Embraer provided one of the major surprises at the NBAA convention yesterday by introducing a new business jet: the large-cabin Legacy 650.
According to Luis Carlos Affonso, executive vice president, Embraer Executive Jets, development of the 650 began last year and even as the bottom dropped out of the market in late 2008, the Brazilian OEM chose to view the crisis as “an opportunity” and to continue “with no hesitation at all.”
Embraer vice president of market intelligence Claudio Camelier told NBAA Convention News that this latest, $29.5 million addition to the Embraer family is related to the $27.45 million Legacy 600 only in that it shares the Legacy name and the same EMB 135 platform. “The 600 and the 650 are distinctly different airplanes,” he emphasized. Despite major differences, however, the 650’s certification will be based on the 600’s type certificate.
The differences between the two begin with Honeywell Primus Elite avionics, which bring LCD technology into the cockpit with function control via a cursor device. Among the standard and optional equipment are coupled VNAV, RNP 0.3, charts and maps capability, FANS 1/A CPDLC+ datalink recorder, Waas/LPV, moving map with XM satellite weather uplink in the U.S., and Honeywell SmartRunway and SmartLanding.
With structurally reinforced landing gear, the 650 will sit about five inches lower than the Legacy 600.
The addition of an aft ventral fuel tank and a wet central wing box adds room for an additional 381 gallons of fuel. Except for the addition of winglets, structural reinforcement and a change in the shape of the aft wing/fuselage fairing, the 650 will use the same wing as the 600.
The 650’s engines are the Rolls-Royce AE 3007A2 with dual-channel Fadecs and high-flow fans, each producing 9,020 pounds of thrust. With the additional fuel and 10-percent more efficient engines, the 650 has a projected range of 3,900 nm with four passengers (NBAA/IFR reserves). The Legacy 600 is equipped with the Rolls-Royce AE 3007A1E turbofans and has a range with four passengers of 3,400 nm and a max cruise speed of Mach 0.80.
This additional range, said Camelier, “will add a lot of new city pairs.” The improved performance will allow nonstop flights from Dubai to London, São Paulo to Miami, and London to New Delhi, for example. It will also permit steep-approach certification required for such airports as London City and will meet the stringent weight and noise abatement restrictions at France’s Cannes Mandelieu Airport.
With improved hot-and-high performance, the Legacy 650 will be capable of nonstop flight from Leadville, Colo. (elevation 9,927 feet), to New York. It will also be capable of accessing high-altitude airports at cities such as La Paz, Bolivia, at 13,355 feet.
The 53,572-pound mtow is 3,968 pounds greater than the Legacy 600’s mtow of 49,604 pounds. Its projected landing and takeoff distances of 2,854 feet and 5,471 feet are just 171 feet and 127 feet, respectively, more than required by the Legacy 600.
Camelier said that until its introduction at NBAA, the 650 had been presented only to a limited number of customers. He added that the company already has “a number” of firm orders with nonrefundable deposits. The initial flight of the first airplane was in early October and certification test flights have begun, according to Camelier. “We have two Legacy 650s flying, and we expect to have the airplane certified in mid-2010.” Deliveries are to begin in the second half of the year.
Embraer also plans to make most of the improved features of the Legacy 650 available in retrofit to existing Legacy 600 customers.
In many ways, the 600 and 650 share the same, three-zone cabin with 6 feet 11 inches of width, 6 feet of height and a variety of configurations allowing for up to 13 passengers. Configurations also include 7 feet 10 inches of forward galley as well as 7 feet 5 inches of aft baggage space accessible in flight.
In other ways, the interior represents a departure from the Legacy 600. In an effort to produce a quieter cabin, the interior is designed to improve airflow, a new thermal/acoustic package is being created and engineers are working to eliminate cabin parasitic noise from such sources as pitot tubes and probes.
Standard in the aircraft will be Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband in-flight Internet connection offering worldwide coverage at a data transfer rate of 432 kb per second. It allows for e-mail, intranet, Internet and instant messaging, as well as voice-over-Internet telephony and video conferencing.
The second aircraft in the certification test program will later receive a finished interior. Interior cabinetry will come from Embraer’s shop at Gavião Peixoto and the executive seating from DeCrane Aircraft Seating in the U.S. All interior installation is to be done at Embraer’s completion shop in São Jose dos Campos.