin.com website. A simple Google search will lead you there.

    The is a 676 page full color document that can keep you entertained for days or maybe weeks.  The CAS discussion starts on page 115 and contains 5 pages of tables starting with the red Warnings, several pages of yellow Caution messages, more pages of white on black Advisory messages and concludes with a table of CAS Aural Alerts.

     

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    These 6 pages are a perfect candidate for printing and binding for a handy desk reference.  Many of the messages, although highly abbreviated, can be quickly deciphered enough to know at least what item is acting up or needs attention.  It appears that the total message can use up to 16 characters including spaces. The messages are in all CAPS.

    This Prodigy 300 Crew Alerting System is several light years ahead of the typical cluster of the 27 lights in the old Cessna Citations.  I don’t think even those younger pilots with the eyesight of eagles could actually read any of those messages.  The cheap plastic overlays and the exposure to sunlight rendered them almost useless after a few years.  The good part was that you did know something was amiss and required your immediate attention.

    The real world Phenom 300 Prodigy 300 CAS system has some soft keys to use for scrolling through a long list and a Press to Acknowledge softkey in the lower right corner of the PFD.  I failed to find this in the Carenado edition, but, it may be on one of the pages that I wasn’t looking. As mentioned earlier, there is no discussion of the CAS in the Carenado documentation that I could find.

     

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    When you first load up one of the Carenado Phenom 300 aircraft, you will be greeted with 5 CAS messages, two yellow and 3 white.  You are required to clear these CAS messages in order to get a clean Takeoff configuration. Actually, you will also need to configure the aircraft with the proper trim setting for your weight and balance, extend flaps to the proper level and maybe perform a few other necessary items.  Use those checklists.

     

     

    Engine Start, FADEC, and the No Takeoff verbal message.

    Engine start is as simple as it gets. The press of a single button energizes an external power cart. Turn on both batteries, position the generator control and fuel pump switches to auto and assure both throttles are at the idle position. Then, one at a time, lift and twist the engine control knobs to the full right start position. The FADECs will handle all the chores. As the engines starts, each engine control knob automatically clicks back to the normal, 12 o’clock run position, providing audible and tactile feedback of a successful engine start.

    If something should go wrong such as a hot start or whatever, the FADEC will handle the shutdown chores. There is no need to move the throttles or inject fuel at a certain point.

    Prior to taxi, you need to check the stall stick pusher and check for proper flight control movement. I read someplace that it was impossible for a mechanic to screw up the control cables but something could interfere with full deflection.

     

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    Out of the chocks, the brakes tended to be a little grabby – these are the new ‘brakes by wire” so it they should feel a little different than the standard carbon brakes. Nosewheel steering is very positive. There may be some chattering of the wheel brakes during taxi to the runway for the takeoff roll.  You may notice that it doesn’t take much thrust to get moving and the nose wheel does its job making for easy turning and maneuvering in and out of tight spots.

    Some pilots have stated that the Phenom 300 has a larger than expected turning radius when taxiing. Use of rudder,  differential braking, and asymmetrical thrust all have a part in proper taxi technique.  Remember, keep that nose wheel on the yellow line, other pilots are probably watching.

    Just prior to taking the runway, I check the MFD status page for doors, batteries, hydraulic system pressure, oxygen quantity and emergency brake accumulator pressure, along with flight data including aircraft weight, time, fuel quantity and air data. Everything is there and in spades.  I am contantly amazed at how much information is at my fingertips (if I can just remember what page it is on).

    A typical CAS message that will generate the “No Takeoff” verbal nag annunciation might be the bleeds are not on, flaps are not set to position one, or the trim is not in the green band.  A quick glance at the bottom left of the MFD will give you a graphic image of your settings.

    Once cleared on the runway, you can use a rolling takeoff technique or the AFM recommended standard static runup where you to hold the brakes and build up a head of steam, like the Citations.

     

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    It is interesting to read that many operators ignore the rolling takeoff recommendation and use the age old standard static start with brakes on until max thrust is achieved at TO/GA power and then release the brakes.

    Acceleration is brisk using either technique, especially at lighter aircraft’s weights. It’s a pity that we can’t feel the g-force pressing us into the seat in the simulator. Pitch force on rotation is light, with moderate roll control forces. The normal pitch attitude for a Phenom 300 takeoff is a bit steeper than you may be using in your present aircraft.  You will find that 15 to 20 degrees of pitch may be needed to avoid the quick buildup of airspeed.  Lower the nose and you will surely bust the 180 kt limit for flaps if you are not on your toes.

    For you Flight Simmers that yearn for more performance data for your Carenado models, here is the simplified takeoff example straight from the AFM.

    I move the gear handle to the up position when I achieve positive climb. You will notice the oversized gear handle in the cockpit has a long throw from down to up making it easy to confirm the gear is moving as it should be.  I usually delay bringing the flaps up until I am fully established in my climb profile.  The Phenom AFM recommends flaps up at 400 feet AGL.

    For some reason, the gear retraction and deployment seems to take a long time.  I guess I am just use to the Cessna Citations.

    Should you get occupied with other things and forget to raise the landing gear or return the flaps to the full up position, you might be puzzled as why the aircraft does not accelerate properly in the climb.  Ah ha. Use those checklists, they are short and simple, but still very important.

    You will be pleased with the climbing agility and ability of the Phenom 300.  No lagging like some of the somewhat underpowered Citations that we have been flying.  You can elect to climb direct from Sea Level to FL450, providing ATC clears you for this feat.  The book recommends using 225 kts up to the flight levels then Mach 0.60.  It is not uncommon to glance down at the PFD and see a 5,000 fpm initial climb rate.

    If you are not in a big hurry to get on top of the weather and above 95% of the traffic in the world, you can use a more moderate climb speed of 250 kts and Mach 0.70 sothe passengers in the back might feel a little more comfortable.

    In the real Phenom 300 you can’t see the spoilers on the top of each wing from the pilots seat, but when using the external views in the simulator you should notice that during any turns steeper than standard rate one or the other individual spoilers will ease up assisting the ailerons in making the turn.I am not convinced that Carenado has correctly modeled this feature, but, it does work in the simulation.

    The spoilers are locked out with any flaps extended and are automatically deployed when landing.  Should you add thrust for a touch and go or aborted landing after touchdown, the auto deployed spoiler are instantly retracted.

    Depending on your mission, you may elect not to leave with full fuel.  Most trips only require around half tanks to arrive with the necessary reserve.  This is one of the neat features of the single point refueling port – you can dial up exactly how much fuel you want and not have to keep checking if the fuel boy is paying attention or texting  his girlfriend.

     

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    You will also find that the PW535E engines are naturally more efficient at the higher altitudes. Sure you can zip along at 450 kts at FL300 but you are burning fuel at more than twice the rate of what you could be using at FL450.  Most pilots tend to go high in the Phenom 300, even on short trips because it climbs so well and the fuel flow makes it worth the extra few minutes of climb time.

     

     

    The Phenoms are more advanced than the competition

    A little more detail about Embraer’s Prodigy Flight Deck.  Everyone knows it is based on Garmin’s G1000 integrated avionics suite and is designed to be flown by a single pilot, but, did you know that Embraer estimates only about one-quarter of users, primarily owner operators, will actually do so.

    Henrique Langenegger, Embraer vice president for Executive Aircraft says that people who fly for leisure tend to go single pilot, while private operators who use the plane for business like to take a professional along for added safety. Charter and air-taxi operators will most likely fly with two pilots.

    Langenegger said Embraer chose Garmin based on performance and cost. "The Garmin platform offers a lot of functionality, sometimes even more functionality than we have on our big aircraft," he said. "It helps us to offer an aircraft at a much lower price, around $3 million compared to $4 million-plus." Among other things, with a software update the Garmin avionics suite will accommodate synthetic vision, currently available only on a limited number of airliners and large-cabin business jets like the Gulfstream 400 and 500 series. The system’s open architecture will keep options open for further upgrades as they become available.

    BMW Group Designworks USA, Newbury Park, Calif., crafted Prodigy’s sharp exterior design, focusing on ease of use and aesthetic appeal intended to flow into the rest of the interior. Between the ram’s horn yokes, lies another Prodigy feature not common to small airplanes, a panel-mounted keyboard that provides pilots with another, more efficient way to talk with the FMS.

    Although one of the most overused adjectives in the aviation industry, the word "integrated" does indeed appear to sum up the Prodigy Flight Deck, especially considering the base G1000 and all other avionics subsystems come from Garmin. Think Apple versus PC.

    "It’s hard to provide a good definition of what integrated means to the pilot," said Garmin’s Jessica Myers. "But ultimately it’s going to reduce your workload, it’s going to increase your safety of flight, it’s going to give you more time in the cockpit to manage the aircraft."

    Several features distinguish the G1000’s application in the Phenom. First, Embraer chose to use identical 12-inch screens (since increased to 14.1-inch for the Prodigy G3000) for the two primary flight displays and multifunction display (MFD). That allows commercial users operating with minimum equipment lists to dispatch the airplane even if one display dies, a level of redundancy common to airliners and larger business jets, but not the smaller light jets.

    The Phenom 100 and 300 are the first aircraft to include Garmin’s GCU 477 FMS controller, which controls all communications and navigation frequencies. It’s more advanced than the GCU 475 on Cessna’s Mustang, which is strictly an MFD controller and does not control Comms.

    Another first is the use of Garmin’s new GFC 700, a three-axis, fully digital, dual channel autopilot that is fail-passive, which means that if it breaks, it politely yields control to the pilot while alerting him that it’s time to start hand flying. The GFC 700 is available only as part of a fully integrated Garmin cockpit and cannot be purchased separately to be combined with other navigation systems.

    The autopilot, in cooperation with dual FADEC-controlled Pratt & Whitney PW535E turbofans, can also hold airspeed and Mach speed over a limited range defined by the pilot, a feature known as automatic pitch and automatic Mach trim control. Although not a true autothrottle, it’s getting pretty close, Myers said. ‘Mach tuck’ Automatic pitch trim, which senses the aerodynamic force on the elevator and adjusts trim to maintain a desired angle of attack, is a common autopilot feature included on all G1000-equipped aircraft.

