Just two weeks after beginning the flight-test campaign for its Legacy 500 midsize business jet, Embraer’s executive jets division arrived at MEBA 2012 with a string of other important milestones behind it.
On November 27 it conducted the successful first flight of its Legacy 500, described as “flawless” by test pilot Mozart Louzada, who was accompanied by pilot Eduardo Camelier and engineers Gustavo Paixão and Alexandre Figueiredo on the 1-hour, 45-minute flight. The Legacy 500 features a fly-by-wire flight control system and a sidestick controller, and is powered by Honeywell HTF 7500E turbofans. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2014, to be followed a year later by the Legacy 450, currently in development for the mid-light sector.
The Brazilian manufacturer (Chalet A11) is exhibiting three business jets here at MEBA. The smallest is the Phenom 300, which has just notched up its 100th sale. The first of the type to be assembled at the U.S. plant in Melbourne, Florida, made its first flight on December 5, marking the anniversary of the first flight of a Phenom 100 from the same plant. At the other end of the scale is the Lineage 1000, which is in service with five Middle East customers. This aircraft typically accommodates up to 19 passengers in five cabin zones.
In between is the Legacy 650, which is being demonstrated here in the Middle East for the first time with a striking new cabin design. The new interior boasts three cabin zones for up to 14 passengers, improved sound insulation, a “wet” galley and a large baggage compartment, which is accessible in flight. More than 35 Legacy aircraft are already operational in the region. Embraer recently delivered the 200th Legacy 600/650.
To enhance customer support for Embraer executive jets in the Middle East, the company announced yesterday that ExecuJet Middle East has been appointed as an authorized service center for the Phenom 300 and Lineage 1000 jets. The company already provides base maintenance for the Legacy 600 and 650.
Whether Embraer announces anything at the show remains to be seen but thus far (as of late on MEBA’s opening day) there had not been any word. Doubtless the company’s executives are working hard behind the scenes to bolster up its list of owners and operators in the region, building on the success of its operators’ conference in Abu Dhabi in October. It has long enjoyed success selling its E-Jet regional aircraft to the likes of Saudi Arabian Airlines and Royal Jordanian.