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.
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 half-ton Dodge truck lines up on the centerline. As the pickup accelerates, the floatplane trailered behind it adds power, lifts off, banks left, and departs: just another floatplane launch by Joe Sprague of Cadillac Aircraft Services in Cadillac, Mich.
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