    The Phenom 100 and 300 are so far the only Garmin-equipped planes with automatic Mach trim. Starting at Mach.7, the airplane’s center of pressure tends to shift backwards, raising the tail and lowering the nose in a phenomenon known as "Mach tuck." If not corrected, it can exhaust the elevator’s capacity to hold up the nose, resulting in a steep, potentially catastrophic dive. Automatic Mach trim artificially adjusts the elevator and puts back pressure on the yoke to keep the airplane in trim. This is not just a nice safety feature,  on the Phenom  300 it is essential with a MMO of Mach .78.

    Embraer is working hard to translate what it has learned from building commuter turboprops and regional jets into the Very Light Jet arena, Langenegger said. The company began the Phenom program as EMB170/190 E-Jet development was winding down, freeing up engineers to move over to the 100, then the 300. More than 800 experienced people were on the initial Phenom development team, he noted.

     

    Performance data not included by Carenado

    I may as well give you the Vref and Approach Data that I use for my Phenom 300.  This is a cut and paste from 5 different pages of the AFM and should be a good starting point for approach and landing techniques and speeds for simulator flying.

     

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    On a standard day you can expect to be leveling off at 45,000 feet in 25 minutes, and that is at MTOW.  So try the same thing with a reduced fuel and passenger load for a treat.  You can get to the more typical FL370 of the competition in 14 minutes.

    I checked the www.Flightaware.com site to see the relationship of time and distance to altitude and speeds for the recorded flights. You will find that a great majority of the Phenom 300 flights are filed using the higher altitudes, even the shorter flights.

    You have a constant Ground Speed readout at the base of the airspeed tape and you can turn to one of the MFD Aux pages and monitor your TAS.  OAT ISA deviation is built into that calculations.  I wish the TAS was easier to find on the MFD and more prominently displayed.  I would much perfer a constant TAS readout on the PFD near the airspeed tape.  One of the other Garmin systems has that on the high end Piper models, maybe a G300 system.  This one has TAS on the Systems Status page and also the Flight Planning Page, both in small print.

     

     

    Initial familiarization flight

    I made an initial familiarization flight from Friday Harbor in the Puget Sound area of the far Northwest. I made some timed climbs at different speeds and thrust settings to get the feel of the new Phenom 300.  I levelled off at FL300 and made a short speed run just to see if it would actually fly 500 mph, which is easily does.  Then I made a slow descent with lots of turns to watch the spoilers in action helping out the ailerons with the steeper turns.  I slowed it down and lowered the gear and flaps and did a little slow flight.  I was not surprised that it passed all my mini-tests with flying colors.

    This plane was made for hand flying, flying high and fast, hauling 6folks, and looking good when you arrive. It strikes a fine balance of speed, field performance and range in an easy to fly airplane with outstanding creature comfort.

     

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    I lined up for a landing at KFHR and decided to execute a missed approach and did a low pass over Orcas Island, made another wide sweeping left turn and followed the zig zag dividing line between the US and Canada and glanced over at Vancouver Island and waved at Bert.  Those San Juan Islands are so beautiful with just enough airports that will handle the Phenom 300.

    Then, I turned East toward the mainland and well North of the Seattle heavy traffic area and made a maximum performance climb. Another burst of speed in the mid 20sbefore coming down for a full stop landing and cup of coffee at PAE. I extended the wing spoilers to expedite the descent. There is only a slight pitching motion when the spoilers extend, but Expansion and retraction is very positive, so it’s easily controllable. The spoilers on either deployed or not – no intermediate settings. Also, there is mild airframe buffet with the spoilers extended. You will probably just notice a change in sound when flying in the simulator. Don’t forget they are extended!

     

    I hear Embraer is going to add wing spoilers to the Phenom 100E among other improvements.  That was near the top of the wishlist from the first three hundred buyers of the Phenom 100.

     

    The Puget Sound area has the typical and expected moderate to heavy afternoon showers in the vicinity of the KPAE airport. This can be more or less confirmed using the built-in and included weather radar screen on the MFD.  I selected the Olympia Nine arrival with the Battle Ground transition and requested the RNAV GPS 16R approach so that we could take advantage of the Prodigy’s WAAS LPV capability. You will need the Carenado Navigraph Expansion Pack for SIDS and STARS but, it worked well for this particular approach.

    I chose to hand fly the procedure to get a better feel for the Phenom 300’s handling characteristics. While long period pitch stability is quite good, the aircraft is short coupled, thus turbulence causes plenty of nose attitude movement. Also, there is some thrust/pitch coupling, but it, too, is easily controlled.

    Using my QRH, I found 105 KIAS is Vref. Extending the landing gear produced a little nose-up transient and extending the flaps produced the expected increase in lift countered by a slight press on the yoke and a touch of electric trim. You will find that the electric trim on the control yoke is in constant use when hand flying.  I have the trim mapped to the two green buttons on my Saitek X52 Pro controller and it is just as natural as could be expected for easy thumb control.

    As with most any light jet, you will find that speed control and proper configuration is the key to any and all good landings.  When pursuing your type rating this will be drilled into your brain.  The examiner may give you a little leeway on the high side but will grant you absolutely nothing but failing marks for any thing less than Vref speeds.

    This may be a good time to repeat that the proper touch down attitude of the Phenom 300 tends to appear as an almost 3-point touch down.  During type rating simulator training, I think everyone in the class, without prior Phenom flight time, was using a much too high nose attitude at touch down.  I learned the proper touchdown attitude years ago when flying the early Lear 20 series.

     

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    I intentionally touched down firmly in preparation for some heavy braking and an early turn off of the extra long runway. After touchdown, I noticed the auto deployment of the wing spoilers and I pressed down fully on the brake pedals to evaluate the brake-by-wire system. The Carenado Phenom provided more or less the expected anti-skid action but the brakes feels just like the Citation S/II and Hawker 850, two recent aircraft from the Carenado shop.

    The Phenom 300 does not have any slowing or stopping assistance from thrust reversers but depends solely on proper pilot technique and the use of the high-tech brakes and auto spoiler deployment.  I like the fact that I don’t have to manually deploy spoilers when I am already busy at the moment of wheel contact. The absence of full blown thrust reversers is noticeable, but mostly in the noise department – you don’t need to announce your arrival like with the Citations.

    I really can’t tell any difference in the braking system in the simulator when compared to any other light jet. We can all practice the recommended braking technique, but it is probably not needed unless you are landing on the shortest of runways. 

    I tested this out at Diamond Point airport, 2WA1, which is just about as short a runway as I am comfortable taking my prized Phenom 300 into. (2,335 x 24 feet) I knew I wouldn‘t have any problems getting out with a light load of fuel, no passengers, and no obstructions with just me in the cockpit. 

    The first landing was pretty hairy and I actually had to use the Pause key to keep from plowing into that big 2 story house just off the end of runway 11.Aren’t simulators great for this kind of flying.

    My impression is the Carenado Phenom 300 is very easy to fly, having one of the most intuitive cockpits of any business aircraft yet produced, docile handling manners and simple, reliable systems. However, it’s the few initiating glitches - mostly with the flight plan data entry and use of the autopilot that is keeping this one from getting the highest rating.  These things can be fixed and when they are, it will be a real treat to fly – day in and day out.

    Statistical comparisons aside, Embraer Executive Jets is earning high marks for product support, second only to Gulfstream in many of the surveys. Owner loyalty is higher than ever and Phenom 300 operators are raving about their aircraft’s performance and Embraer’s product support.

    Embraer remains committed to product improvement and customer support, having risen to prominence as a world-class airframe company after coming from humble origins almost 50years ago where life’s essentials were anything but guaranteed.

    I found this survey and I think it reflects a very interesting change of culture in a very short time.  Even more revealing is the makeup of the respondents current airplane.

     

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    You can find the full survey here. http://www.bjtonline.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/bjt_4th_annualreaderssurvey6.pdf

    Embraer’s energy, effort and focus, as well as its jetliner engineering experience, gave the Phenom 300 competitive advantages to seize the class lead when the aircraft made its debut during a depressed time. But Textron, Bombardier, Honda Aircraft and soon to be Pilatus, now have new products, or expect to have them soon, that are potentially stiff competitors. Embraer no longer can take its lead for granted. 

    But today and tomorrow and until these new Textron, Bombardier, Honda and Pilatus models are available in FSX, FSX:SE and P3Dv2 the Carenado Phenom 300 is most definitely my go-to executive jet of choice.

    I personally still prefer a well-designed ProLine 21 flight system to the big Garmin wall-to-wall panels, but this is simply my resistance to change and all those years of flying the older and slower Citations.  I think my transition to being totally comfortable with the G1000 or Prodigy 300 hinges on gaining more confidence in finding the correct page on the MFD and honest to goodness true cursor control.  I need an ‘undo’ key that works better than the CLR key.

    I am not there today, but, I bet a couple of those new ‘touch screens’ would be a big boost in my learning curve.  Heck, anything that will replace that dumb outer knob, inner knob – where is the cursor - syndrome will get my money.

     

     

    The Shift+1 through Shift+9 Popup Screens

    Most of the Carenado models are similar in style and substance when operating knobs, and switches.  Looking for hidden and undocumented click spots, and finding misplaced or mis-shaped clickspots and switches that operate backwards has to be one of the most frustrating exercises with a new Carenado model.  I always walk through the Shift+1 through Shift+9 to see what I find.  There is nothing anyplace that I know of that says this is a good place to start., but it works for me.  In addition to the expected popups of the PFD and MFD in the case of the G1000 panel equipped Phenom 300, you will find some very clever and very helpful checkboxes, explanations, and short cuts.  Here is the full rundown on the Shift+ # results for the Phenom 300.

     

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    Shift + 1 – Full sized 2d PFD

    Shift + 2 – Full sized 2d MFD

    Shift + 3 - A combo Keypad Controller and AP popup

    Shift + 4 – A Windows Manager Box with selections – This is much more the title implies, his is where can open anc close the Cabin door, Nose Baggage doors, and install or remove static elements like wheel chocks and engine covers and pitot protective covers.  Turn Off Instrument Reflections if it screws up the click spots.

    Shift +5 – A popup box with the Carenado 300 logo and a listing of the Shift +# actions/results.

    Shift +6 – Three large red buttons related to Engine Starts. You can select Cold and Dark, Ready for Taxi or No Action.  The details are explained for each of the 3 actions. Very handy feature.

    Shift +7 – An informative color graphic that explains how to use the buttons and scroll wheel on your mouse to operate the knobs and switches.  When in doubt always try the scroll wheel.

