Embraer announced a major range increase for its Legacy 450 “midlight” jet that it says will allow it to “leapfrog” rival aircraft. The aircraft will now have a maximum range of 2,900 nm, an increase of 325 nm. By contrast, its larger sibling the Legacy 500 has a range of 3,125 nm and can carry two more passengers.
The upgrade, announced here in Las Vegas on Monday, comes from a combination of a minor change to the wing to allow it to accommodate more fuel, modification to the fuel control unit and flight manual, and an 82-foot longer takeoff roll to 3,907 feet at mtow. The increased range will be retrofittable to early serial number aircraft and, for now, the price of the aircraft remains unchanged at $16.57 million.
The extended range will enable nonstop routes including San Francisco to Hawaii, New York to Los Angeles and Shanghai to Jakarta. Embraer Executive Jets president Marco Túlio Pellegrini told AIN, “Our main goal is to deliver greater value; we always want to give our customers more.”
In Embrear’s view, the Legacy 450 and 500 models are completely complimentary. “If I lose orders, from one to the other, it doesn’t matter,” Pellegrini said. “What matters is giving the customers choice.”
Separately, Embraer (Booth N3932) released its 10-year demand forecast for business jets. This envisages sales of 9,100 aircraft worth $259 billion, representing a modest annual growth rate of 3 percent, as well as a slight increase in deliveries compared with the previous decade to 8,190 jets worth $198 billion. Once again the North American market drives the demand with 4,850 units worth $130 billion, followed by Europe and Africa with 2,100 worth $64 billion; then the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, 1,500 at $54 billion, and finally Latin America with 650 valued at $11 billion.
Large jets will lead the market both in terms of number of units and valuation; 3,400 and $175 billion, respectively. But medium jets are expected to regain some traction, selling 3,280 worth $66 billion, while the light jet market will continue to struggle with estimated deliveries of 2,420 worth $18 billion.
While other regions of the world are struggling, Pellegrini said the North American market is steadily improving, accounting for 66 percent of deliveries in the third calendar quarter of the year.