Embraer Joins First Legacy 500 Fuselage
Embraer announced this week that it has joined the fuselage of the first Legacy 500 at its São José dos Campos, Brazil plant. The midsize jet’s fuselage is built in three sections–cockpit, center fuselage and aft fuselage–and is constructed of aluminum alloy, with “substantial” composite materials content, the company said. The production process for the Legacy 500 has seen a “considerable increase” in the use of robots and lean manufacturing processes, according to Embraer. “The joining of the fuselage sections of the first prototype is a key milestone in our development schedule, and we will join the second one in the near future,” noted Embraer Executive Jets vice president of programs Maurício Almeida. “Embraer is adopting a multi-site industrial strategy for the production of parts and major structures of the Legacy 500, supplied from all over the world.” Legacy 500 final assembly will take place at Embraer’s São José dos Campos facilities. Flight testing of the clean-sheet midsize jet is slated to start later this year, with Brazilian and FAA certification to follow by a year. The Legacy 500’s super-light sibling, the Legacy 450, is scheduled to fly later next year, with certification planned for the second half of 2013.