    Shift +8 -  Popup of the Thales lookalike backup flight display.  This is labeled IESI, Integrated Electronic Standby Instrument which is a very nifty and useful instrument when used while flying from outside the airplane.  It is a mini full featured PDF.  Check it out.  It is also a great space saver in the Embraer Phenom design.  This one instrument replaces the required 3 backup round  instruments but and ads  more info. Google” IESI flight instrument” and you will find an informative pdf file about the real world version of this instrument.

    Shift +9 – A popup “‘User Tip” that repeats the Shift +5 popup

     

    OK, back to reality.

    Use Caution when using Popups – they may or may not work correctly.

    I know that you are probably thinking, ole Ray has finally stumbled over the edge, but, wait and hear me out.  This is not totally new for Carenado but, it is readily apparent in the Phenom 300 at version 1.1 and 1.2.  This may or may not be corrected in your version.

    The VC and the Popups are not necessarily in sync.  Meaning just because you push a button to engage the AP for instance on the panel in the VC model does not mean that if you pushed the same button on the popup that it would engage or disengage the AP (just an example).  This is true with most of the popups including the keypad controller, PFD and MFD.  In other words, all the control panels are not in sync.  Some functions may work only from the popup and not from the VC or vice versa.  I have not found any logic to explain why some keys, switches, or buttons work in one place and not another.

     

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    This first came to light for me when I was complaining that the checklists would not advance in the MFD.  I was told by support that Carenado was aware of the problem and for me to try it from the 2d panel.  Huh?  Well, whatta u know – it worked from the 2d popped up MFD but not in the startup VC mode.  Then I discovered that some of the AP buttons would work in the VC but not when using the popup AP. 

    Evidently, and this is a guess, the developer has to program the VC installed box and the pop up box separately but yet keep them coordinated.  I’m guessing this was done on a Monday or Friday or not done at all or not done correctly or any of a thousand reasons.  But, it should have been checked, found, and corrected prior to v1.2. (pass the Tylenol, please)

     

     

    The Carenado Business Model

    Now we come to the Carenado business model and although I am not privy to any insider information it is apparent that they fall somewhere near the middle of the pack, more like a hybrid  business model.

    Most everyone agrees on at least three important items:  Carenado delivers some of the highest quality exterior, and usually interiors as well, and can be counted on to capture the full essence of the model.  This means it is difficult when looking at a properly framed screenshot to determine if it is a Carenado model or a real world photo.  The old ‘Is it real, or is it Memorex, er, Photoshop?” concept.

    The second item that most will agree on is that Carenado chooses really interesting models and cranks them out in record time.  Seldom is the time span between product announcement and  the announcement on their Facebook page that they are putting the final touches on that model more than 3 or 4 months.  The final touches usually takes another two or three weeks and a generous number of screenshots are added to the Facebook page during this final push to market.

     

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    The 3rd and last item that I think most of us will agree on is that we all wish Carenado would revisit their decision not to provide a flight manual and would decide or hire someone to pull it all together and let us know what we have just purchased, what the real one is capable of doing and how we should fly the Carenado model. All those little individual pdf files could be pages or maybe even a chapter in the manual. And while we are wishing, I wish it would have a center-fold showing the panel layout with everything identified.  You know,the way flight manuals used to be.

    Once the typical Carenado product is out the door, you can also expect to find five or six outstanding repaints that represent real world paint schemes from around the world.  They always include one ‘dirty white’ repaint as a sort of paint kit.  They are also known as one of most difficult, sometime nearly impossible, models to repaint due to their method of ‘ upside down, mirrored, flipped, turned and then chopped into pieces’ method of using 4,096 x 4,096 textures.  This is why you see a lot less aftermarket repaints for Carenado models than say the PMDG models.

    You can also expect to find a documentation folder with 7 small pdf files that is used in lieu of providing a flight guide or manual.  You can also expect not to find any instructions, whatsoever, on how these separate pdf files are related to the accompanying model. Sure, you should be able to guess how to use the ‘Normal’ or ‘Abnormal Checklists’, or the Performance Tables.  But, what is missing is a description of what you have purchased, how to fly it, and how it should perform in your simulator. 

    One of the seven pdf files is a total of one page.  This explains Copyrights (3/2012). Another small file is the References,  this explains the minimum and maximum speeds for the landing gear and flaps and the Mmo and  Vmc speeds. ( 4 pages)

    For the last few years, one of the included short pdf files (2 pages) has been the ‘Recommended Settings for FSX’. This has not been updated since 2011.  I have always been curious why they never added the ‘Recommended settings for Prepar3D’.  No, they are not the same by any stretch.

     

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    How accurately is the Embraer Phenom 300 Prodigy package recreated by Carenado?

    To answer this, we much first explore the Phenom 300 from the cockpit because we have nothing more to go on than the list of goodies from the Carenado website.

    It is stated on the front page of their website that the “Original Prodigy 300 systems”  are included.  Anyone know that what this means?  Maybe Carenado is trying to state that the ‘Touch Screens’ are not included?

    This same section of the website uses the term New GCU 477 keyboard interphase – could that possibly be a bad translation of  interface?

    OK. Time to load up the newest from Carenado – EMB505 Phenom 300 in HD 3D for FSX/FSX Steam/P3dv2 – The Phenomenal Bizjet – according to the splash screen.

    Looking at a screen capture from the Carenado website, just prior to the release of the Navigraph Expansion pack add on.  This is where you will find a list of new features, features, what is included in the package and the Technical Requirements needed to run the program.

    There doesn’t seem to be any surprises here, but you will notice that Carenado calls out attention to some NEW special features.

    Carenado G1000 Prodigy glass cockpit system

    NEW Automatic Flight Control Unit (AFCS)

    NEW GCU 477 keyboard interphase

    Original Phenom 300 systems

    Real Phenom 300 aural warnings sounds

     

    Let’s walk through this list.  The first item – Carenado G1000 Prodigy glass cockpit system – is not really new at all, it has been previously used in the C208, C182, SR22T, TBM, and a few other add ons.  What is new are the engine pages specific to the Phenom 300, the Checklists are naturally specific to the Phenom 300, and several very well done pages with Synopticshave been added.

     

    Second item – NEW Automatic Flight Control Unit (AFCS).  This will be one of your most used features when flying the Phenom 300 so learn all about it with reference material wherever you may find it.  Hint. Start at the Garmin.com site

     

    NEW GCU 477 keyboard interphase – I am going to guess this should read ‘interface’.  This will also be one of your favorite new features to input and change data in the G1000, mostly in the MFD.  A real time saver.

    Maybe that is why the popup for the AFCS is coupled with the GCU477 keyboard.  I would actually like to see an option to popup each one individually in addition to the joined units.

     

    The fourth item – Original Phenom 300 systems – doesn’t sound like it should be included in the NEW Special Features group if it is just that – the Original Phenom 300 systems.  Maybe this is just another way of saying that the new Prodigy Touch is not included.

     

    The last item – Real Phenom 300 aural warnings sounds – is both good and not-so-good.  Sure, we probably want to fly the Phenom 300 like the real guys and girls do, but it would be nice to be able to mute some of these sounds – especially when we are learning to fly the Phenom all by ourselves with no flight guide, cockpit layouts, or introductory tutorial.

     

    There is one dong type alert sound that will drive you nuts during a long flight.  I think it is intended to be an alert that you are deviating from a specified hold altitude or Flight Level but it seems to be a near constant irritation and interruption to any thoughts that  you may have at the time.  This dong sound will come on, and it is LOUD when your attitude changes as little as 30 feet.  That is not much when you are cruising at FL 450.  Either the altitude hold feature is messed up or the specs for the altitude alert change is messed up or both. Maybe a 200 foot change or deviation would be a better choice.

     

    It sure would be helpful if Carenado would spend a little more time on the documentation and include one of those enlarged, high resolution cockpit layouts with some of the more important switches and knobs identified for us novices.  Similar to the Prezi feature included with the Carenado Citation S/II.

     

    Here is a substitute or work around that helped me a lot.  This is one of those nifty 360 degree zoom-able cockpit views.  It is for the Phenom 100, but it appears to be close enough for an initial orientation to the Carenado Phenom 300 general layout.  http://www.360cities.net/image/pheanom-100-cockpit-1

     

     

    Looking for errors on the panel.

     

    This is always like an Easter Egg hunt to find the faux pas in the labels and placards. Be careful when comparing the simulator panel to photos or screenshots.  I have found many Phenom 100 photos labeled as Phenom 300 photos.  There are some changes and differences between the two planes.  Yes, they are very similar but, they are different enough to require a separate type rating.

     

    I failed to find a single misspelled word, label or placard in the Phenom 300.  This is a first for me.  Congratulations Carenado Phenom Team.

     

    There are a few items that simulator pilots may have not been exposed to.  The four PTT buttons, two on the yokes, two on the glareshield are for talking to the passenger cabin and other radio transmissions.  PTT = Push To Talk. Any of the four buttons will bring up the ATC popup window in the flight simulator.

     

    The CWS button on the yokes are for Control Wheel Steering – temporary manual airplane maneuvering requiring pitch and roll and overriding autopilot functions with no effect on the yaw damper and turn coordination.  I don’t think this button is modeled by Carenado.

     

    Just below the NEW Special Features we find the Feature list.  This list seems to include the full NEW Features list from above so maybe we should just concentrate on the Features list.  Some of this is old hat, provided you have been buying any of the recent Carenado add ons.

     

    For those that may be new to Carenado and this is your first Bizjet or even your first add on, then you are in for a treat. Caution, be advised that Carenado tends not to explain what is included and how it works or is intended to work.  Some of these things you just have to stumble across or read some of the older posts at the unofficial support pages Avsim.com.

     

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    Documentation is one of the real weaknesses of the Carenado add ons and we are hoping for improvement here, based on feedback from users and yours truly. A small collection of a few seemly unrelated pdf files does not a flight guide make and would truly add value to the product.

     

    Some of the most important features for me, are the:

    Weather Radar embedded as a page in the MFD

    3D knobs technology (anything that we help me operate that damn inner knob, no outer knob, oops, crap, find the Cursor first , now how to advance, oops, crap, operation is well received.  These green circles with the tool tips is a good start. Thanks Carenado)

    Full back cabin for those that ride in the back.

