Citation V/Ultra/Bravo Information

7KCAB

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I'm looking for comments from folks who have flown/operated any or all of these models, especially anyone who has flown/operated more than one of these. We operate a 501 currently and are looking at a possible upgrade.

Specifically:

Maintenance - seems like primarily the same systems/inspections as the 501 (save for the Bravo's engines and a little more real estate to maintain). Anything peculiar to any of these models as opposed to a 501/550? I know windshields are a gotcha with most of the 500-series and to stay away from ones approaching the 10,000 hour mark.

Do the Bravo's PW530A engines have any quirks/issues that the JT-15D series do not? How do the HSI/OH costs compare?

Performance: What kind of real-world TAS/fuel burns do you see in these? Any loading/ZFW issues?

Finally, would you get anything more (performance/operating cost) for the 1 million average difference between the V and Ultra acquisition cost, other than a newer airplane/avionics?

Thanks in advance.

7KCAB
 

H.Agenda

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I dont know much.. havent flown a bravo but I have been casually researching them for a few weeks, for the boss.

I do know for certain that the overhauls for the 530A are a little high. Running about 900K for both engines. That was a quote from Dallas Airmotive. I have heard up to 1.2M, but that is heresay.
 

tdwnds1

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Bravo Performance

I flew the Bravo for four years and have alot of experience in the aircraft.

First of all the Bravo is happiest in the Mid to High 30s. You cant get it to 450 no problem, but its not really happy up there.

Realistic fuel burn is about 12-1300 lbs first hour. 1100 the second and 1000 the third and fourth. The maximum time I spent in the aircraft has been 4 and 30 minutes and still landed with 1000lbs.

Max range (with a good tailwind) is 1600 miles. Been able to do PHX to MCO and still land with plenty of fuel.

Landing is exceptional, brakes are good and if you are at Vref over the fence you might not even need to use the reversers on a short (3600-4000 field). Just come in light around 11500 with a Vref of approx. 102kts.

The PW530A is a pretty good engine. Not too many quirks other than you got to check the oil useage periodically. The reversers can be a problem once in a while (had a few ARM lights), but the EMER STOW takes care of that problem.

The glass cockpit works well and is well laid out if somewhat oriented to single pilot operations, but it works fine in a crew of two.

If there are any cons it is that is get HOT in the summer in the cockpit of the Bravo. GPU useage is a MUST and its small up there for the big guys.

If you have any other questions PM me.

Let me also know if you need a pilot I am looking for work :)
 

CelticCitation

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Currently flying an Ultra. Would say it is a step above a straight V, but it should be. An extra 250+ lbs. thrust per side makes a pretty big difference hot and high, and allows for a little more speed at a little higher altitude. We plan on 390 to 410 as optimum altitudes, but does ok at 430.

The avionics are nice, but ironically, an older V, or II, or whatever might have nicer MFD displays because they were probably upgraded when GPWS was required. The Primus II is a great and reliable system, but getting dated compared to some newer glass. The old Cit. II we used to have had a great KMD 850 that had all kinds of info, where the Primus is fairly limited. Definitely prefer the Primus PFD to steam gauges though.

As for being a million more, that is as much a function of age as anything. The Ultras are newer than the V's and are worth more because of it. An apples to apples is difficult, but there are newer ('94ish) V's that are low time that have list prices more than older ('95) Ultras that are of higher time. As a pilot, I'd rather fly an Ultra than a V, but I would also rather fly a Encore+ than a worn out Ultra.
 

TransMach

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We operate a V and if I were you I'd look at the Learjet 35A. It's gonna cost you less to acquire, a little more to operate per hour, but less per mile and will out perform the Citation in every respect.

TransMach
 

BoilerUP

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Doesn't the LR35 need more runway and have a smaller cabin than the 560?
 

7KCAB

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As to the Lear 35A, many factors cause us lean to the Citations.

With a Citation V/Ultra/Bravo, initial training is less (already have the type), they are single pilot capable, baggage capacity (our folks like to carry ALOT - definitely not the 35A's strong suit), and short runway performance (we do a good bit of 4000 foot strips). Also, our folks are comfortable with the operational costs of a 500-series Citation and going to the Lear would definitely be an increase in operational cost and somewhat of an unknown factor for us.

Lears are very small inside (definitely bigger than the Citation 501). You are correct in that they operate about as cheap per mile as anything out there. The 501 is one of the more expensive airplanes per mile.

