In The Works: Embraer Phenom 100

 - September 15, 2006, 5:35 AM

Early last month Embraer announced it cut the first metal for its Phenom 100 very light jet. The part–a fuselage component that connects to the engine pylon–was milled from a block of aluminum at the company’s main plant in São José dos Campos, Brazil.

“We are pleased to announce the first metal cut of the first Phenom 100, a landmark event for the program,” said Luís Carlos Affonso, senior vice president of executive jets. “This achievement is solid proof of Embraer’s focus and commitment to the Phenom program and to delivering a revolutionary jet.”

According to Embraer, the main structure of the Phenom 100, and the larger Phenom 300 derivative, will be built from aluminum alloy and the secondary surfaces from composite materials, contributing significantly to the light weight of the aircraft. Final assembly, interior completion, painting and flight-testing of the Phenom jets will take place at Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto facility.

The first Phenom 100 is scheduled to fly in the middle of next year, with certification and entry into service planned for mid-2008. As of June 1, the price of the eight-seat, 1,160-nm (four occupants) very light twinjet increased to $2.85 million from $2.75 million. Embraer plans to disclose its Phenom 100 order book early this month, which will include the previously announced order for 50 of the small jets, with an option for 50 more, from European air-taxi start-up JetBird.