     

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    The items that really make this an outstanding add on, in my opinion, is theReal Behavior, the Real Weight and Balance, and the Tested by Real Pilots features.

     

    Other folks might key in on the truly outstanding HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) and the even more fantastic repaints.  I did notice the paintkit remains as complicated as ever with two pages of dds files with pieces chopped, turned, flipped, and hidden.I am not a painter, but I have managed to change colors and stripes by modifying existing repaints or changing the registration numbers as long as it is not on the engine covers.

     

    I am not totally sure what it means for the flight simmer, but this Phenom 300 seems to have a lot more information about ‘icing’ with about half the performance sheets related to flying in icing conditions and the number of pages in the MFD to do with icing.  I am hoping that we see some modeling that shows accumulated ice on the wings and windshield and the associated decline in performance.  It would follow that the ‘deice’ systems would have to also be modelled to correct for the inflight accumulation of ice.

     

    I was told that Carenado paid special attention to the Frame Rates of this Phenom and have improved the coding and optimized the complete 3D model and textures to get much better FPS.  I have a high end screamer so I can’t relate to the older legacy machines.  I did notice that some folks turn off the CoPilotMFD which it not needed when flying as single-pilot and this should save a few frames/sec.  Look for an undocumented hidden click spot near the upper left, just below the screw. This only turns off the screen portion of the MFD, the lighted softkeys, buttons and knobs are still illuminated when using the cockpit lighting system.

     

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    I tend to fly with several windows popped up, and moved over to one of my three screens.  There is a physical limit on how many large windows can be open without dragging down the Frame Rate.  This is a problem for me with the Carenado Citation S/II when I add some of the aftermarket mods, but is no problem at all with this Phenom 300.  I will capture some FPS numbers during one of my test flights for those that are looking for specifics.

     

     

    Getting Going with the Carenado Phenom 300

    It would be nice if we had a document providing an overview of the cockpit, get us familiar with this beautiful airplane. Not all is lost, however.

     

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    One of my problems is that I have never fully captured the logic of the Garmin G1000.  Sure, I have a dozen or more add ons with various versions or editions of the G1000.  These range from really poor, to poor, to almost OK, to good and quite good.  I am not sure exactly where this particular implementation by Carenado falls along my scale, but keep in mind that if you expect a full featured Garmin G1000 with all the bells and whistles included in a $39.99 flight simulator add on, you are setting yourself up for long-term disappointment.

     

    I also have the highly recommended book for learning how to use the G1000 – Max Trescott’s G1000 Glass Cockpit Handbook, but alas, I keep arriving at dead ends and not seeing a way out.  I am told that a large contributor to my frustrations is the fact that all of the simulator versions have a lot of meat missing and that none of them operate like the real world versions do. I am also told some of this is simply because FSX will not handle some of the features, like saving flight plans that use Navigraph data.

     

    What I do think we can expect is that we are told which pages are included and therefore those that are not included, and what we can expect for adding, modifying, saving and flying flight plans in FSX and P3D.  For instance, Synthetic Vison should not be expected, nor XM weather, working Radar, or Touch Screens.  The additional separately purchased Navigraph Expansion Pack should be available in a few days (sic) so we can see what it brings to the party.

     

    I am going to take a few liberties (I have received approval from the authors) and adapt some of the outstanding work that I found buried deep in the Avsim library. This was prepared as an introduction to the Flight1 Citation Mustang, but can be adapted as an introduction to the Phenom Prodigy 300 flight deck.

     

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    For flight sim operations, the differences in the Mustang’s GFC710 autopilot and the Phenom’s Automatic Flight Control Unit (AFCS) and the Mustang’s keypad/controller and the Phenom’s GCU-477 are not great enough to create any problems. This intro was written in 2010 so the approaches, SIDS and STARS have probably been amended a few times.  Just look for similar names.

     

    In the real world aircraft the more advanced Phenom GCU-477 controlsthe Comm and Nav frequencies and is more tightly integrated with the GFC-700, 3 axis, fully digital, fail-passive dual channel autopilot. 

     

    The Cessna Mustang GCU-475 is strictly an MFD controller and does not control Comms and Nav.

     

    When you complete this ‘Pre-Tutorial’ for the Phenom 300, then the real fun is flying Yoda’s tutorial flight from San Diego to San Jose.

     

    Remember, this was written and intended for Flight1 customers that purchased their Citation Mustang back in 2010 so there may be a few differences, but it has to be a lot better than not having a tutorial flight at all. The engine startup will be different for sure.

    You will also notice that the SIDS and STARS will have several updates since 2010 but the name and most fixes should still be close.

    Search the AvsimMain Library for ‘Cessna Citation Mustang tutorial Kurt Kalbfleisch” and for ‘Guidelines flying Mustang Maury Pratt”.  Fly these a couple of times and you will gain some valuable good practices and practical use in using the G1000, flight plans, and WAAS approaches.

    For those of you that purchased the feelThereLE Phenom 100 you will find a nice Introduction Flight from Scottsdale to Las Vegas located in the Operations Manual.  This also should be easily adapted to the Carenado Pheom 300 for even more Embraer Prodigy cockpit experience.

     

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    This was written for their Phenom 100 so the weights and speeds will have to be adapted to the heavier and faster Phenom 300 but this should provide yet another look at the Phenom Prodigy Panels.  This should be a good test of your knowledge of building a flight plan using the G1000.  The feelThere model required that the default Flight Plannerbe used and then imported into the G1000.

    For those of us that have the Flight1 Garmin GTN750, we have a leg up on the flight planning for the Phenom Prodigy Flight Deck.  I have not used the new Prodigy touch screens but, there is no doubt that the Garmin GTN team designed and implemented them.  It might be a interesting exercise to for some super talented person to add two F1 GTN750s side by side to use as a first step in simulator use of the touch screens.

    Maybe one of our talented flight sim friends will do something similar and write a new introductory and tutorial flight for the Carenado Phenom 300.  I know it would be greatly appreciated by me and many others.

     

     

    Practicing approaches in the Carenado Phenom 300

    I bought the award winning FS Flying School Pro package for FSX about 3 years ago. I didn’t use the package as intended because I am a real world flight instructor and we just hate it when we get criticized for all the little nit picking things, but, the Instant Approach feature was the key for me to keep loading it up.

     

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    I can select any of the 25,000 or so FSX airports and the much lesser number with published approaches and click a few boxes and a flight plan screen and go from engine running on the ramp to ready to fly an approach at the proper altitude with the radio frequencies set in a matter of minutes. I can then fly an approach over and over until I am pleased with my work. I can even use the AP if I choose.

    One nag that will drive you crazy when flying an approach in the Phenom 300 is the “GLIDESLOPE, GLIDESLOPE, GLIDESLOPE. - it never ends until you capture the proper glideslope or do like I do most time and change the Nav freq.  It seems much louder than it needs to be.  Once I am back on the glideslope, or what I think should be the glideslope, then I retune the Nav Localizer radio.

    The Carenado Phenom 300 is very stable and easy to fly down the approach.  A tendency that I see in a lot of the YouTube videos is the flight sim pilots are flaring like they do in a Cessna 182 or Cirrus SR22.  That is not what you want to do in this Phenom 300.  If there is such a thing as a touch down attitude where the nose wheel is about 6 inches off the pavement when the mains touch then that would be your goal.  This will minimize the tendency to float down the runway in ground effect and you can land, even if you are a little on the fast side of the Vref as long as you are ready to plant that nose wheel early.

    Maintaining the proper speed over the fence in landing configuration is the key to good smooth landings in the Phenom 300.  Sure the heavy duty trailing link landing gear will smooth out most rough landings but you need to learn to grease it on, every time.  Proper speed, proper landing configuration, and proper attitude is paramount.

    Practically every amateur YouTube video showing off the Carenado Phenom 300 has the exaggerated flare and excessive airspeed over the fence therefore you see a lot of floating down the runway and very long landings.

     

     

    Adapting to the Jet speeds and Flight Levels.

    It may take a while for the ‘general aviation pilot’ usually meaning those that have been flying so called ‘complex’ aircraft, ie, single engine recips with retractable gear, constant speed prop, and 250 hp or so to get settled down.  This is a new ball game, Dorothy.  We are no longer in Kansas.  It will take some time to get comfortable with the speed of the jet because everything is going to be happening so much faster. 

    Unless you are already ahead of the game and know the ins and outs of the G1000, you will have a tendency to fly ‘with your head down’ for while.  This is a result of trying to find the proper page on the MFD or trying to figure out why you don’t have a cursor when you think you should or a thousand other little things that have nothing to do with lift, drag, thrust and such.

     

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    The result of this fumbling around with your nose in the panels will usually result in you doing something stupid like landing gear up because you didn’t follow your checklist or letting the airspeed get so slow on final that the Stall, Stall, Stall verbal warning is your wake up call, or maybe “Terrain Ahead, Terrain Ahead, Pull Up, Pull Up.”

    I suggest you use the ‘Pause’ key while you are learning new systems, new speeds, new sounds, etc.  That is one of the reasons that I use several active windows when I am flying in the sim.  I like to glance over and see an external view just to confirm that I have flaps deployed, or not, or that I have the gear down, or not, or that my flight attitude is what it should be and I am not climbing or descending when I think I am in level flight.  Same for having a window for the AP to click on the HDG or NAV button or to dial up a different altitude when ATC has you turning and descending just for the heck of it.

    As I get more comfortable with the aircraft and the procedures and speeds, then I can take the windows away, one at a time and eventually fly fully from the VC or fully from outside the VC using external flight instruments.

    One thing is for sure, it is a totally different ball game when your typical cruise altitude is FL370 or FL430 or FL450 and you are monitoring fuel flow like never before and thinking TOD and 100 NM leads for start of descent.  Winds of 100 knots are not uncommon, but then again ground speeds of over 500 kts are not uncommon either.  The OAT becomes a lot more important to you and you will be using the Performance Tables for climb, various cruise speeds, descent tables, runway distance calculations and such.  You will probably end up with your own book of ‘Mission Profiles”.

    You need to fully understand using Mach speeds when operating in the higher altitudes (switch over at FL315) and the relationship to Knots.  Your airplane performance will be in relation to Mach and your ground speed and winds will be in Knots.