Not sure exactly what the Lear'd DOC's would be, but figuring conservatively (at cruise) and at $1800/hour at 440 KTAS = $4.09/NM as opposed to the Citation 501 at $1500/hour and 335 KTAS = $4.48/NM.

However, take our typical year of 280 hours flown in our Citation 501 x 335 NM/hour (for argument) = 93,800 miles flown in a year. Take 93,800 / 440 NM/hour in the Lear 35A and get 213 hours flown for the same trips that we would have flown in our Citation 501 at 335 NM/hour. We'd fly 67 hours less on a given year in the Lear on identical trips than the Citation 501.

Again, for argument's sake, take the Lear 35A @ $1800/hour x 213 hours/year = $383,400. Take our Citation 501 @ $1500/hour x 270 hours/year = $405,000. Only a difference in cost of $21,600 - not even covering the copilot's salary that we would incur.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to fly a Lear, but it doesn't make sense for 80% of our missions. I've tried to make the numbers work on faster/sexier airplanes, but I just keep coming back to the 500-series for what we need.
 

cezzna

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I would steer towards a used CJ-3 or CJ-2. The maintenance is alot cheaper in this series. No phase 5 every 36 months. No ACM. The 530 series engines work really well but it is true that whether the encore or the bravo, plan on a million a side. That's alot of coin for a light jet engine. Straight 5 is a good plane. 1600 first hour 1200 thereafter, take it right to 410. The Ultra is better yet. Had by far the most issues of maintenance with the encore. The pressurization in the encore sucks.

The whole 500 series fleet is jurassic jet now, if for only the old school maintenance costs.
 

BoilerUP

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Doesn't the Encore have the same digital pressurization as the CJ2/3?
 

jetpilotbc

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I currently operate a Citation Ultra in West Texas from a 5300 feet runway day in and day out. The Ultra is a great utility aircraft. Dallas to Vegas non-stop with 9 passengers is hard to beat at $2200 dollars per hour. We currently have the Ultra for sale www.jbaircraftservices.com . Our company is upgrading to something faster and may keep flying to Ultra if we cannot sell it.
 

SLUF4

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I flew the 500, 550, and 560 Ultra...must say the Ultra was a nice step up in performance and avionics. We routinely cruised at FL410 and TAS was about 430 if I remember correctly...bout 100 knots better than the I and Eagle Mod I we had. I enjoyed my time flying the Ultra.
 

jaxpilot

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Good stuff on the Ultra- we go to pre-buy next week on SN 324... trading in a Lear 35.
 

jetpilotbc

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Let me know if I can help with any pilot or operation questions. I might even be able to help out on some contract work.
 

aufan

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Lots of hours in both---you have gotten good feedback here

In short---Bravo good for 1-1.5 hr. leg lengths--slow--gotta keep on eye on W&B when loading more than 4 pax w/out bags

Ultra--much better performer--40 knots faster than Bravo and can load the a/c up w/out any issues W&B wise

Ultra over Bravo unless short leg lengths then u might as well go cheaper unless cash no issue
 

fr8r

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One of the biggest expenses in the Bravo or Ultra is the Meggit. If that breaks, its 20k. Cessna will not warranty that either. Also, you could get a big red X on the displays now and then. More than likely it is only because the plug in the back became unseated. Don't replace the display, just try to reseat or switch with the other display. Outside of those issues, the bravo is an excellent airplane for what it is made for. I actually made is from SFO to RFD(Illinois) one time non-stop with no pax of course.

As apposed to the 35, the bravo or ultra has more space everywhere, baggage, cabin, etc... I do like flying the 35 though. The other good thing about the Citations over Lears is that the bathroom and outflow valves are in the back instead of right in the front by the pilots. I was flying a Lear 31A one time and one of the passengers had really, really bad gas. I thought that me and the FO were gonna pass out. needless to say, we both donned the O2 masks & turned around to see what was happening. The other pax were all laughing and pointing at the culprit. It was funny watching this guy get out of the plane. I have never seen anyone walk like that before. I think he shat in his britches.
 
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nwf800

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where are you guys looking to operate it? Who manages your aircraft
 

tdwnds1

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If someone needs a Bravo Pilot, Im your guy!

Got over 1200 hours and 4 years in one!

I could use the work :)
 
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