Embraer’s first Phenom 300 twinjet manufactured in the U.S. and delivered to a buyer left the company’s Melbourne, Fla. facility on March 29. The identity of the jet’s buyer was not disclosed. “This is a major milestone for Embraer Executive Jets and proves the maturity of our assembly facilities,” said Phil Krull, managing director of Melbourne assembly for Embraer Executive Jets. “We have quickened the manufacturing pace and will be able to accommodate a more demanding schedule.”
An Embraer Phenom 300 set three speed records for its class when it flew from Embraer Executive Jets’ headquarters at Melbourne (Fla.) International Airport (MLB) to Daugherty Field in Long Beach, Calif., with only one fuel stop. On the first leg, the twinjet flew the 1,380-nm route to El Paso (Tex.) International Airport in four hours, 16 minutes and 33 seconds. After a 27-minute fuel stop, it proceeded to Long Beach, completing the 607-nm leg in one hour, 55 minutes and 20 seconds.
Embraer announced yesterday that it delivered 99 business jets last year, matching its total deliveries in 2011.
In the fourth quarter the Brazilian company shipped 53 business jets, three more than in the same quarter in 2011 and seven more than it did in the combined first three quarters of 2012. By model, the Brazilian OEM delivered 13 Phenom 100s, 24 Phenom 300s, 15 Legacy 650s and one Lineage 1000 in the last quarter. During the first three quarters of last year Embraer handed over 16 Phenom 100s, 24 Phenom 300s, four Legacy 650s, one Lineage 1000 and one ERJ shuttle.
Embraer Executive Jets’ first U.S.-assembled Phenom 300 was rolled out and made its first flight yesterday, exactly one year after the first Phenom 100 to be produced in the U.S. took its maiden flight. The Phenom 300 started rolling down the company’s Melbourne, Fla. assembly line in September. Delivery of this light jet is scheduled in the first quarter; it will go to the Embraer Executive Jets Melbourne-based flight department, which will use it as a demonstrator.
Embraer broke ground for a 67,000-sq-ft engineering and technology center in Melbourne, Fla., yesterday, marking further expansion of the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer’s footprint at this U.S. location. The new building, which is expected to open in mid-2014 and house 200 employees by 2017, will join Embraer’s Phenom assembly facility and executive jet customer service center at the Florida campus.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China issued Embraer with a type certificate for its Phenom 300 light jet on the first day of Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai. The Chinese authorities have now approved all five of the Brazilian manufacturer’s in-production business aircraft. Embraer China president Guan Dongyuan told a press conference that to date it has sold 28 of these (plus options for five more) to customers in China.
Embraer Executive Jets is expanding its Melbourne, Fla. campus. Already home to a Phenom 100 and 300 assembly plant and a state-of-the-art customer center, Embraer has begun construction on a 67,000-sq-ft engineering and technology center announced earlier this year.
Before digging into the details of each of the light jet markets, it’s worth noting some global factors affecting the market. In 2012, the big story in the light jet market was Europe and the devaluing euro. As the light jet market typically trades in U.S. dollars, with the euro dropping nearly 20 percent in value compared to last year, European sellers saw an opportunity to take advantage of the strong dollar and liquidate at relatively lower dollar values for their assets, yielding a higher amount of euros.
Irvine, Calif.-based JetSuite announced an order today for 15 Cessna Citation CJ3s, which will double the size of its fleet and expand its offerings beyond the Embraer Phenom 100. The charter membership firm started taking bookings today for the new, longer-range CJ3s, though inaugural flights won’t begin until November 19. During the first year of operations, JetSuite’s CJ3 service will be available between any points east of the Mississippi and from the East to and from Aspen and Vail, and through Eastern Canada and the Caribbean.
Embraer brought a newly completed example of its Lineage 1000 bizliner to Moscow’s Jet Expo show in a bid to build on the success it has already had in Russia with the super-midsize Legacy 600/650. Ernest Edwards, president of the Brazilian manufacturer’s Executive Jets division, declined to say whether the company has yet achieved any Lineage sales in Russia, but he insisted that the airplane is set to do well in a market that has favored larger aircraft. “There is no other aircraft in this segment that can carry 19 passengers and sells for $54 million,” he told AIN.