    I am of the opinion that the more real world documentation that you have the more enjoyable the flight sim experience will be.  I was very fortunate to be given the Phenom 300 AFM and POH early in my review. I was even more fortunate to acquire the new Embraer Phenom 300 Flight Planning Guide, FPG, that was only published a few months ago.  Unfortunately, I am not able to share these with the general public, but, selective internet searches can sometimes provide unexpected bounty.

    The CAE Pilot Training Manual and the QRH for the Phenom 300 are the elusive ones for me.  Finding similar information for the Phenom 100 seems readily available for some reason and they can be used for the most part as long as you correct for differing weights and speeds.

     

     

    Flight testingthe Carenado Phenom 300

    While watching one of the many YouTube videos to listen to the sounds of the real world Phenom 300, I glanced over at the side panel to see the icon for a video entitled “N697AS Phenom 300 acceptance and delivery” It is only 6:49 minutes long and covers the flight acceptance test at Sao Jose dos Campos and then follows the delivery flight to Wichita.  W I C H I T A  Woah.  Now that would be a barn burner to fly a new Phenom 300 right down the dividing line between Cessna and Bombardier with the old Beech team looking over the fence.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAaPwNnGGW4  6:49 Phenom 300 acceptance and delivery at Sao Jose dos Campos Regional Airport (Sao Jose dos Campos, Sao Paulo) SBSJ / SJK

    That sounds exciting.  I think I will fly commercial to Sao Paulo then drive up to Embraer at San Jose dos Campos and pick up a spanking new Carenado Phenom 300 with custom paint, fly it down to Santiago, Chile, have lunch with the Carenado Team, then plan the delivery flight to Wichita. I should be able to fly in the footsteps, so to speak, of the N697AS crew and have dinner in Kansas. This should give me ample time to evaluate the look and feel to judge how well Carenado built the Phenom 300.  Sounds like a plan.

    I can already imagine that big steak with the best ever onion rings at the Hangar One Steakhouse on West Kellogg  in Wichita.  All those Cessna and Flight Safety dudes will key in on my new Phenom 300 ball cap and golf shirt.  I can always add a few flames to the fire by picking up the tab for one of their tables. I will just simply say that I feel so good about the new Phenom 300 and with all the money I saved thatI just “feel generous.”  Woah. Run for the door, Ray.

    I am looking forward to that lunch in Santiago.  I know their offices are in Las Condes which is also home to Tiramisu, a neighborhood restaurant known for their salads (and long waits) so maybe I better not just drop in.  I will call from Aerocardal at the airport– that should give them time to make a lunch reservation.

     

     

    Near Professional Level Tutorial Type Videos are now available for the Carenado Phenom 300

    This may be the best news since I heard that Carenado was going to build business jets for FSX/P3D.  Not only are these exceptional training videos up-to-date and realistic for flight sim purposes but they were made specifically with you in mind.  This is true.

     

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    None of that jerky camera motion, acid rock music or English is my third language commentary, these are tutorial flightsim videos, flown and  narrated by a real world, instrument rated pilot using high grade recording and editing gear.  How about 1080P HD with recorded sounds direct from the Carenado Phenom 300.  You can watch these full screen and catch yourself reaching for your flight stick or pan button not realizing that you are not active and in charge of the flight.

    I took a page out of the Sao and Pao book, and fired off an email to the FSMania guru, the guy making all those videos of the latest and most popular FSX add ons.  I proposed an extended flight with a theme of picking up a factory fresh Phenom 300 at the Embraer delivery ramp in Brazil and flying it to the good old USA. But, not just anyplace, the destination is, of all places, Wichita, Kansas.  Yep, not wholly intended for the competition based there, but because the new owner just happens to be a fractional share partner based at KICT.

    The plan is for our Ferry Pilot to take ownership of N757XM at SBSJ just North of Sao Paulo, and using a lifetime of real world flight experience, to properly plan and fly this hot new jet to Wichita.  First direct to Belem, at the mouth of the Amazon in Northeast Brazil then on through the Island chain, landing at the ever popular TNCM airport at St. Maarten. After the proper rest and relaxation period and a fresh load of jet fuel, then on for customs clearance at KFLL, Ft. Lauderdale.  Here we plan to take advantage of the local Embraer Maintenance shop in the form a quick avionics upgrade.  The new owner wants every new option available on this one.

    We will be adding the F1 GTN750 as an option to the existing MFD.  The big news is this mod retains the full use of all the Carenado MFD functions in the popup mode.  At present this is a gray market add on, but comes straight from Bert’s Famous Mods Shop (BFMS) and enhances all the Carenado Phenom 300 models (basic and Navigraph Expansion). STC approval could come any day.

    Wait ‘til you see this in action. This truly is the best thing since sliced bread. The full left side of the MFD is unaffected so you will retain all the full time MFD engine and controls data displays but will have a VC mounted super large screen GTN750 display.  A large clickspot is provided for the full bezel popup to access the buttons mounted on the frame.

    The last leg of the ferry flight will be KFLL KICT with the assistance of the GTN 750 in the VC.  I am so excited, because I have requested to fly right seat on this final leg for delivery.

    We will have 4 dedicated video flight legs for this adventure, some with 3 or 4 segments and a couple with additional adventures. Oh, did I mention that they will be free.  Yep, totally free for the taking.  Just go to FSMaNiA and start watching.  Be sure to leave your feedback. That is the only payment for this ton of work that Tim G. gets for all his extraordinary effort.

     

    Search for the Carenado Embraer PHENOM 300 Brazil to Wichita series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amIVKIlhd-w

     

    Short video that shows the extensive Embraer facilities at Sao Paulo.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln-ppnfeDOU&feature=player_embedded0:40  Low resolution

     

     

    Videos in lieu of rambling verbiage

    The FS Mania video series are so detailed and covers much more than how to fly the jet or what this or that is or isn’t. It is just like you are in the right seat for the entire trip, well more like you are looking over the pilots shoulder and listening to the dialog.  There are several advantages to this approach to aircraft familiarization and flight procedures.  You get to witness all the planning in advance of the actual performance.

     

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    A big advantage is that you can pause the video, load up your Phenom 300, load the exact same flight plan or leg or approach and fly it, then return to the video and continue with the delivery flight.  Of course, that means that you can rewind (old school – backup), resume Play, or start over as many times as you like until you capture the moment.

    This delivery flight is a whopping 5,000 nm mile flight with 4 long legs, with most of the legs broken down to 3 and sometimes 4 segments.  These are usually along the lines of A) getting ready, planning, startup and ready to go, B) taxi out, takeoff, climb, get on course and level out, C) fly a thousand uneventual miles or so and monitor the systems and efficiency of the flight and prep for the descent and D) approach and landing, taxi and shutdown for the evening.  Of course, depending on the leg, the distance, and such some can be combined or an emergency might be introduced, just to keep the pilot on his or her toes.

    The initial plan was to fly the fist leg – Embraer, Brazil to Belem, Brazil, direct with the basic Carenado Phenom 300 without the Navigraph Expansion.  Second leg, mostly all over water, generally following the lower island chain from Belem to St Maarten in the Lesser Antilles. The second leg would have the optional Navigraph Expansion installed with the nav data with SIDS and STARS updated before leaving Belem.

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    3rd leg is planned as another thousand miles over the water from St. Maarten to KFLL, Ft. Lauderdale for customs clearance and official FAA registration of N757XM.  While in Ft. Lauderdale we plan to have the local Embraer customer care shop upgrade the avionics to the highest level short of the dual touch screens of the Prodigy 3000.

    This adds the Flight1 GTN750 to the VC panel while keeping the total functions of the G1000 Navigraph MFD.  This is really something to behold.  Straight out of the BFMS* box, a new F1 GTN750 will be added to the map area of the MFD.  This will provide all the inner glass functionality of the GTN750 in VC mode, dead center and full sized (maybe even larger than full sized). A popup feature will enable the use of the bezel buttons and the normal popup features like undocking, resizing, etc.

    *BFMS – Bert’s Famous Mods Shop

     

    We (I will be flying in the co-pilot’s seat for this final leg) intend to explore and exploit the use of the GTN750 and the touch screen features for navigating this final arrival leg of 1,200 miles from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Wichita, Kansas.

     

    The four legs should give everyone an excellent experience and view of the Carenado Phenom 300with the basic Prodigy 300 nav system, the enhanced Prodigy 300 w/Navigraph, and the final option of the aftermarket VC installed Flight1 GTN750 avionics system.

     

    You can start your video journey at any point along the route, but, I suggest you start at the beginning and then advance at you own pace.

     

    Leg 1 - Sao Paulo dos Campos airport – Belem, Brazil

    Leg 2 - Belem, Brazil – St. Maarten, West Indies

    Leg 3 - St. Maarten – Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US

    Leg 4 - Ft. Lauderdale Intl airport – Mid Continent airport, Wichita, Kansas

     

    How many minutes of recorded flight time?

    I am not sure of the total number of individual video episodes or the total length but I was flabbergasted to find out at the half way mark that FS Mania already had 7 individual full featured videos dedicated to this delivery mission.

    How about the Phenom 300 Systems?

    Keep in mind that the basic concept of building a complex executive jet to be flown single-pilot will utilize minimal knobs, switches and instruments.  The idea was to automate a lot of the normally controlled systems, so the pilot would be able to monitor them by way of the CAS and specific pages on the MFD.  Not that the systems aren’t there, they just require less setup and monitoring than might be necessary with two pilots in an older design.

    Having a minimal number of gauges or instruments to scan and monitor was the primary driving force to select the G1000 3 panel Prodigy Flight Deck for the Phenoms.  They are all there, maybe even more and in more detail than conventional round gauges, but they are selectable to be seen as needed.

    Here is a graphic that highlights the major systems.

     

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    The real world documentation for the Embraer Phenom 300 highlights just how complex this simple looking cockit may be.  The Pilot’s Operating Handbook is 638 pages with Section 6, the Systems Description having 14 sub-sections, consisting of 437 pages.

     

     

    Designed Cockpit Philosophy

    The PHENOM 300 flight deck is designed to:

     

    • Provide the necessary means to accomplish the required tasks;

    • Provide acceptable and reasonable workloads;

    • Minimize pilot errors and their consequences;

    • Provide optimized ergonomics aimed at safety, ease of operation, control and comfort requirements.

     

    Both pilots can access all essential information and necessary controls for safe flying and landing. Control of the airplane’s systems is done via the main and side panels.

