Embraer 'Phenom 100'
For FSX / Prepar3D Published by Carenado
Reviewed by Andrew Godden
The very light jet (VLJ) category in aviation has had a relatively
slow start due to external pressures on the industry. Nonetheless,
since the mid 2000s, the available model range and firm orders
placed with manufacturers have increased steadily. The Embraer
EMB-500 'Phenom 100' is Embraer's offering in the VLJ market niche.
Renowned for producing general aviation aircraft models for
Microsoft Flight Simulator, Carenado recently expanded their model
range into larger aircraft categories with the Beechcraft B1900D.
The Embraer 'Phenom 100' is the latest offering from Carenado which
expands their offering further into the VLJ category. Aesthetically,
the 'Phenom 100' is a beautiful aircraft, and this is an aircraft
which is deserving of a closer look.
The Embraer 'Phenom 100' has a capacity for four passengers in its
normal configuration, but can carry up to six passengers with a
single crew and with an optional side facing seat and belted toilet.
The aircraft is fitted with two rear-mounted turbofan engines which
have dual full authority digital engine control (FADEC).
Embraer launched the EMB-500 VLJ, later assigned the marketing name
of the 'Phenom 100', in May 2005. After its first flight on 26 July
2007, the first production delivery was made to a customer in
December 2008, just under 18 months later. Now with over 300
aircraft produced, the 'Phenom 100' continues to be a solid
performer for Embraer.
Availability and Installation
The Carenado Embraer 'Phenom 100' is currently available direct from
Carenado and Carenado resellers as a 'download only' product (some
resellers also offer a master back-up CD / DVD service for a minor
additional cost). It is priced at US$39.95, or the equivalent on
currency cross rates. The download file size is 258MB and it
requires 670MB of HDD space for installation. An ‘activation key' is
issued on purchase and is used during installation and the
installation process is intuitive and seamless.
The model features listed by Carenado for the Embraer 'Phenom 100'
are typical of models in the Carenado range and include:
● HD quality textures (2048 x 2048);
● Carenado G1000 'Prodigy' glass cockpit system, with input
● weather radar embedded in the G1000;
● original Phenom EADI;
● original Phenom systems and status screens;
● customizable panel for controlling aircraft windows transparency,
instrument reflections, and static elements;
● real weight and balance, and realistic behaviour; and
● full FSX and P3D v2.0 compatibility.
General. The Embraer 'Phenom 100' oozes luxury and refinement.
Compact and sleek, it is a personal corporate VLJ which makes a
statement about the class of its owner and Carenado have captured
this and the appealing design and sleekness of the 'Phenom 100'
Exterior. The Embraer 'Phenom 100' is reflective of the Embraer
range and displays the characteristic design of Embraer aircraft.
Carenado's modelling of the 'Phenom 100' is excellent. With very
accurate modelling, a very high level of detail, and sharp, crisp
lines, the modelling of the 'Phenom 100' displays the classic
Carenado touch they have become renowned for. The surface textures,
reflections, and shadings give the aircraft a crisp and realistic
appearance, providing for a very natural appearance, with the nose
cowl of the engine nacelles being particularly magnificent. The
absence of any dirt, grease, or oil stains, reflect the limousine
like quality of this aircraft. A comparative review of photographs
of real world aircraft to Carenado's rendition reveal the exterior
shape and dimensions to be extremely accurate and a true
representation of the real world aircraft.
The Pointy End
The first views of the interior nearly take your breath
away - this is Carenado through and through. If the exterior oozes
refinement, the interior is simply dripping with it. The cockpit has
a highly functional layout and follows the somewhat standard layout
for Embraer aircraft. Centred around the Garmin G1000 based
'Prodigy' glass cockpit avionics suite, this is an 'office' you can
enjoy sitting in for those long corporate flights. Even for its
compact size, the rear cabin is appointed like chambers at the
Temple end of Fleet Street, adorned with plush leather seats and
highly polished wood grain panelling. The qualities of the textures
are such that you can nearly reach out and feel the quality of the
leather on the seats and see your reflection in the panelling.
