February 17, 2011
Brazilian manufacturer Embraer will make a major expansion of its U.S. presence next week, when the company will open its newly-constructed, 90,000-square-foot, $50 million assembly plant at the Melbourne, Fla., airport. The factory will be used for final assembly of Embraer’s Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 business jets and have 200 employees. Flight testing also will be conducted from the Melbourne factory, and a co-located delivery center will be used to prepare airplanes for customer acceptance.
Florida may well be the site of yet another Embraer plant. The company recently announced it might assemble its Super Tucano at a renovated factory in Jacksonville. This, assuming that it wins a $950 million, 35-airplane U.S. Air Force contract to build the single-engine, turboprop-powered light-attack, weapons-capable, hard-point-equipped Super Tucanos. The 41,000-square-foot Jacksonville factory renovation could cost Embraer as much as $3.8 million.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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