     

    Some knobs on the panels have detent protection and must be pulled out to allow their rotation. This protection prevents inadvertent knob rotation. System failures are primarily monitored via CAS message. The synoptics are included as an aid for the pilot to monitor systems status.

     

    Critical systems give total authority to the pilot by employing intuitive procedures for maximum airplane performance with minimum workload. Cockpit design makes tasks as simple as possible, thus leading to increased control of situation and systems. Automation is used only to improve the task accomplishment, complementing but not substituting for the crew.

     

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    The Synoptics Pages save the day for me.

     

    Although synoptics is a word that I seldom use in my daily vocabulary, the Systems Status display pages bring the Prodigy 300 up several levels when compared to the standard G1000.  In addition to clear and concise presentation of the data, levels, conditions, etc, and the unchanging location, I can actually find them without using the Inner/Outer knob combo.  Dedicated softkeys do the trick.  You may have to use the Back softkey to get started but you are looking for the SYSTEM softkey in the number one SOFTKEY position of far left on the MFD.

     

    One press, and only one please, will bring up the main synoptics page – the Status page – with some key information to do with your flight, temperatures, and a quick look at your basic electrical, hydraulics, oxygen, and brake pressure. Any open doors or hatches will flash a message and show you a visual location.  Nice.

     

    Immediately to the right of the Status softkey are the remaining four pages each with their own softkey – I wish they would use this method more often (as opposed to the hunt and hope Inner/outer/oh crap/ method).

     

    These pages are only on the MFD and are all located in the right third of the display.  You can view any one of the 5 available pages at any given time.

     

    For those folks that are always knocking Carenado for not having any systems depth, it will be interesting to see how many think these system pages are just more eye candy, as they say. 

     

    I was asked to make a statement in the review about the systems and specifically the Ice, or de-ice systems.  Well, Gregg, one small item that caught my attention is that when you turn on the windshield de-ice switches, confirmation of active de-ice shows up not only in the individual switch movement and sound but also as a green colored windshield screen on the associated synoptic page.

     

    The same for the individual engine de-ice protection and the leading edges of the wings and elevators.  Flip the switches and see the results on the IceProt systems page.  You also get an instant CAS message if you turn on the engine de-ice.

     

    Of course, it would be nice to watch ice crystals forming on the leading edges of the wing or on the windshield, but I don’t see that happening.

     

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    Just about everything on the Electrical Systems page seems to change with the operation of the electrical switches and knobs.  Same for the Fuel Page with instant verification of Transfer Pump position and condition of each of the two fuel pumps.  Of course, the Total Fuel onboard and the Fuel Used is constantly updated.

     

    I guess it will just take time for the user community to find out what is really useful here, and what is fluff.  I’m sure not all of these synoptic pages can be depended on to exhibit accurate and timely information for the sim pilot.

     

    The only page that doesn’t seem to change with switch or knob controls is the ECS or Environmental Page. There is a lot of temperatures shown and a slew of valves but I haven’t found anything that will change the positions of the valves or temperatures.

     

    Without documentation from Carenado, we can fall back on the Garmin real world manuals but then we have to discover for ourselves whether or not it was modeled in the sim, and if it is modeled, is it accurate.  Most of these details can only be discovered by spending time flying the aircraft and exploring anything that looks interesting, or on the other hand, maybe looks out of place or inaccurate.

     

    One of our fellow flight sim pilots posted that the Fuel Page was displaying fuel weight in kilograms and he could change it. I didn’t remember seeing that so I spent several hours checking out the Fuel Synoptic page.  I found it was highly accurate and generally everything was being shown correctly.  The fuel is in pounds and the boost pumps and transfer valves are shown in white when inactive and in green when active.  I used various loads of fuel and changed the thrust to verify that PPH was being shown correctly.  They were in all cases as far as increases or decreases in flow rates or quantities.

    I shut down an engine and then activated the fuel transfer system from the left tank to the right tank and that worked with the pump activation being shown when turn on and the transfer pump showing the proper direction of flow.  I think this may be a new level of systems portrayal for Carenado.  It sure adds to the immersion.

    Maybe the ECS panel was just overlooked and will be activated in a future update.

    You can keep yourself busy checking the voltages, temperatures, pressures, valve positions, capacities, conditions and confirmations on these 5 new synotpic pages.  Inadvertently open a dump valve and guess what happens?

     

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    One Faux Pas was discovered when a flight simmer posted the cabin pressure was not correct.

    This was true and it is probably not a coincidence that the 8,000 foot pressure altitude is exactly that of the Phenom 100 system.  The Phenom 300 has a lower cabin pressure of 6,600 foot pressure altitude, the lowest of all competing business jets.  Not only was the level incorrect, the system just went there and stopped – no gradual lowering when descending.

    Don’t forget to set your LFE (landing field elevation) – it is on your checklist, but is part of the cabin pressure altitude calculations.

    Once it was determined that the pressure controller needed a total redo a new peak altitude set, Bert’s Mods took on the task and I volunteered as a beta tester. Finally discovering that the Pressurization limits in the aircraft.cfg were also set for the Phenom 100 and not the Phenom 300, I was off to dig up the proper pressurization chart for the correct airplane.  Finding this and two more days of xml coding we now have a properly specced and properly working pressurization system while climbing and descending.

     

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    Kudos to Bert P. for fixing the system, and to user “sinonquoi” for bringing the problem to our attention.  Carenado was given the coded and properly designed system.

     

     

    Dark and Quiet Cockpit Concept

    The concept used to design and operate the airplane was based on the assumption that while in flight, all systems are normal when:

     

    • Lights, main, glareshield and control pedestal panels have no lights on

    • No aural warnings are being issued

    • The selector knobs are positioned at twelve o’clock

     

    A white striped bar illuminates on any button to indicate that it is not in its normal position.

     

    OK, what is the story behind Carenado having two pilots and not being able to select, one or none? 

     

    I got this answer directly from thehead man at Carenado so take it as fact.  The two pilot figures are part of the 3D model and therefore cannot be changed by us users.

     

    Carenado states they had a choice of no pilots, one pilot, or two pilots and they chose the two pilots. Personally would have preferred simply three 3D models – no pilot, one pilot and two pilots.  We could then select the flight crew the old way:  Model=, Model=1 or Model=2 but again that is just my personal preference.

     

    Random notes made while I was flying the Carenado Phenom 300

     

    Embraer Phenom 300 Fuel Burn

    The Embraer Phenom 300 is one of the most fuel efficient jets in the light jet class. The Embraer Phenom 300 fuel burn is 0.36 gallons per nautical mile or 2.79 nautical miles per gallon. The Embraer Phenom 300 fuel burn in Statute Mile terms (Road Miles) are 0.31 gallons per statute mile or 3.21 statute miles per gallon. This information is based on Embraer saying that the Phenom 300 uses 2,403 pounds or 359 gallons of fuel on a 1,000 nautical mile trip, when carrying 6 passengers. The Embraer Phenom 300 fuel burn will vary based on payload and operating conditions.

    Embraer says that the Embraer Phenom 300 uses 14 % less fuel then its nearest competitor in the light jet class

    Embraer Phenom 300 Performance - Landing and Takeoff Distances:

    Embraer Phenom 300 Take-off Distance: 3,138 ft / 956 m (MTOW, SL, ISA)

    Embraer Phenom 300 Landing Distance: 2,621 ft / 799 m (MLW, SL, ISA )

    Maximum Takeoff & Landing Elevation: 14,000 feet

    Time to Climb to Flight Level 350: 12 minutes

    Embraer Phenom 300 Service Ceiling: 45,000 feet (ft) or 13,716 meters (m).

    Embraer Phenom 300 Engine Thrust / Flat Rating: 3,360 lb / ISA + 15ºC / Ea

    Embraer Phenom 300 Performance - Speeds:

    Maximum Operating Speed: Mach 0.78

    Embraer Phenom 300 High Speed Cruise 453 kts

    VFE (maximum flap extended speed): 8 degrees (takeoff): 180 KIAS and 26 degrees (takeoff/landing): 170 KIAS

    VMC (minimum control speed): (takeoff) 97 KIAS

     Note – The values presented above refer to the maximum VMC for the aircraft envelope.

    (the values can change according to the temperature and altitude).

    VLO (landing gear operating speed): Gear Retract and Extend  250 KIAS

    VLE (landing gear extended speed): 250 KIAS

    Maximum tire ground speed: 182.5 knots

    Embraer Phenom 300 Operating Costs

     

    When building the Embraer Phenom 300, Embraer wanted to make sure the Embraer Phenom 300 Operating Costs were competitive in light jet class. The main Embraer Phenom 300 operating cost to look at is the Embraer Phenom 300 Fuel Cost or fuel burn.

     

    Based on the above numbers, the Embraer Phenom 300 operating cost for fuel burn on a 1,000 nautical mile trip fuel burn would be $1,795. This is based on Jet A costing $5.00 a gallon. The Embraer Phenom 300 operating cost per hour for fuel is around $810.

    The Phenom 300 is like a technology demonstrator for Embraer  that prides itself on deep and broad engineering expertise.  The designers attempted to give exceptional capabilities in all areas, but the laws of economics, physics, thermodynamics and aerodynamics do not usually allow one aircraft to do all missions with equal efficiency.

    Tradeoffs are usually expected in a new aircraft design, but it appears the Phenom 300 design team , checked all the correct boxes, left  no stone unturned and came out with a winner on the first try.

    The Phenom 300 is one of the fastest light jets, having recently established a National Aeronautic Association cross-country speed record in the United States, from Bellingham, Washington to Albany, NY with six occupants.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auO1mE_wZh4 Carenado Phenom 300 video 6:32 showing all the default liveries mixed in with some warbirds and upgraded scenery with soft background music. Watch in HD. Thanks pedrodowd.

    https://www.netjetseurope.com/Your-fleet/Phenom300/Netjets 360 degree tour.  This video review even has a camera in the baggage compartment.

     

     

    Some of the known issues that we discovered.

     

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    This is not intended to beat a dead horse, but the backup flight instrument has a screwed up airspeed tape.  300 is there twice and the speeds from there and faster are incorrect.  The cabin altitude is coded at an upper limit of 8,000 feet and should be 6,600 feet. This appears to be a case of using Phenom 100 specs for the Phenom 300.  It could happen to any team, but, both of these should be straight forward fixes.

