Because the Grob SPn Utility jet and the Embraer Phenom 300 weigh more than 12,500 pounds but less than 19,000 pounds, their respective manufacturers are requesting permission to certify the aircraft under the commuter category of Part 23 rather than the more stringent requirements of Part 25.
Embraer EMB-110-P1, Swanzey, N.H., Jan. 13, 2005–At about 10:15 p.m., AirNow’s Embraer N49BA was destroyed while landing at Dillant Hopkins Airport (EEN), near Keene, N.H. The airplane came to rest inverted on Runway 2, about 90 feet from the approach end of the runway. The ATP pilot was killed.
Bombardier acknowledged in late January that it has held “exploratory discussions” about collaboration in the turboprop market with Russian aircraft maker Aviacor, but it stopped short of confirming reports that it will transfer Q300 turboprop production to the underused factory, now owned by Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element holding company.
Embraer recently selected BMW DesignWorksUSA to design the interior for its planned very light jet (VLJ) and light jet, in addition to disclosing more defined development timelines for the common-platform twinjets. Embraer’s $2.75 million, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW617F-powered VLJ is expected to make its initial flight in the first quarter of 2007.
Embraer has signed a five-year distribution and logistics agreement with Sydney-based Hawker Pacific covering the supply of EMB-110 Bandeirante and EMB-120 Brasilia spare parts in Australia and the Pacific Rim.
Air Canada again added to Embraer’s backlog of 170/190-series jets last month with a firm order for 15 Embraer 175s. The order brings to 60 the number of airplanes Air Canada has ordered from the Brazilian manufacturer and chief competitor of Canada’s Bombardier.
Embraer appears to hold a surprisingly strong position in a contest with Bombardier to supply more 70-seat jets to Comair after new president Fred Buttrell issued an apparent endorsement of the Brazilian 70-seater in a letter to employees. Now flying 137 fifty-seat Bombardier CRJ200s and 27 CRJ700s, Comair would take another 10 CRJ200s and as many as 25 seventy-seaters if pilots agree to wage freezes and a one-year contract extension.
In early January, after years of controversy, the Brazilian government took delivery of a new head-of-state aircraft that will be used primarily to carry President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, his cabinet members and senior officials. The $56.7 million Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), named Santos Dumont after Brazil’s aviation pioneer, is replacing a geriatric Boeing 707 nicknamed Sucatão (the Portuguese term for “big heap of scrap metal”).
While last year was a positive turning point for many of Brazil’s business aviation firms, some companies have been mostly unaffected by the rolling economic crises that have tormented the nation for the past five years. One such company is Uberlândia-based ABC Táxi Aéreo, which attributes its financial stability to the fact that many of its clients come from the booming agribusiness sector.
Embraer’s corporate aviation division is preparing to present the business case for one or more new aircraft programs, with the hope of getting a development green light from the Brazilian group’s top management before the end of June.