Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) has successfully completed the maiden flight of its PW617F engine, selected to power the Embraer Phenom 100 very light jet (VLJ).
Embraer Phenom 100
There are 12 very light jets currently in development, in flight-test or recently certified. Nearly all are clean-sheet designs, which typically consume more money and time than do derivatives, illustrating the faith manufacturers (and would-be manufacturers) have in this emerging market.
One year after Embraer announced that it was jumping into the VLJ and light jet markets with a capital commitment of more than $200 million, the company has built a solid order book for its Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 models. The latest major order before the NBAA Convention was announced last month when Embraer revealed that Houston-based Magnum Jet has placed a $137 million order for 50 Phenom 100s and options for 50 more.
Connecticut-based Magnum Jet confirmed an order placed several months ago with Adam Aircraft for 101 A700 very light jets (VLJ) for planned management and air-limo services. Englewood, Colo.-based Adam Aircraft recently certified the A500 piston twin and is expected to receive FAA approval for the Williams International-powered A700 by year-end. In September Magnum ordered 50 Embraer Phenom 100 VLJs, with options for 50 more.
Houston-based Magnum Jet has placed an order for 50 Embraer Phenom 100s, with options for another 50 Phenom 100s and/or 300s. The startup company plans to offer “a turnkey ownership and comprehensive management program for very light jet owners and will operate air limousine service for regional travel.” Magnum Jet is scheduled to take delivery of its first Phenom 100 in early 2009.
Embraer delivered two Legacy business jets in the first quarter compared with none in the same period last year, in addition to 28 regional jets, according to the Brazilian airframer. The company delivered 13 Legacys last year and in 2003. Embraer is expecting to deliver a total of 145 corporate and regional jets this year.
Riding the wave created by the success of its 50-seat regional jet program (now on the wane as the regional airlines evolve toward larger aircraft), Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has set its sights on becoming a major player in the business aviation market to bolster its move into building larger regional airliners (the 170 and 190 lines).
It was a close race, but in the end Brazilian airplane builder Embraer chose the Garmin G1000 avionics system for the company’s in-development very light jet and light jet, now known officially as the Phenom 100 and 300.
For the first time, AIN is identifying which aircraft have been added to or deleted from the “In The Works” charts because of the volume of changes this month.
The deletions: Cessna Citation CJ2+, certified on October 3; and Safire Jet, which is being put “on the shelf” due to a lack of progress since Safire Aircraft declared bankruptcy in June 2003.
The upgrade parade that has been a hallmark of recent NBAA Conventions continued to march along pretty much unabated at last month’s show in Orlando, Fla., where no fewer than seven new models made triumphant debut appearances, but only one entirely new airplane bowed in–and it was a very light jet (VLJ) from a start-up company few people had ever heard of before the show.