View Full Version : challenger 300 or Sovreign

28th Feb 2009, 20:08
Hi there,
I fly a CJ2 in India and our company is looking to buy another jet. Althought looking at our requirements of shorter runway performance and hot weather the sovreign sems to be an ideal aircraft for us. The thing is because of the recession the 300 is availabl for less than 11 million with a total time of 1500 hrs...would you advise to go in for a 300 or sovreign? Could anybody also advise on the tech probs than one faces quite often on the 300?

Silvio Pettirossi
1st Mar 2009, 15:17
Pilotguy, why dont you post this same cuestion in the "BizJet, Ag Flying, GA etc." section of PPRuNe? I think you are going to get more answers there.:ok:

galaxy flyer
1st Mar 2009, 18:40
I'm in the biz and doubt you will find a CL300 for under $11 million USD. One recently sold for $16 million and that was considered unbelievable. Good plane, though, no maintenance issues, strong performer, operators love 'em


Empty Cruise
1st Mar 2009, 19:08
Have never flown the Citation, sorry.

The CL30 is a very strong performer and will be happy on 1500m-runways with a full load out and 1200m in. It will also take you straight to FL430 @ M.79 at MTOM, so if airspace structure is a concern, this capability will generally buy you a direct or two.

Baggage space depends very heavily on what galley has been fitted, so worth checking out before buying - the Citation might well come out on top here.

Range is the biggest advantage for the CL30. 3100 NAM with ample reserves, although it will only lift 2 people and their modest luggage with that kind of fuel on board. Make sure your aircraft has the increased gross weight mod - or you're down to 1 punter and his briefcase for full fuel.

Technically well designed aeroplane - the jackscrew lube system on the flaps is known to need a mod, so that should have been done before buying. HYD press sensor on L system known to suffer failures due to vibration where it is installed, but apart from those two minors, no real worries. Spurious failures of various sub-systems are not uncommon, but that's true for most modern small aircraft that have a lot of computers.

Cabin space should exceed that of the Citation, and they've been strong sellers from word go, so resale value should keep up (or should I say recover?).

If you told us your typical mission profile and the next two subsets, someone in there might give you a better comparison - or suggest other types worth considering. My money is on it being down to cabin space vs. range.


G-SPOTs Lost
1st Mar 2009, 23:49
Citation is unbelievable on the runway, Sub 1000m todr are common at Gross, where it really amazes is the runway performance for the two hour Uk/Southern France/SPain mission where available airports just open up unbelievably. There is practically nowhere you cant go in a 680 that you cant in a CJ. ATC once reported we left the ground (not to 35ft) in 350m!

Its a clever clean wing with my record Vref being 93 knts and M.80 up to high 30's, once inthe 40's it'll be back to .74 or less work on .72 for 6 hour legs, it has the brakes of the 750 which has a 6000lb higher max land weight. Never once really used the TR's other than deploying them

baggage space is class leading, you'll bulk out before running overweight, Its huge and will take a 1/2 tonne

Bad points are build quality, in 2007/2008 Cessna were shoving them out the door a little faster then they should have done. Its the legacy cabin from the 650 but with a flat aisle albeit with new sidepanels that make it feel a little more roomy longest cabin Cessna have ever made

Paints crap - needs lots of work

Avionics are EPIC same backbone as Falcon EasY and Planeview and now that Honeywell seem to be back in the Game the ludicrous restrictions are slowly dropping off.

Private owners are going stateside in them, they are no threat to a CL300 on those kind of ops, for All of the EU and near middle east theres nothing to come near it for the money or operating cost.

That 300 is a handsome bugger though

Rude Mude
2nd Mar 2009, 02:06
I don't know much about the Sovereign, but I instruct on the CL-30 and know it pretty well. I'll brag on it first.

It has amazing range for its size. 3100 miles. It's dispatching at 99.6% reliability. It's surprisingly simple, with no LEDs, and no overhead panel. The Mitsubishi wing is very forgiving, having demonstrated steep turns at FL450 without eeking into either side of the coffin corner. It is rediculously quiet in the cabin as is, and with the Lufthansa Technik NICE system (cabin kit and soundproofing), you're looking at 56 dB in the back. The HTF7000 Engine had to be derated so the plane could make glide path, which is good for us, because it extends the life of the engine. The engine also has 50% fewer parts than the 731, with all the lube lines encased in the gearbox and right at 40 borescope points allowing for on-wing hot section inspections.

