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October 19, 2009
By Thomas A. Horne
The economy may be wobbly, but Brazilian manufacturer Embraer is undaunted. On Oct. 19 at NBAA’s convention in Orlando, Fla., the company announced it would build yet another executive jet—the large-cabin Legacy 650.
Designed to fill the niche between Embraer’s super mid-sized Legacy 600 and ultra-large-cabin Lineage 1000, the Legacy 650 is based on the basic ERJ 145 regional jet airframe. Current plans are for first deliveries (though no deposits were announced) in the second quarter of 2010—a very ambitious timetable. The Legacy 650 will share the same assembly line with the Legacy 600, and the latter will benefit. That’s because the Legacy 650’s Honeywell Primus Elite avionics suite will soon make its way into current-production Legacy 600s.
The new Honeywell cockpit is geared to the navigation system of tomorrow, being equipped with GPS-based WAAS-LPV guidance with RNP .03 capability, Future Air Navigation (FANS) 1A controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC), Honeywell’s SmartRunway and SmartLanding technology, and XM datalink weather.
The Legacy 650’s range is set at 3,900 nm with four passengers; cruise speed is anticipated as Mach 0.80; and power is from two Rolls-Royce AE 3007A2 engines of 9,020 pounds of thrust apiece. The engines won’t have TBOs per se, but “on condition” maintenance based on computerized measurement and recording of engine maintenance variables.
The Legacy 650’s 500-nm range advantage over the Legacy 600 comes thanks to an extra 2,558 pounds of fuel stored in a ventral tank and in the center spar box area. City pairs for the Legacy 650 include London-Teterboro (New Jersey), Dubai-London, and Mumbai-Tokyo. Embraer says the Legacy 650’s hot-and-high runway performance will permit flights from Telluride, Colo., to Teterboro, N.J.
The Legacy 650’s cabin, at a length of 49.8 feet, will have three cabin zones, and passengers will have in-flight access to a large aft baggage compartment. Payload with full fuel will be 1,715 pounds, Embraer says, compared to the Legacy 600’s 1,506 pounds. Maximum takeoff weight will be 53,572 pounds.
The first flight of the Legacy 650 took place Sept. 23 at Embraer’s Gaviao Peixoto flight test center; there are two airplanes now in flight test. The price is set at $29.5 million in 2009 dollars.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
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