Again, a comparative review of photographs of real world aircraft to
Carenado's rendition reveal the interior shape and dimensions to be
extremely accurate and a true representation of the real world
aircraft. Any noted differences were minor are considered to be
related to real world production variations or a degree of artistic
licence on the part of the developer.
Flight Instruments and Systems.
Just Sit Back & Relax
For some, and particularly those not
familiar with a full glass cockpit, they can be complex and
daunting. However, there is a benign simplicity to them as well,
with all the relevant flight, engine, navigation, and other data
presented on two large LCD screens. Once you are familiar with the
basic operation of the 'Prodigy' suite, flying the 'Phenom 100' is a
breeze, and further mastery of the suite can follow relatively
quickly. The 'Prodigy' and other elements of the cockpit are highly
accurate and very detailed, and clear and easy to read. Naturally,
at lower zoom ranges, some of the clarity is lost on the LCD screens
and panel labelling and can be difficult to read, however, various
alternative cockpit camera views are available to provide more
detailed views. Whilst the Garmin G1000 'Prodigy' can first appear
to be a daunting avionics suite to master, the manual covers its in
quite some detail and is a MUST READ at some stage.
Prodigy Avionics Suite
There are six individual liveries (a selection only shown
below) provided with the Carenado Embraer 'Phenom 100', each having
a unique aircraft registration number, as well as a blank texture
for aircraft painting enthusiasts. The liveries display the usual
Carenado high quality. Surface textures, reflections, and shadings
give the aircraft a crisp and realistic appearance, with additional
dirt, oil, and grease stains providing a very natural appearance.
Animations, Lighting and Sounds
The animations of the primary and secondary control surfaces and
other moving elements on Carenado's Embraer 'Phenom 100' are all
modelled faithfully and include:
primary control surfaces – ailerons, elevator and rudder;
secondary control surfaces – flaps;
others – retractable gear, trim tabs, rolling wheels, cabin door
open / close, baggage access doors open / close, cockpit window
cabin window shades; and
various static ground elements.
The lighting and lighting effects on the 'Phenom 100' are a good,
realistic representation of the real world aircraft. In particular,
the interior custom lighting control, which provides detailed night
light effects for the instrument panel and the cockpit, are very
good and replicate the night lighting seen in photographs of real
Late Night in the Office
Cabin Mood Lighting
Blinded by the Light
As best as could be assessed, the sounds on the Carenado 'Phenom
100' are also reasonably realistic of the real world aircraft, if
not somewhat generic in nature.
General Characteristics and Performance Specifications
The general characteristics and performance specifications for the
Embraer 'Phenom 100' are provided in the table. This is based on
data from the official Embraer 'Phenom 100' Pilot Operating
Handbooks, data provided by Carenado, and general research sources.
Some of this data varies between sources and also may be an
approximation due to variances in data and the specific aircraft
modelled by Carenado.
A specific Test Flight was conducted from Hobart (YMHB) to Bundaberg
(YBUD) to test the flight performance of Carenado's Embraer 'Phenom
100'. The flight was conducted in clear weather with a full fuel
load and the aircraft at maximum take-off weight (MTOW). A cruise
altitude of FL280 was adopted and the route distance was
approximately 1,100 nm. The route was particularly chosen to provide
a basis upon which to test the range characteristics of the 'Phenom
100'. Like most aircraft of this type, adjustments must be made to
fuel / pax loading to remain within the MTOW limitations.
With the 'Phenom 100' at MTOW, the take-off roll is long, nearly
arduous, but once established on the climb to cruise, the nimbleness
of this aircraft becomes apparent. Established at the specified rate
of climb, the 'Phenom 100' climbs effortlessly, but as altitude
increases, it requires the natural adjustments to the rate of climb
to maintain an optimum climb speed until the aircraft was
established at the cruise altitude and a cruise speed of Mach 0.50.
It was noted that a marginally higher than stated N1% was required
to achieve the specified cruise speed, however this is not
The cruise setting produced endurance reasonably consistent with
the range characteristics of the aircraft, albeit fuel starvation
occurred whilst taxiing to the ramp. The Test Flight confirms the
modelling of the 'Phenom 100' for cruise speed and range performance
to be reasonably accurate.
