Ahead of Schedule, First Phenom 300 Flies

 - April 30, 2008, 6:44 AM

Embraer’s Phenom 300 light jet flew for the first time yesterday, months ahead of its planned mid-year first flight schedule, lifting off from the 16,295-foot runway at Embraer’s private Unidade Gavião Peixoto Airport in Brazil for a one-hour, 22-minute flight.

Capt. John Sevalho Corção and chief pilot Eduardo Alves Menini were at the controls of Phenom 300 S/N 99801, accompanied by flight-test engineer Jens Peter Theodor Geiger Wentz, who monitored the flow of flight-test data streaming down to the engineering team. The pilots explored 99801’s flight characteristics and systems operation during the first flight, and during subsequent flights they will evaluate performance and define the aerodynamic configuration. The first three Phenom 300s will fly about 1,400 hours for the certification program in preparation for entry-into-service in the second half of next year. These flights will include function and reliability, ground vibration, flying qualities, flutter, water spray and single-point refueling testing. A fourth Phenom 300 will carry on the program’s maturity campaign.

“The crew is honored to have participated in this important event, representing the great work of hundreds of people whom we congratulate,” said Corção. “The quality of the Phenom 300 design and onboard high technology provided a smooth and pleasant flight, increasing the thrill of flying the aircraft for the first time.”

The $6.65 million (January 2005 $) single-pilot Phenom 300 offers seats for up to eight passengers, a 45,000-foot maximum altitude and Mach 0.78 maximum operating speed. Carrying six 200-pound occupants, the airplane has a range of 1,800 nm (NBAA IFR, 100-nm alternate). Two 3,200-pound-thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535Es power the Phenom 300, which features Garmin G1000-based avionics.

Luís Carlos Affonso, Embraer executive vice president for executive jets, took over Embraer’s business jet division shortly before the company announced plans for the Phenom program in 2005. “We are thrilled with the Phenom 300’s successful first flight, which gives us great confidence for the upcoming program milestones,” he said.