The bad news is that that the thing is still awefully new and fairly pricey. I agree with the other chap when he says you're likely to be looking at 16 million for a decent airplane. There are some snags with the AOG parts logistics, but again, it's dispatch rate is very high. The other drawback is that right now, it is a non-autothrottle aircraft, with that option anticipated later this year. The Collins FMS 5000 is currently not WAAS capable.

I do know that compared to the Citation X, it has been proven to operate at $1 less per mile.

Hope that helps.


galaxy flyer
2nd Mar 2009, 02:16
WAAS or SBAS, is coming shortly, won't be a factor. Auto-throttles are not far away, either


Empty Cruise
2nd Mar 2009, 16:33

Those are very nice runway figures for the Citation! 500 kg. baggage vs. 320 kg for the CL30 also sounds impressive.

However, with a 6-hour leg @ .72, you pay a heavy price in time. The CL30 does LRC @ .79 for the first hour in the cruise, then drops to .78 (zero wind). LTN to BGR we averaged .80 For intra-EU it doesn't really make much difference, but if you're going ME, NA or AFR it starts showing.

So let's call it cabin space vs. luggage space vs. range for the Sovereign / CL30 contest :ok:

pilotguy34, please let us know what your employer chooses (and for what reason)

G-SPOTs Lost
2nd Mar 2009, 20:22
Well you've hit the nail on the head (LTN - BGR) clearing customs twice in the 680 I would imagine is a PITA....

Comparing the C750 and the chally is a little unfair, different philosophys, people buy the Ten for one reason only.

Having said all that the Sovereign is a very endearing aircraft, excellent low speed handling (which IMHO is more important than 45degree fun at FL4XX), very capable autopilot. Its party trick is mixing it at 125knts downwind with Cessnas and pipers into the much nearer 1100m field with enough fuel to get out again and get somewhere useful, where heavier iron is bugging out further afield.

Its also as easy to operate as a Bravo (Thank god!)

That 300 is a handsome bugger though (again) :{ :{

His dudeness
2nd Mar 2009, 20:52
I have flown the 300 and I currently fly the 680.

The 680 is nowhere near the 300. Rwy performance is -as already mentioned - the strong point of the 680, sometimes we are airborne within 500mtrs run.

Cockpit: The Epic in the Sovereign is a pain. (yes we have 4.2, still I hate it)
The proline 21 is the best avionic suite Ive seen yet. The complete layout of the 300 cockpit is simply great, and the Proline is used to its capability.
The 680 could have been good, but Cessna decided to build another oldschool style Cessna. (Eg. Cabin pressurization - the 650 controller with loads of dials and knobs and switches, you manually have to set either cruise alt or det alt. the LH Pilot cant really see diff press or cabin alt since they are in the rh corner - on the 300 it takes just a flightplan in the FMS and youre good to go, diff press and cabin alt are displayed in the MFD)

Checklist: the best I had yet is the 300 stuff. With clear flows, crossreferences, modern layout, you name it. The 680 checklists are a pain, about the same than in a C500 from 1970.

Cabin: the 680 is no match. The 300 wide cabin is very close to the 604. Flat floor, good seats etcetc. Only thing that is better on the 680 is the seal on the door. No factor in the 300 if you have the door between galley and cabin. Interior quality of the 300 is a class better IMO.

Engine starting: the 680 uses electric starters that give a lot of problems. They are simply undersized. The pneumatic starter on the 300 is a proven thing. Start time of one engine in the 680 is about what you need for both in the 300.

Build quality: 680 is a Cessna - need I say more?

Range: forget about the 2900 nm Cessna says. 2400 or 2500 if youre brave. I have done 3320 NAM in the 300 and landed with 2000 pounds remaining.

Refueling: electronic fuel panel in the 300: dial in what amount you want as total load, the airplane does the rest. 680 basic system.

Brakes: very good on both airplanes.

Baggage space: more an the 300 but loading is easier in the 680. But you have access to it in the 300 during flight.

All in all, they are both marketed in the same segment, which I find to be strange. The SOV is simply a bigger XL, way smaller than the 300. (they are alsmost identical in lenght and span, but cabinwise...)

And the 300 is pure joy to fly, sort of a sports car. The 680 is like a big truck compared.

Empty Cruise
2nd Mar 2009, 22:03
Oh, the Challey will mix it at 120 KIAS with the Cessnas as well :E If they had had the sense to increase the weights by the 400 lbs it'd have taken to give us some LEDs, we'd be laughing with 1200m as well :mad:

It's a very easy and forgiving aircraft to operate, v simple speed schedule etc - and, as stated, just handles beautifully.

Oh well - one mustn't grumble...