# Citation Excel Range at Full Capacity: Conklin & de Decker vs. Foreflight

#### alexcr

##### Pre-Flight
According to Conklin & de Decker, the Citation Excel's range at full capacity is 1,449 nm...https://d.pr/i/iz4pnG. However, I'm testing this out using significantly shorter routes in Foreflight, and I'm running into issues on weight. I'm trying to figure out what can explain this. Here are some of the key assumptions I'm using in Foreflight...

Performance profile: Max Cruise Trust
Cruise speed adjustment: -5% (to be conservative)
Basic empty weight: 12,861 lbs (Foreflight's default for the Citation Excel)
Altitude: ~40,000
People: 10 including crew, 175 lbs average weight
Cargo: 250 lbs
Taxi fuel: 30 gal
Fuel policy: Minimum fuel
Reserve fuel: 313 gal

The specific route I'm reviewing at the moment is HHR-YYC, which is about 1,085 nm. I assumed a route like this would be no problem for the Excel given the 1,449 nm range at full capacity figure cited from Conklin & de Decker, but according to Foreflight, we'd be 502 lb over our takeoff weight limit. Here's the screenshot from Foreflight...https://d.pr/i/wB4krd.

Is there something I'm missing here, e.g. something off about the assumptions I'm using, that could explain the difference with Conklin & de Decker? Is the default basic empty weight that Foreflight uses for the Excel too high? Should I be using a higher altitude? Am I budgeting too much reserve fuel? (Instead of inputting an alternate for every route, I'm just assuming that we'd need 1.25 hours of fuel burn for our reserve. But maybe I got that calculation wrong.)

I'm not a pilot, so would be curious in particular to hear from anyone with experience flying the Citation Excel or similar jets, especially on routes like this one.

Seems like its got you landing with 2000lbs of fuel. IDK how its planning the fuel but we land with 1800 frequently on the embraer 145 (legacy) surely a little excel needs much less.

Seems like its got you landing with 2000lbs of fuel. IDK how its planning the fuel but we land with 1800 frequently on the embraer 145 (legacy) surely a little excel needs much less.

Yeah, that's a reflection of the 313 gal (2,111 lbs) of reserve fuel that I'm budgeting for. Is that too much?

For background, I'm assuming we'd want 1.25 hours of fuel burn for our reserve. I believe that's equivalent to about 313 gal of fuel for the Citation Excel, but it's possible that my numbers are off there, or that I'm budgeting for too much reserve fuel, or both.

The range listed for the Excel is probably using a 45 minute reserve. 2000 pounds sounds too conservative. I never flew the Excel (closest was the Ultra) so I’m not sure what pilots are comfortable with, but I’ll bet 1500 pounds for landing isn’t a problem for most situations.

What are the winds ForeFlight is using.

I'd guess maybe it's the difference in how each is calculating alternate fuel and reserves.
And, real world, nearest alternate airport might be quite a way, Lethbridge is probably the closest with a long enough runway, at about 100 nm from Calgary. Of course, on days with really bad weather, a fuel stop would probably have to be planned anyway.
Another thought, not sure Hawthorne's runway is long enough for a max gross takeoff in an Excel. I don't know for sure, but I bet it's getting pretty tight.

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C&DD are probably using the manufacturer weights, which will always be lighter than what airplanes weigh in the real world. Excels aren't great at hauling a lot of weight very far, and 8 pax in one will be tight. Two of them will have to be on that tiny couch at the front of the cabin, which will make accessing the galley very difficult, and the pilots pretty much have to climb over their legs to get into the cockpit. Probably won't be able get out of or into HHR when it is wet.

Your posts are interesting - what is your use case? Is this all just personal travel or are you working on something commercial? Your talk of flying to mountain towns has me intrigued, I don’t know if you can share.

Sounds like you need a different airplane and someone to help you.

A Challenger 300 would serve you well.

Sounds like you need a different airplane

I think the original plan was to do this in a Pilatus, so at least he's moving in the correct direction!

