Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer recorded first-quarter sales of $1.34 billion, an increase of nearly 61 percent year-over-year, and a profit of $85 million, the company said May 7. Embraer’s firm-order backlog at the end of March increased 8 percent over the previous quarter, to a record $20.3 billion, due to business jet and E170/190 airliner sales.
Embraer Phenom 100
Embraer achieved two milestones on April 29, the first flight of the Phenom 300 light jet and the first time any airplane has made a first flight from Embraer’s private Unidade Gavião Peixoto Airport in Brazil. The Phenom 300 first flight was about three months ahead of schedule, according to Henrique Langenegger, vice president of programs, executive jets. At the controls were Capt.
The Phenom 300 made its first flight on April 29, months ahead of Embraer’s previously announced schedule. Capt. John Sevalho Corção and chief pilot Eduardo Alves Menini were at the controls of Phenom 300 S/N 99801, accompanied by flight-test engineer Jens Peter Theodor Geiger Wentz. The crew logged one hour and 22 minutes during the first flight and explored 99801’s flight characteristics and systems operation.
Brazilian certification of the Embraer Legacy is expected this month, following the prototype’s return from its European tour. Only “minor final details regarding interior systems” remain, according to Sam Hill, vice chairman of Embraer Aircraft Corp. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the Brazilian OEM’s U.S. marketing arm. First delivery to launch customer Swift Aviation is also expected this month.
Embraer announced creation of its executive jets division in the spring of 2005, simultaneously revealing the launch of its first “clean-sheet” business jets–the Phenom 100 very light jet and the larger Phenom 300 light jet.
The Embraer Legacy factory demonstrator is shown here over Florida’s intracoastal waterway on its way to Orlando, Fla., last month for display at the NBAA Convention. Derived from the Brazilian manufacturer’s ERJ-135 regional airliner, the $20.4 million Legacy business jet received its full type certification from the FAA on August 23, clearing the way for unfettered U.S. deliveries to begin this quarter.
A group of former JetBlue executives has launched a new charter operation designed around the Phenom 100. The company, JetSuite, has placed an order for 100 aircraft–50 firm and 50 options–and plans to lease the aircraft to customers. First deliveries are expected next April. The company has also applied for a Part 135 certificate and plans to launch charter services from bases in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, pending final government approval.
Embraer’s Phenom 300 light jet flew for the first time yesterday, months ahead of its planned mid-year first flight schedule, lifting off from the 16,295-foot runway at Embraer’s private Unidade Gavião Peixoto Airport in Brazil for a one-hour, 22-minute flight.
Embraer ended calendar year 2007 with a record 169 aircraft deliveries and a record backlog of firm orders worth $18.8 billion. The numbers reflected activity in all aircraft segments, including its Executive Jets division. According to president and CEO Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer took in $5.245 billion in revenue, a substantial increase over the $3.759 billion in 2006.
Ten months after Embraer rolled out its Phenom 100 VLJ, its larger stablemate made its debut at the company’s Gavião Peixoto plant in Brazil. With an anticipated entry-into-service date of the second half of next year, the Phenom 300 will undergo a series of ground tests before making its first flight–currently scheduled for the middle of this year.