Embraer Executive Jets has redesigned the Legacy 450 and 500 fly-by-wire business jets, adding two new models—the Praetor 500 and 600—that improve performance to a significant degree. The Praetor 500 and 600, expected to enter service in 2019, will sit at the top of Embraer’s midsize and super-midsize offerings, but the company will still manufacture the Legacy 450 and 500 as long as there are buyers.
“We’re unleashing the Legacy 450/500 potential so customers can fully enjoy the value these disruptive products offer,” said product strategy manager Alvadi Serpa.
What that means is that by modifying the Legacy 450 and 500 airframes, engineers were able to extract performance that makes the Praetor 500 and 600 more efficient and capable. Praetor, from the title for the Roman magistrates in the government hierarchy or from the word Praetorian, derives from the verb praeire, which means “to go before, to precede, to lead the way.” Serpa added, “We’re positioning these as products that will be there for the principal and help them achieve new heights and conquer new territories.”
The Praetor 600 steps up the capabilities of the Legacy 500 with new winglets, additional fuel capacity, and more powerful Honeywell HTF7500E engines.
The Praetor 500 and 600 also introduce a newly designed “Bossa Nova” interior from Embraer design chief Jay Beever. The idea was to match the interior styling with the jets’ new longer-range, “a stylish, sophisticated, and well-crafted interior,” he said. Some of the features include a reinvented diamond stitching on the seats, which mimics the design of the walkways on the beachfront promenade in Rio de Janeiro; carbon-fiber finish that wraps around corners without showing the structure of the material; and a philosophy of technology disappearing when it isn’t needed. This is embodied in the upper tech panel, which displays flight information and provides cabin-management system (CMS) features.
The CMS is Honeywell’s Ovation select. Gogo Vision will be an option when the Gogo Avance L5 air-to-ground connectivity system is installed. All of the models offer a new global airborne connectivity option with the Viasat Ka-band satcom and IPTV. The satcom will cost $395,000 and will be available in second-quarter 2019. Retrofits will be available for existing Legacy 450s and 500s.
The winglets of the Praetor 500/600 are canted out farther and are larger than those on the Legacy 450/500, adding 25 inches of length to both the left and right wing (50 inches increase in wingspan) and 22 inches in wingtip height.
The Praetor 500 boosts the fuel capacity of the Legacy 450 from 12,108 pounds to 13,058 pounds, by expanding the fuel volume to match that of the Legacy 500. Both the Legacy 450 and 500 share the same wing design, so this wasn’t a huge change.
Improvements and Modifications
The main visible physical change to create the Praetor 500 is the new winglet design. No structural changes were needed for the new winglets in the Praetor models because engineers were able to accommodate changes in loads on the wing by using the fly-by-wire software to alleviate loads in all configurations and conditions.
The key performance improvement for the Praetor 500 is greater coast-to-coast range at 3,250 nm (long-range cruise, four passengers, two crew, NBAA IFR reserves), up from 2,900 nm. Takeoff distance is longer, however, at 4,263 feet. Maximum payload is 2,921 pounds, and payload with maximum fuel 1,600 pounds.
The Praetor 600 does even better, thanks to the more powerful engines and a fuel capacity increase, which amounts to 2,928 pounds split between two tanks on the belly of the fuselage; a forward tank and what Embraer labels its "ventral" tank farther aft. Added to the 13,058 pounds in the wing, fuel capacity of the Praetor 600 is 15,986 pounds.
A subtle change that marks the Praetor 600 is the belly fairing that now covers more of the underside of the fuselage, toward the nose of the airplane. But an easier way to spot a Praetor 600 is the prominent belly skid, which protects the forward and ventral tanks in case of a gear-up landing.
Both the Praetor 500 and 600 fuel systems are pressurized with engine bleed air to meet FAA fuel tank flammability requirements.
The Praetor 600’s engines required no physical changes, just a software update to the Fadec, which now allows the HTF7500E to produce 7,528 pounds of thrust, flat-rated to ISA +18 deg C, up from 7,036 pounds in the Legacy 500.
With the added fuel capacity, the Praetor 600 can fly 3,900 nm with four passengers, two crew, and NBAA IFR reserves. Maximum payload is now 4,001 pounds and payload with maximum fuel 2,533 pounds.
According to Embraer’s calculations, this moves the Praetor to the head of the class when compared to the Bombardier Challenger 350 and Gulfstream G280. With eight passengers, the Praetor 600 can fly about 3,800 nm compared to about 3,600 in the G280 and 3,200 nm in the Challenger 350.
When carrying eight passengers, the Praetor 500 outpaces the Citation Latitude (the Legacy 450 also flew farther) at just under 3,200 nm versus about 2,650 nm for the Latitude, according to Embraer, while the Sovereign+ can fly about 3,100 nm with four passengers.
The Praetors come with new capabilities for the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics, which add vertical weather and predictive windshear to the Multiscan radar; cockpit display of traffic information, which displays ADS-B In traffic; and most significant, synthetic vision guidance system (SVGS), which will be approved for a 50-foot reduction in Cat I ILS minimums to 150 feet without requiring a head-up display or special training. Embraer’s E2VS enhanced vision system and Rockwell Collins HGS-3500 head-up display, which can display both EVS and synthetic vision system imagery, is an option for both jets.
An optional Honeywell Laseref VI inertial reference system is available, providing improvements in navigation in remote areas and other benefits for GPS and other nav source outages.
The Praetor 500 baseline price is $16.995 million and it will enter service in the third quarter of 2019.
The $20.995 million Praetor 600 will enter service in the second quarter of 2019.