Embraer Executive Jets (Stand 7041) is gradually moving its “center of gravity” from São Jose dos Campos, Brazil, to Melbourne, Florida, where it is building a new research and development center to join its existing facilities at Melbourne International Airport.
The 67,000-sq-ft Embraer Engineering and Technology Center USA, which the Brazilian manufacturer announced March 21, will be located opposite the Phenom 100 assembly facility that opened in February 2011 and a customer center and headquarters dedicated in December. The growing aeronautical “cluster” will employ more than 200 people.
In December, Embraer delivered the first U.S.-assembled Phenom 100 to U.S. fractional aircraft provider Executive AirShare. Speaking Sunday at the EBACE show, Ernest Edwards, Embraer Executive Jets president, said the Melbourne facility has produced two other aircraft since then: one a factory-owned demonstrator; the other delivered to the first international customer.
“We wanted to convey the message here [at EBACE] that the assembly plant in Melbourne is not only for delivery of Phenom 100s to the North American market, it’s worldwide deliveries,” Edwards said. “Latin American deliveries, of course, will continue to take place in São Jose dos Campos. But for the rest of the world those deliveries will be made out of Melbourne, Florida.”
Later this year, the Melbourne facility will be readied for assembly of the Phenom 300 light jet, and by the end of 2013 all Phenon 300s will be assembled there with the exception of those destined for the Latin American market, said Edwards.
Embraer next plans to open a manufacturing plant in Evora, Portugal, which will build components for the new Legacy 500/450 mid-size jets that will be shipped to Brazil for assembly. With the Portugal plant, the company will have four global manufacturing sites—in Florida, Brazil and Harbin, China.