Jetbird’s assertions of delays notwithstanding, Embraer said late last week that it continues to ramp up production of the Phenom 100, helping the Brazilian business jet manufacturer deliver a total of 54 business jets during the first three quarters. The five-passenger Phenom 100 received FAA certification last December, with two deliveries before the end of last year.
Production delays at Embraer’s factory and an associated bottleneck in the pilot training process for its new Phenom 100 light jet have delayed the service launch of air-taxi firm JetBird.
A small group of Embraer Phenom 100 owners came together in Santa Barbara, Calif., on August 29 for the first Phenom owners gathering. Ben Marcus, a partner
in light jet brokerage firm JetAviva, Van Nuys, Calif., helped put the meeting together, which attracted eight owners, who could form the nucleus of a Phenom 100 owners association.
Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer is a relative newcomer to the business aviation market. Five years ago the company was best known for producing many regional jets and its only business airplane was the Legacy, a corporate version of the ERJ 135.
With certification of Embraer’s Phenom 300 expected before year-end, Flight Options released more details about its fractional ownership program for the aircraft in June.
“Only in 2012 will [business jet] deliveries start growing again,” Embraer executive vice president Luis Carlos Affonso said in a pre-LABACE press briefing. He expects 2010 and 2011 will be “difficult years” for the business aviation industry, but noted that there are already signs that the industry is starting to recover. He said the company will meet Phenom delivery goals, if it can build the airplanes fast enough.
“Only in 2012 will [business jet] deliveries start growing again,” Embraer executive vice president Luis Carlos Affonso said Tuesday in a pre-LABACE press briefing. He recognized 2010 and 2011 as “difficult years” for the business aviation industry, but noted that there are already signs of an upturn and said the company will meet Phenom delivery goals if it can only make them fast enough.
JetSuite brokered its first Phenom 100 charter flight in late May for customer Burt Rutan, who flew to his home base in Mojave, Calif. Solana Beach-based Air by Jet, a Part 135 certificate holder, operated the flight. Later this year, JetSuite expects to begin operating its own fleet of Phenom 100s, for which it has a firm order for 50 with an option for an additional 50.
Embraer’s Phenom 300 midsize jet is proceeding toward FAA and Brazilian approval on schedule by year-end. To date, all aerodynamics tests are complete on the larger Phenom derivative, including natural ice-shape flight trials. At the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In held in April in Lakeland, Fla., the company said the light jet was undergoing natural ice testing, as well as lightning and high-intensity radiated field (Hirf) testing.
Famed aircraft and spacecraft designer Burt Rutan was the first passenger on a JetSuite-brokered Embraer Phenom 100 Part 135 flight earlier this week to his home base in Mojave, Calif. The flight was operated by Solana Beach-based Air by Jet, a Part 135 certificate holder. JetSuite is acting as a broker for the Air by Jet-operated Phenom 100 flights, according to JetSuite CEO Alex Wilcox.