Embraer has been awarded certification of its large-cabin Legacy 650 by the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) and EASA, the company announced at the NBAA convention's static display yesterday.
The $25.9 million Legacy 650, an upgrade of the Legacy 600, was announced at last year's NBAA show in Orlando, Fla., where the company vowed to have the aircraft certified in a year.
"We made the promise, and kept to it," Embraer executive vice president Luís Carlos Affonso told AIN. "Our next step will be to begin delivering the aircraft at the end of the year."
Building on what the Brazilian company has created with the Legacy 600, Embraer wanted to increase range and payload without sacrificing anything else. "There are two main improvements over the 600," Affonso said. "The new avionics suite offers more flight management capability and the new engines are 10 percent more powerful. This aircraft has about 500 nautical miles more range than the 600, and we didn't compromise payload."
Structurally, the aircraft is very different from its predecessor. Many parts of the aircraft had to be reinforced to be able to carry increased loads for the range boost, which accommodates city pairs that include São Paulo to Miami, London to New York or Dubai, Dubai to Singapore and Singapore to Brazil. The 650 will carry 13 passengers in standard configuration and have a range of 3,900 nm.
"It was also important for us to maintain accessibility," Affonso said. "We are certified out of London City. Of course, the 650 won't be able to carry full fuel for that, but it can do London to Moscow. It can do the steep approaches. Another airport that is very popular with our customers is Cannes, France. That airport has a lot of landing requirements similar to London City, and we made sure the 650 could land there."
Company engineers also designed the aircraft with fuel tankering in mind when they pushed the max landing weight to 44,902 pounds. Max takeoff weight is 53,572 pounds.
Honeywell is providing the Legacy 650's Primus Elite cockpit, which includes vertical navigation and future air navigation system capability.
When speaking with customers, Embraer officials learned of their desire for a three-zone cabin. The 650's interior features a seating area for four, a table area for dining and a space at the back with a divan that folds out to nearly a queen-size bed. The aft area can be sectioned off with a curtain for privacy.
The Legacy 650 also features the largest cabin-accessible baggage compartment in its class, according to Claudio Camelier, Embraer vice president for market intelligence, corporate jets. "During the market studies, we learned that a lot of customers wanted access in flight. There are a lot of Middle Eastern customers who fly often with their families and wanted the ability to access the baggage area," he said.
While the 650 represents a large number of improvements over its counterpart, the Legacy 600, Embraer has not forgotten those customers.
"Most of what has been done with the 650–the new avionics, the sound proofing of the cabin–is being done on the 600 now," Camelier said. The company is also offering an avionics retrofit for 600 operators wanting to upgrade to the Primus Elite suite.