I think the original plan was to do this in a Pilatus, so at least he's moving in the correct direction!
Well, I believe that he was thinking about a PC-12, but you can get a PC-24 right now, which will handle the mission easily. I recommend that, since it's not my money, and likely triple his budget.

I think the original plan was to do this in a Pilatus, so at least he's moving in the correct direction!
Oh my. That would be a long haul.

The range listed for the Excel is probably using a 45 minute reserve. 2000 pounds sounds too conservative. I never flew the Excel (closest was the Ultra) so I’m not sure what pilots are comfortable with, but I’ll bet 1500 pounds for landing isn’t a problem for most situations.

Yeah, I was hoping that maybe was the explanation, and that I'm just being too conservative. What do other folks think?

Separately, is 41,000 a reasonable assumption to be using for altitude?

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Yeah, I was hoping that maybe was the explanation, and that I'm just being too conservative. What do other folks think?
Conklin & deDecker isn’t manufacturer marketing or line performance data. It’s a way to objectively compare airplanes, apples to apples, and may not represent an operational target.

it also looks like you’re putting in too many people with full fuel...if you need that many people and that much range, this is not the airplane you need.

make sure you’re looking at zero fuel weight limits as well...an airplane may have enough seats, but the zero fuel weight limit won’t allow filling those seats with adults.

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I'd guess maybe it's the difference in how each is calculating alternate fuel and reserves.
And, real world, nearest alternate airport might be quite a way, Lethbridge is probably the closest with a long enough runway, at about 100 nm from Calgary. Of course, on days with really bad weather, a fuel stop would probably have to be planned anyway.
Another thought, not sure Hawthorne's runway is long enough for a max gross takeoff in an Excel. I don't know for sure, but I bet it's getting pretty tight.

Thanks. Regarding Hawthorne's runway, they're at 4,884 ft. Here's the Conklin field length data for the Excel...https://d.pr/i/xe6135. So it's getting a little tight, but seems doable? Though as someone else mentioned, would probably need to ferry to LAX on wet days. (Not too frequent in LA.)

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C&DD are probably using the manufacturer weights, which will always be lighter than what airplanes weigh in the real world. Excels aren't great at hauling a lot of weight very far, and 8 pax in one will be tight. Two of them will have to be on that tiny couch at the front of the cabin, which will make accessing the galley very difficult, and the pilots pretty much have to climb over their legs to get into the cockpit. Probably won't be able get out of or into HHR when it is wet.

That's good info. We often wouldn't be flying at capacity, but we need to be prepared for the scenario when we are, which is why I want to make sure the Excel would be capable of accomplishing this.

Your posts are interesting - what is your use case? Is this all just personal travel or are you working on something commercial? Your talk of flying to mountain towns has me intrigued, I don’t know if you can share.

Happy to chat more. Shoot me a message!

Conklin & deDecker isn’t manufacturer marketing or line performance data. It’s a way to objectively compare airplanes, apples to apples, and may not represent an operational target.

it also looks like you’re putting in too many people with full fuel...if you need that many people and that much range, this is not the airplane you need.

make sure you’re looking at zero fuel weight limits as well...an airplane may have enough seats, but the zero fuel weight limit won’t allow filling those seats with adults.

Foreflight looks at zero fuel weight, as well. Looks like we would be in the clear, though it would be close...https://d.pr/i/lf1VqE.

Foreflight looks at zero fuel weight, as well. Looks like we would be in the clear, though it would be close...https://d.pr/i/lf1VqE.
But as I said, this appears to be the wrong airplane for other reasons.

Thanks. Regarding Hawthorne's runway, they're at 4,884 ft. Here's the Conklin field length data for the Excel...https://d.pr/i/xe6135. So it's getting a little tight, but seems doable?
Make sure you’re talking to an insurance company as well...most of the policies I’ve been associated with require at least 5000 ft of runway for normal operations.