Flight Control Snag Delays Embraer Legacy 450/500

 - November 10, 2011, 4:25 PM

The Embraer Phenom 500 prototype will not make its maiden flight by year-end as originally scheduled, due to delays stemming from the Parker remote electronic unit software in the aircraft’s fly-by-wire flight-control system. Company president and CEO Frederico Curado described the problem as “softness of flight control” during a third-quarter investor conference call last Friday, adding that Embraer is considering bringing this work in house to fix the issue.

Curado said Embraer now does not expect to fly the Legacy 500 until the second or third quarter of next year. Certification will also slip to the second half of 2013, which is about a year later than the original plan, though the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer could possibly meet its projected 2013 entry into service date for the midsize jet.

According to the airframer, assembly on the Legacy prototypes will continue, and it has reshuffled the schedule for ground testing in order to minimize the impact on entry into service. The delays also have a domino effect on the Legacy 450, the 500’s smaller sibling, which now won’t be certified until late 2014 instead of late 2013.