Flying Made Easy
The aircraft was easy to taxi. With flaps setting of 'Flaps 1',
aircraft rotation occurred at approximately 105 knots indicated air
speed (KIAS) and the aircraft easily maintained a normal climb speed
at the specified rate of climb of 1,300 ft/min. The climb to cruise
altitude was also within the specified procedure parameters.
Configured for landing, the aircraft’s approach speed was
approximately 105 KIAS and it touched down at approximately 95 KIAS.
In testing the accuracy of the instruments, based on the measured
Test Flight, the speed indications on the airspeed indicator, were
consistent with the averages measured. Additionally, when
establishing a set rate of climb on the vertical speed indicator,
the respective gain in altitude on the altimeter was achieved within
the measured minute, and a standard rate turn was achieved within
the measured two minute period using the turn coordinator.
Turning for Finals
In all, the performance of Carenado’s Embraer 'Phenom 100' was
excellent in flight, displaying the expected flight characteristics
of this aircraft. The aircraft is nimble, handles beautifully, and
is a delight to fly. Overall, the aircraft model displays a very
accurate rendition of the flight characteristics and a reasonably
accurate rendition of performance of the real world aircraft.
There are five manuals / documents provided in Adobe Acrobat format
(.pdf) for the Embraer 'Phenom 100':
Carenado 'Prodigy' G1000 - this 33 page manual details the
operating of the G1000 'Prodigy' avionics suite;
Normal Procedures - this 27 page manual details the procedures for
the normal operation of the aircraft;
Performance Tables – this 12 page manual details the performance
tables and specifications for the aircraft;
Emergency Procedures – this six page manual details the emergency
procedures for the aircraft; and
Recommended Settings – this two page document detailed recommended
FSX settings for display and realism.
Value for Money
On a value for money assessment, the Carenado Embraer 'Phenom 100'
is considered excellent.
The aircraft model performed excellently within the existing
settings I have in FSX. I have most of my settings set very high and
there was no need to make any adjustments. FSX continued to perform
smoothly and as it would with any default aircraft.
This version of the Carenado Embraer 'Phenom 100' is for FSX / P3D
only. Other specified technical requirements are as follows:
* Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 (32 or 64bit);
* Microsoft Flight Simulator FSX with SP1 and SP2 (or Acceleration
Pack) or Lockheed Martin Prepar3d Flight Simulator v1.4 or v2.0
* Pentium V, 3GHz or similar, 2GB RAM, 512MB graphics card, and
670MB available HDD space.
Review Computer Specifications
The specifications of the computer on which the review was conducted
are as follows:
* Intel i7 990X Extreme 3.46GHz;
* NVidia GTX580, 1536MB graphics;
* 12GB Kingston DDR3 2000MHz;
* Windows 7, (64bit);
* Microsoft Flight Simulator FSX Acceleration; and
* additional major add-ons include: Active Sky Next, REX Essential
Plus Overdrive; Ultimate Traffic 2; Orbx FTX Global BASE; Orbx FTX
Global VECTOR; Orbx FTX Global openLC EU; Orbx FTX region series;
and Orbx FTX airport series.
The Embraer 'Phenom 100' is another fantastic aircraft from Carenado
and, yet again, Carenado have delivered an aircraft which is rich in
detail and accuracy. The 'Phenom 100' displays an excellent balance
of quality and detail at an excellent price. If you are a fan of
corporate aircraft, VLJs, and / or Embraer aircraft in particular,
you will enjoy the Carenado Embraer 'Phenom 100'.
Another excellent product from Carenado, the Embraer 'Phenom 100'
displays a high quality and attention to detail and represents
excellent overall value for money.
Quality and attention to detail.
Realistic modelling and performance.
Excellent value for money.
Minor issues only, as noted.
● External Model:
● Flight Characteristics (does it fly by the numbers):
● Flight Dynamics (does it feel like what it looks like):
● Value for Money:
The Carenado Embraer 'Phenom 100' is awarded an overall Mutley’s Hangar score of 9.7/10,
with an "Outstanding" and a Mutley's Hangar Gold Award.