Best Of The Best 2006: Light Speed

Embraer, a Brazilian company that had been building regional jets and military aircraft, branched into the executive-jet category last year when it introduced the Legacy 600, an ­aircraft that compares favorably to Falcons and Challengers. Recognizing untapped potential in the light-jet market, the company last year announced both the Phenom 100 and its larger sibling, the eight-passenger Embraer Phenom 300.

Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada engines with 3,200 pounds of thrust each, the 300 recalls smaller Cessna Citations. The design calls for 2,070 miles of range with reserves, a cruising speed of 517 mph, and a cruising altitude as high as 45,000 feet. The plane reportedly needs only a 3,700-foot runway at its greatest weight.

Embraer expects to begin delivering this efficient light jet in mid-2009, at a price of about $6.6 million.




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