    Those really dull taxi and landing lights can evidently be fixed, or maybe they can’t.  If you turn on either taxi or landing lights with the overhead switch, then press the L key on your keyboard you will have an increase of about a gagillion lumens or it is candlepower. Anyway, Carenado says it is an FSX problem, so I suggest we keep it on the ‘known issues’ list for now.

     

    A Last Minute Visual Treat (two actually)

    I received an unexpected invitation to view one of the 2015 Phenom 300 models that Melbourne is producing with the Prodigy G3000 Touch panel improvements.  I got right on it and couldn’t sleep for two nights. The real plane parked on the ramp is more impressive than I ever dreamed.  Somehow all the photos and screenshots in the world just does not do this one justice.

     

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    As I walked up the the plane the sheer size is breathtaking. It sits higher than the competition and the tail is way up there. The plane was in classic ‘showroom condition’ and ready for me to fly away, according to the sales person. It didn't have a spec of dust on it – anyplace -  and the highly polished leading edge of the swept wings looked like mirrors.  I think that cabin entry door that gets so much attention is even more impressive as you approach it.

    As I entered the cabin, my mind said, ‘turn left’ and I headed straight to the cockpit although the smell of the cabin and the glow of the woodwork seem to be saying – have a seat, relax, and I hope you have the money to take me home with you.

    I am now sitting in the left seat. The new wider panels are noticeably larger and brighter than the Prodigy 300. 14.1 inches vs 12.1inches and a 16:9 aspect ratio, someone said, and with twice the pixels of the older models – 1,280 x 800 vs 800 x 800 pixels. They almost appear 3D after looking at the desktop screens for the past two months.  Each one can be divided for split views for a total of six viewing areas.  Oh my.

     

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    The new Garmin Touch Controllers, now called GTCs, are equally impressive and so easy to read and navigate. The look like miniature GTN750s.Several switch panels have been relocated to more practical locations and some of the smaller dedicated panels are now better located on the center console so both pilot positions have easy access to them. The gear shift knob was moved left and displaced the Ice Protection which displaced the TAWS.

    The keypad controller has been removedand the four smaller panels immediately below have been rearranged and moved down and aft along the center console.  The Trim was changed from a vertical layout to horizontal and placed directly below the two new GTCs.

    It appears that the thrust levers and flap handle has been moved slightly aft to accommodate the new TAWS panel which is now dividing the TRIM panel and the thrust levers and flaps area. The Engine Start and Fire Extinguisher panels are now fully aft of the thrust levers and parking brake.  See the comparison graphic.

    The quality and design details of the smallest items impressed me. Just sitting in the left seat looking at the Environmental switch panel and the different shapes and sizes of the knobs and switches is remarkable. The throttle knobs, flap handle, and gear operation knobs are all pieces of art. Even the parking brake handle has a clever design.

    The larger PFD and MFD with the increased resolution and more vibrant colors are still not as good as my iPad display with the high-end retina displaybut,are breathtaking when in a cockpit. The synthetic Vision and new split screens seems almost natural. It may not be a night to day update, but it is significantly better than last year’s model, which I thought was already wonderful.

     

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    The cabin may have gotten the least attention with this latest round of upgrades but, it was already outstanding. I haven't spent any time in a new Gulfstream or Dassault cabin but for a less than $10 million dollar light jet, I was certainly impressed. The seats and woodwork makes my Lexus leather interior look like a Kia.

    No, I was not invited for a demo flight, but I treasure the up close and personal look, feel, touch, and smell.  For some reason, those glistening switches, knobs and throttles may have impressed me the most. This was the first time I actually gripped the ram yoke and I agree - it feels more expensive, and more natural than the Citation, Bombardier, Saitek, or CH yoke. Maybe someone will bring the Embraer ram yoke to the flight sim market. Just in case, I am sending a request to my editor reserving priority to write the Avsim hardware review.  I would love to have one for my setup.

    I don’t think Embraer broke any totally new ground with their Phenom series or introduced any key technology breakthroughs in structures, aerodynamics, propulsion or systems.I think they may have simply used the enormous advantage of starting with a clean sheet of paper and made improvements with every gram of graphite that hit the paper.  It certainly helped that they had a clear vision, the financial resources, and the necessary expertise to displace the business jets they chose to challenge at the top of the heap.

     

     

    Complex Aircraft

    After about two months of flying the Phenom 300 in both P3Dv2.5 and FSX:Steam, I started getting the ‘skeleton airframe’ when loading from FSX:Steam.  I still do not know the cause, but the cure is super simple – Reload, using Ctrl - Shift + R.  Works every time, in about 10 seconds.

     

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    Review Conclusions

    It should be apparent that Carenado is slowly catching on to what the flight sim community is expecting in their choices of business jets.  This one meets all the criteria for speed, performance, looks, ramp appeal, and such.  The HD textures could be considered excellent both inside and out and the animations realistic. 

     

    As stated earlier, one of my pet peeves has been the misspelled words on the panel or cockpit.  Not one was found in this Phenom 300.  Another complaint list item is usually something related to the sounds.  Same thing, not a single complaint on the forums to do with the sounds.

     

    Surely, this can be considered progress.  There is evidently not much more I can say about the lack of a flight manual or flight guide for the Carenado models in general – none of them have manuals.

     

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    Practically all the complaints that I read on the forums have to do with the autopilot or Navigraph operation or lack of proper operation, and the missing flight guide or manual.

     

    I find this personally depressing, because I was told that Carenado was delivering this Phenom 300 with a brand new autopilot.  New, as opposed to the reuse of a previously used autopilot from a recent or similar model.  For whatever reason, many of the glitches and fixes were something associated with autopilot operation, like FLC, VS and altitude control.

     

    The basic Carenado Phenom 300 comes with the Carenado defined Prodigy 300 which as far as I can tell is their standard Garmin G1000 adapted to the Phenom 300 engines systems and the basic FSX GPS/Nav system.  A weather radar page, traffic and a few other additions add to the adaption.

     

    The engines and systems monitoring feature is certainly nothing to sneeze at.  It is constantly updated, when the MFD is powered up, and is a crystal clear presentation of data and graphics.  I have already covered in detail the Synoptics pages and their benefit to data presentation.

     

    The limitations are mostly to do with flight plans, available routing methods, and absence of transitions, departure and arrival procedures. It is a pity that some of the standard G1000 functions are not faithfully  replicated in the aircraft.

     

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    This means that those flight simmers that have simulated versions of Garmin G1000 installations, no matter from which developer, a certain turn of the smaller or larger knobs would perform the same or very similar function.  I don’t find this to be the case with Carenado coded FMS functions or G1000 functions.  For instance, to install a flight plan in the Carenado G1000 in the Phenom 300 you start by pressing the PROC key, then work your way through the departure then eventually you select your departing airport.

     

    Many flight simmers have had the Navigraph Expansion on their Carenado wish list for a long time.  I am not sure that anyone thinks their dreams have come true just yet.  But, for those that just must have SIDS and STARS and fly with update-able nav data, one is now available as an additional purchase option.As no surprise to anyone, the optional Navigraph Expansion had a SP1 fix list within a week or so to correct some deficiencies and another SP2 to fix more things that didn’t work correctly but it broke some of the things that SP1 fixed so ‘one step forward, two back’ and the SIDS, STARS and VNAV are waiting for SP3 to function properly.

     

    The flight dynamics seem to be a non-issue with practically all the newer Carenado releases.  I realize that only a select few of our real world pilots have any Phenom 300 time but each one of us can tell when the flight dynamics is off or not correct.  I for one, am very pleased with the total package.  The superior engineering and design of the clean sheet Phenom 300 may be a major contributor to this sense of a well-balanced package.

     

    This means that you can expect the engines to develop the necessary oomph to climb to the upper Flight Levels and not be hindered like the Cessna Citation S/II and you can also expect the performance for speed and fuel burns to be close enough to book to use for flight simulation.  Most of my comparisons are very close to book numbers.  You can also expect a nice solid ‘feel’ when hand flying the Phenom 300.  I like to use the ‘Stable as a Table’ term to describe flying down the approach path and this one is as good as anything I have in my virtual hangar and much better than many.

     

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    I absolutely love the new higher altitudes and faster cruise speeds along with the most up-to-date design features and modern avionics.  Nothing is out of date. (not counting the new Touch Screens that were not available for this one).

     

    I am not to be counted in the Garmin G1000 fan club and I disagree with the statement that twisting the little knob/big knob and  pressingis logical and the easiest method of selections.  I actually feel it is just about as illogical as3 one could make it, however, the MFD and PFD does contain a ton of good flight information, even though it may be buried 2 levels deep or on a page that I can’t find when needed.  All is not lost, for I am beginning to warm up to the G1000 somewhat.  I do fully appreciate that this system provides far more useful information than any system that I may have used or been exposed to in similar airplanes.

     

    I think my dislike for the G1000 is mostly limited to the flight planning functions and logic.  For instance, the engines and systems presentation is excellent and generally easy to read and comprehend.  The new synoptics pages are truly excellent for presenting information and are easy to find. (Did I say that?) Yes, I can find them without getting lost using the dedicated softkeys.  Using dedicated softkeys makes perfect sense to me and is so much easier than the twist and turn and hunt and peck of old.

     

    All the synoptics pages seem to be graphically excellent and appear to be just like the real world model illustrations and photos or images in videos. This is one area that Embraer upped the competition and should be a real aid to the single pilot, and flight sim pilots. One glance and you should be able to see quantities, levels, temperatures, condition, etc.  I didn’t check to see if Carenado included each and every item, but it appears that most are there and overall the presentation is excellent.  (Did I say that, also?) Now if we could just get more Carenado documentation.

     

    I did notice the missing Weight Planning page in the Auxiliary Pages, I’m guessing we are expected to use the FSX drop down Aircraft/Fuel and Payload/feature, which will pause your flight.  One item of interest is the ever present Engines and Systems monitoring feature that has fuel in pounds for each engine and a total box, while the flight planning page has fuel in gallons and does not specify one engine, two engines or total.  I looked to see if I could change that to pounds also and was pleasantly surprised that I could choose, gallons, pounds, or Kilograms.  Yea.

     

    The one Synoptic page that seems out of whack with the others is the ECS Page.  I’m hoping that Carenado did indeed code this page and it just needs a link or something to point to it to fill in all the data.

