NBAA Convention News

Embraer tests the waters with two new concept jets

 - September 24, 2007, 4:24 PM

Embraer is testing the market for two new concept jets. Beginning today, the company will start taking $70,000 and $90,000 refundable deposits accompanying “letters of interest” respectively for its proposed midsize jet (MSJ) and mid-light jet (MLJ). The company today is unveiling a concept mockup representative of the interiors of both aircraft and another mockup of its Lineage 1000 large executive jet at its booth (No. 3737).

Embraer is not formally committing to producing the MSJ and MLJ aircraft at this time, said Embraer CEO Frederico Fleury Curado. “This is not a launch, it’s a concept,” he said here yesterday. However, Embraer already has trademarked the names Legacy 400 and Legacy 500, which would join the Legacy 600 as well as the smaller Phenom 100 and 300 and larger Lineage 1000 in Embraer’s bizjet family.  Nevertheless, Curado said, “We are working up a business plan” for the new jets and would not enter the niche segments unless Embraer could introduce models that would be “a game-changer, not me-too aircraft” and would provide the company with an attractive return on its investment.  

Embraer’s executive v-p for executive jets Luis Carlos Affonso told NBAA Convention News that the idea behind the new concept jets was to allow customers to stay with the Embraer brand no matter what size business jet they required.

Like Embraer’s Phenom 100 and 300, the aircraft will share the same fuselage cross section, but Affonso said this pair will have 90-percent commonality, with the MSJ, being about 4.5 feet longer than the MLJ, but having the same wing.

The MSJ design calls for eight-passenger capability, with a range of 2,800 nm at a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.8, and 3,000 nm with four passengers. Takeoff field length at mtow is expected to be 4,500 feet, and the aircraft is believed to have a ceiling of 45,000 feet. According to Embraer, that combination would allow the MSJ to reach city pairs of New York to Seattle or New York to Dublin.

The MLJ plan calls for a 2,200-nm range at a speed of Mach 0.78 with eight passengers at NBAA IFR reserves and a takeoff field length of 2,900 feet at mtow. The MLJ would also have a ceiling of 45,000 feet.

Both the MLJ and the MSJ would have flat-floor, stand-up, six-foot-tall cabins. Embraer has hired BMW Designworks USA, the company it tapped to design the cabins of its Phenom series aircraft, to design the cabins of the MLJ and MSJ. Orders for the Phenom series have surpassed 500 and a Phenom ordered today would not be delivered until 2012, Affonso said.

Affonso said Embraer is evaluating engines from Rolls-Royce, Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney and “high-end” avionics from Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, CMC Electronics and some unspecified “others.”