Very Light Jet
A very light jet or VLJ is a category of small private jet which is sometimes knows as an entry level jet or personal jet. Very light jets were previously known as “micro jets”, predominantly due to their size and weight, with the maximum take-off weight being just 4,540 kg. These small private jets provide seating for 4-8 people and are generally used for short trips of 300-500 miles in a time of between 40 and 80 minutes.
Prices for a Very Light Jet range between $2 million and $3.5 million which is approximately half the cost of current “entry-level” jets. Operating and Fuel costs are also considerably lower but considering these facts the Very Light Jets do not fail in any way on their performance; many of these VLJs reach speeds of up to 450 mph and can reach altitudes of around 41,000 ft.
Very Light Jets are of course supposed to have lower operating costs than the conventional jets available, and as such are able to run on shorter runways, some as little as 3,000 feet (914 m). The main uses for a Very Light Jet are as a point to point air taxi service or for personal use.
Examples of some of the “VLJ’s” available are the Cessna Mustang, Phenom 100 and the Eclipse 500.
The Cessna Mustang
The Cessna Mustang has a range-inspired performance and speed which is only to be expected from a Mustang. The aircraft tackles the sky like only a jet can whilst still providing the efficiency of a very light aircraft. The Mustang has an aerodynamic design and is built from technology which is truly advanced, making for exceptional performance and can climb to 41,000 feet in just 27 minutes. The Mustang can generate speeds of up to 400 mph with a range of over 1200 miles on one tank of fuel.
Embraer’s Phenom 100
The Embraer Phenom 100 is a Brazilian designed and manufactured Very Light Jet. The Phenom 100 can carry up to six passengers depending on configuration along with the pilot, with an optional side facing seat and lavatory. The Phenom 100 has a maximum flying range of 1,355 miles with four occupants.
The Eclipse 500
Eclipse Aerospace only recently unveiled their new production twin-engine jet, the Eclipse 550. Featuring the very best in economics, class performance and safety and with the ability to fly at 41,000 feet with speeds in the range of 430 mph. The Eclipse 500 is highly economical, consuming just 59 gallons of fuel per hour, making the Eclipse 500 one of the most efficient and cost effective twin-engine jets available.
New technology makes everything cheaper and smaller, private jets are not an exception to this rule. The new generation of Very Light Jets like the Eclipse 500 and Cessna Mustang didn’t become available until 2006 and the Embraer Phenom 100 appeared two years later.
All three of the options above all use the same Pratt & Whitney PW600 engine, however each has very different power ratings. The Phenom is the heaviest at 10,472 pounds, The Mustang’s is 8,645 pounds, and The Eclipse is the smallest with the lightest maximum take-off weight at just 6,000 pounds.