Evolution may a debatable process in theological terms, but Brazilian business jet manufacturer Embraer embraces it wholeheartedly as part of cabin technology and amenities, said Mariana Santos, Embraer Executive Jets head of product strategy for the Legacy 600/650 programs.
“It evolves to keep up with the latest technology and standards of comfort, and it will continue to evolve,” she told visitors seated in the new cabin on Embraer’s new Legacy 650 customer demo airplane at a recent media briefing. “And not only are all the new standard or optional upgrades available in the 650, but they are also now available in every Legacy 600.”
It makes perfect sense, she explained, as the 650 is an extended-range version of the 600 and not a replacement.
The foundation of the Legacy cabin improvements is Honeywell’s new Ovation Select cabin management system (CMS), a digital package that includes as standard such entertainment features as high-definition video, USB, HDMI, VGA and composite video ports, Blu-ray player and Honeywell’s 3-D moving map (JetMap III). The Ovation Select CMS was certified in the Legacy 600/650 in early April.
Also new and standard in the three-zone cabin is an 8.9-inch touch-screen master control monitor installed in the portside galley storage unit. The monitor provides controls for all cabin functions, including audio, video, lighting, temperature and water.
New touch-screen “slide-and-select” entertainment control units are at every seat and there is an optional master control for the principal’s seat.
The new video displays are all 1080p, high-definition units, with two 17.5-inch bulkhead-mount (one forward and one aft) displays as standard. Optional are as many as three 19-inch bulkhead monitors, a 24-inch monitor on the aft bulkhead, 9-inch monitors at each individual seat and a 32-inch credenza-mounted display.
Other optional features are XM Satellite Radio with four independent channels, two-zone surround-sound with additional speakers and amplifiers, an optional second Blu-ray player and iPhone and iPad docks in the divan surround area and at seats other than that of the principal.
“And we’re working on design of a 32-inch monitor that is stowed in the credenza when not in use,” said Santos. “Also in development is an app that will allow passengers to control cabin functions through a personal iPhone or iPad.
Worldwide coverage is an optional amenity that includes two standard phone handsets (one cordless and one corded at the conference table). A second cordless handset is available in the third cabin zone.
As for the veneer paneling, Embraer has a new collection with 12 species of wood available as standard and six as optional. A new supplier of high-quality varnishing, Sayerlack Brasil, is providing a product that Embraer says offers low shrinkage, high transparency and good surface hardness, with satin finish as an option. And, said Santos, “it is all compliant with the highest eco-friendly standards.”
Even the restyled, third-generation seats are sleeker and slimmer and “more youthful in appearance.” There are also new accent lines and a side pouch in each seat that will accommodate storage of the individual in-seat monitors. Another pouch in the back of each seat will allow stowage of an iPad in landscape position.
As standard, the four seats in the forward zone allow full-flat berthing for two passengers, and the four center-zone seats will adapt to create a double berth, with the addition of a mattress.
The third zone of the new cabin layout includes, as standard, an executive seat that swivels to permit easy viewing of the aft bulkhead monitor. Standard on the opposite starboard side is a 16-g rated, three-seat divan that no longer requires the “unsightly” towers normally necessary to meet the 16-g requirements. Optional is a second, three-seat, side-facing divan.
When converted for sleeping, the two divans together form a queen-size, full-flat bed. The third zone can also be closed off for privacy and optional second lavatory in the forward section eliminates the need for the crew or other passengers to use the private aft lavatory.
In the galley, standard equipment includes an ice drawer, coffee maker and microwave oven or convection oven. As a new option, the customer may choose to have both. The redesigned “home-style” concept for the galley, said Santos, includes more working surfaces, a 7.9-gallon water container, a larger trash container and more storage space.
Other nifty, new items standard in the galley area include an acoustic-curtain sealing mechanism to reduce noise created around the main cabin door and an enclosed umbrella storage area.
Also new and optional are flooring choices. Among them is stone flooring from Austrian cabin components specialist List Components and Furniture. The manufacturing process allows granite to be shaved down to the thickness of a credit card and it comes in six natural granite options; with backing it is flexible enough to wrap around curved surfaces. Also optional are four different simulated wood grain, vinyl carpet choices.
As if all this were not enough, Embraer has worked with SMAC Aero of Toulon, France, in developing new technology in noise reduction that Santos said has cut interior (cabin and cockpit) noise by more than 3 dB(SIL).
Among the noise reduction improvements are new damping materials, valance insulation, special insulation for particularly bothersome areas such as air-conditioning ducts, and emergency exit insulation. “Noise reduction in the cockpit, has in fact, been cut by 4 dB(SIL),” Santos pointed out. And the new standard acoustic curtain sealing off the main cabin door has resulted in a 1 dB(SIL) reduction in noise in that particular area of the cabin.
Santos emphasized that the evolution is an on-going thing at Embraer and many of the new cabin refinements in the 600/650 have already found their way into the new Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 programs, again with Honeywell’s Ovation Select as the backbone.
Finally, she pointed out that with all the standard items and options, the owner of a new Legacy 600 or 650 in essence is flying the same airplane as action movie actor Jackie Chan, with the exception of his name on the tail and an exterior paint job that would make a dragon envious.