     

    For those of you that have the F1 GTN750 you can take advantage of the Trip Planning and Fuel Planning pages found in the Utilities folder from the Main Menu.  You have to seed the necessary information but this is easily done and the resulting calculations are excellent and adds that much more to the immersion and simulation of flying a fast jet.

     

    What gets me excited is having all these up-to-the-minute design features, good looks, exceptional performance, superior speed and endurance and being able to add the aftermarket Flight1 GTN750 unit directly into the VC and retain all the functionality of the Carenado coded MFD functions.  I feel the last few Carenado models has given us that flexibility.  Sure, it is expensive, but not outrageously expensive.  It is a one-time purchase when you commit to the F1GTNs for you get a total of four units that can be used in every airplane in your hangar.  Many come with community supported installation instructions.

     

    A few parting comments . . .

     

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    I stopped writing on this review about 2 months ago thinking a later SP or updated version would arrive that fixed the few remaining gremlins, but, alas it was not to be.  The hiatus did give me some quality time to decipher a few more of the hidden pieces of the Carenado Phenom 300 paint kit puzzle.  The end result of my efforts are a double handful of semi-good quality repaints that can be found in the Avsim Library.  None are perfect, or even near perfect, but they are all flyable and if you don’t lift the skirt to high, you will never see most of the warts and such.

     

    My two favorites are F-HMML and C-GMSO, both based on real world models.  The ones that are most popular according the the download statistics are N900HT, N5RM, N54RM and OY-PWO.

     

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    I only include these images because of the ongoing complaints that most of the Carenado models have so few, if any, community provided repaints.  While this is generally true, only a few brave folks will even attempt a Carenado repaint due to the perception it is a difficult paint kit, but I took it on as a challenge.

     

    I also got more flying time in than usual for an airplane being reviewed.  I skimmed through the forums several times to see who is complaining and the subject of the complaints.There is certainly a short list of items that needs to be fixed or explained by Carenado.  If we exclude the Navigraph bugs for now, for I have no doubt they will be corrected, it is just a matter of when, then we can enjoy flying high, flying very fast, and we can extend our range to include a ton of new airports.  My typical round robin now takes about 3 hours flight time and is usually more than a 1,000 nm as compared to the previous 400 nm or so.

     

    After having the opportunity to crawl around, sit in, touch and feel a 2015 model Phenom 300 with the Prodigy Touch system, I was surprised at how many changes, I probably should say improvements, have been made to accommodate the two touch panels. I suspect this may have been requested by those operators using two pilots as this keeps the right-seat pilot from having to reach over into the left-seat pilot’s panel space.  Btw, NetJets and FlightOptions both require two pilots.

     

    With the absence of any ‘how to fly the plane’ documentation, I think many of the flight sim pilots would benefit from spending the time adapting flight tutorials from similar aircraft.  One small point that may have been overlooked is that without an autothrottle when engaging the FLC mode doesn’t seem to do anything, moving the thrust position from cruise to continuous or to climb is all that is needed for it to kick in. Of course, it works just the opposite with descents, where you would want to retard thrust to kick in the FLC command.

     

     

    Recommendations

    I like the basic EMB-505 Phenom 300 HD just like it comes in the download.  I think it should satisfy a large number of flight sim enthusiasts that have been yearning for just such a bizjet. I suggest this Phenom 300 is the best light jet that we have available for flight simming. This doesn’t mean that it is a perfect add on, but, it is by far, better than anything else we have available for FSX/P3Dv2/v3.

     

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    I probably will be more enthusiastic about the Navigraph Expansion Pack once the niches and glitches are worked out.  It does appeal to me, if nothing more than to have update-able nav data and additional features for flight planning and the addition of SIDS, STARS, VNAV and such.  I guess I am not waiting with baited breathe because the F1 GTN750 already has most of those things.

     

    You don't need to have a subscription with Navigraph because this Expansion Pack installs an October 2013 Navigraph database which has all the information you need to perform a flight, but if you want to keep your database up to date you will need a subscription with Navigraph.

     

    I remain disappointed that the autopilot functions and altitude capture features still top the list of complaints in the forums.  Of course, most of all, I remain disappointed in the lack of documentation and the total absence of a flight guide or manual.

     

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    I am not one that gets bogged down in the nitty gritty of systems management when flying a $50 flight sim add on.  I do expect the basic operation and systems to be practical and function correctly when modeled.  If the ITT happens to be a needle width off, I am OK with that.  When a total page is missing from the MFD, like Weight and Balance, I am disappointed, but I move on. 

     

    The electronic Checklist package on the MFD, the extensive number of functional switches and knobs, the graphic presentation of the engines and systems available full time on the left side of the MFD, and the easy to find and esy to use synoptics pages and the practical use of the CAS messages and audible cautions and warnings makes this one plenty complex enough for this old real world pilot.

     

    Don’t overlook the features that can be found by using the Shift + 4 and +6 keys.  Opening and closing the smaller doors and using the static elements and GPU adds to the immersion.  Instrument reflections and VC windows are key features for many sim pilots.  The ability to select Cold and Dark or Ready to Taxi is found by using the Shift +6 feature.

     

    The way I fly a business jet using my desktop flight simulator, I find the Carenado Phenom 300 to be the best choice that I have available today. I love climbing direct to FL450 and seeing how fast I can fly, how much fuel I’m using, and I love making approaches and greaser landings.Can it be improved?  Certainly, but until that day arrives, I will have a lot of enjoyable flight time and not be checking the front page to see what may or may not have been introduced this week.

     

    When I get really excited is when I add the aftermarket F1 GTN750 to the panel.  This seems to be the ‘best of the best’ as a total package.  You have just about everything one could ask for in a fast, modern business jet.  Speed, great ramp appeal, excellent FDE, sufficiently deep enough systems, fuel management, weight and balance, and overall performance that can be related to real world documentation and operations. It is not a Prodigy Touch G3000 but, it is as close as we can get in FSX/P3D today.

     

    One of the many benefits of having that big GTN750 dead center and full-sized in the VC is the availability of the Safe Taxi Charts, updated moving charts, and the rubber band method of route changes.  A close second is the ease of building flight plans and the ability to catalog, recall, edit and invert the routes. All this ease of use, additional features, extensive world maps, etc, just gives me more time to enjoy flying the Phenom 300 vs sitting on the ground being frustrated because I can’t find the cursor.

     

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    As pilots, we can do a number of things to enhance our situational awareness in all phases of flight and airport diagrams are great examples of using "all available resources." These charts are particularly helpful when exiting the runway and receiving your taxi clearance from tower or ground.

     

    Somewhere in this buffet, you should be able to pick and choose the best model and configuration for your type of flying and your personal wishes.

     

    But, all these options start with the decision to purchase the Carenado Phenom 300.  Is this the correct choice for you?  Only you can make that decision. If you ask me for my advice as a pilot, a flight sim pilot, and as a reviewer, I will look you in the eye and state:  As far as I know, there is not a better choice available for a business jet for FSX/P3D.  And yes, I am flying mine in P3Dv2.5 and FSX:SE on the same pc.

     

    The view of the world from FL450 is totally different than bouncing along at 6,000 feet trying to maintain 180 kts and dodging the cloud buildups.  Not to mention a cruise speed of 450 kts, and did I mention the ramp appeal, or the synoptics . . .

     

     

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    What!No recommendation for the Avsim Gold Star?

    ‘fraid not.  Yes, this is my favorite small jet for FSX and P3Dv2 and the basic Carenado EMB-505 comes highly recommended, but complete and preferably dedicated documentation is one of the criteria’s for the award.  Maybe a revisit is called for after the Navigraph Expansion Pack is fully working and all the autopilot functionsare repaired and who knows, some of our fellow flight simmers might get together and prepare an honest to goodness Flight Manual and give it to Carenado.  Then we might have a candidate for the Avsim Gold Star.

     

    A few images that I forgot to include.

     

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    A Short bonus section on the Touchscreens.

    If I owned an early model Phenom 300, I would most definitely trade up for a newer model with the Prodigy Touch upgrade.

     

    It is amazing what you can do with these two small touchscreens and how much they simplify the cockpit management and pilot workload.  I would not be surprised to see some sort of STC by one of the larger avionics shops for retrofitting the early fleet.  Probably not more than a cool $ million and change for the upgrade.

     

    Zoom this image up and spend some time checking out all the information.  Remember, there are lots of levels below these for the details. Each of these functions work with the MFD to display the data.  This is a huge super high resolution image.

     

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    These sticky notes are from Flight Safety’s eLearning course with an overview of the benefits of the new Prodigy Touch.  Interesting.

     

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    You should be able to find some online videos showing more detail if interested.

     

    Some help for those that are seeking proper speeds and procedures for the Carenado Phenom 300.

     

     

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    Credits

     

    Thanks to Carenado for providing the add ons for the review.

     

    A very special thanks to Tim Garris for the FS MaNiA flight training/tutorial video series to support this review.

     

    More thanks to those that provided the excellent screenshots to show off the Phenom 300 and the repaints. This is David Graham, FilippoNesi, and TimGarris.

     

    Credit to kroswynd for the 4 screenshots with the orange repaint.  These were captured online at one of the forums.

     

    Credit to Michael Schmitt, Avsim member Mik75 for the 4screenshots of the ‘all out for the approach’ in the conclusion.

     

    Thanks to our friend Bert Pieké for providing many of the fixes, enhancements and additions and for making available the F1 GTN750 panel mods.

     

    Another special thanks to those that provided the real world documentation for the Phenom 300 enabling me and FSMania to have a performance baseline to measure the operation and performance of the Carenado Phenom 300.

     

    Credit to Embraer Executive Jets sales team for the Phenom 300 Master Presentation July 2015.

     

    Credit to Google for the Epic Delivery route map image.

     

    3 short Videos of the Phenom 300 that might entice some flight sim painters to have a go at the Carenado Phenom 300. http://www.jetaviva.com/video-blog.php?v=ZcpXH806y-g&b=1 2010 N88DW 5:36  Dark Red/White very close up views

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7htDs0V5fc 2013 N900HT 4:39 Good narrative on features, static and flying, Jet AVIVA.

    https://vimeo.com/70121094 Full HD version of Jet AVIVA N900HD review Ben Marcus

     

    System Requirements

     

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