Legacy 500 Cleared for Service Entry

 - September 1, 2014, 3:45 AM
With ANAC approval in hand Embraer expects FAA and EASA certification for the Legacy 500 in the coming weeks.

Brazilian civil aviation agency ANAC issued type certification for Embraer’s Legacy 500 in a ceremony held during the LABACE show in São Paulo on August 13. U.S. FAA certification for the $20 million midsize jet is expected in the coming weeks, with European approval to follow soon after.

ANAC approval, the culmination of a six-year development program for the fly-by-wire jet, paves the way for delivery of the first aircraft (S/N 005) next month to an undisclosed Brazilian industrial customer that will use the aircraft to link the company’s facilities around the country.

“We are pleased to confirm that all Legacy 500 design goals have been achieved or surpassed. The airplane is better than we predicted,” said Embraer Executive Jets president and CEO Marco Túlio Pellegrini. “This aircraft is a game-changer. With greater range and better field performance than originally planned, the Legacy 500 sets a new standard for the midsize class. It’s going to be a flexible aircraft that will open up new markets for us.”

Examples of those better-than-expected certified figures are a high-speed cruise of 466 knots (design goal of 460 knots), a takeoff distance of 4,084 feet (4,600-foot goal), landing distance of 2,122 feet (2,400 feet) and a range of 3,125 nm (3,000 nm).

Since the type first flew on Nov. 27, 2012, the four-aircraft development fleet has logged more than 1,800 flight hours in the test and certification process. Laboratory tests with rigs for avionics, electrical, hydraulic and environmental systems accrued 20,000 hours.

To complete certification, Embraer installed a complete interior in the fourth development Legacy 500. The company will retain that aircraft as a demonstrator, and also use it to accelerate the maturity program. With certification in hand, Embraer is moving into the production phase. Up to six aircraft are to be completed before year-end, including two more to be used as company demonstrators. Production will ramp up next year.

The Legacy 500 features the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite. A pair of Honeywell HTF7500Es provides the thrust, and the same company also supplies the Legacy 500’s auxiliary power unit, Ovation Select cabin management system, cabin pressure control system and air conditioning system.

Meanwhile, Embraer is well advanced with testing the Legacy 450 mid-light jet, which first flew on December 28 last year. Certification of the 450 is slated for the middle of next year, with 600 flight hours scheduled to complete all tests. Since it uses more than 90 percent of the systems of the larger Legacy 500, including the fly-by-wire flight controls, the 450 does not require as extensive a certification test program. Currently, the sole Legacy 450 development aircraft is not flying, but is slated to return to the sky next month.