December 31, 2013
By Jim Moore
Embraer Executive Jets announced Dec. 28 the first flight of the new Legacy 450, staking a claim to the roomiest cabin in its class and the first mid-light-size business jet equipped with full fly-by-wire technology.
Company test pilots logged about 1.5 hours on the maiden flight, reporting smooth responses and an intuitive cockpit design. The company had conducted extensive ground and simulator tests, and announced the maiden flight was completed with no surprises as the flight crew explored the new jet’s performance and handling characteristics.
Powered by a pair of Honeywell HTF 7500E turbofan engines, the Legacy 450 is able to fly nonstop from Boston to Los Angeles. The company announced design improvements this year including an expansion of the cabin interior, and extended range of up to 2,500 nautical miles with four passengers.
The Legacy 450 made its maiden flight on schedule, the company noted, and follows the first flight of the larger Legacy 500, which is on track for certification in 2014. The Legacy 500 made its own maiden flight in November 2012, a flight delayed somewhat as the company worked to refine the new fly-by-wire system. The Legacy 450 will offer creature comforts for passengers including flat-folding seats and a surround-sound entertainment system in a cabin pressurized to 6,000 feet. For the flight crew, Embraer offers side-stick controls and a Rockwell-Collins Pro Line Fusion panel with 15.1-inch LCD displays and synthetic vision. An Embraer Enhanced Vision System with a heads-up display is available as an option.
Able Flight, the nonprofit organization that works to provide free flight training to individuals with physical disabilities, announced the awards of a record-setting nine scholarships in 2014.
Internet giant Google will acquire Titan Aerospace, the New Mexico-based developer of high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles.
The National Aeronautic Association has awarded the Collier Trophy for “the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier.”
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