Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer continues to make serious inroads into the traditionally North-American-based business jet manufacturing industry. The company’s Phenom 100 very light jet recently surpassed 1,000 test flight hours after making its first flight a year ago July 26. The airplane is scheduled to be certified by the end of the year with probably two deliveries by yearend. Meanwhile, the larger Phenom 300 flew on April 29 and is progressing through its certification process.
The booming manufacturer will be building an assembly plant in Melbourne, Fla., for the two Phenom products. First deliveries from that plant are scheduled for 2010.
The mid-sized Legacy 450 and 500, announced last year and recently named, will deliver in 2013 and 2012, respectively. The company has committed to a $750 million development program for the two airplanes, each powered by Honeywell engines with Fusion avionics in the panel.
The company is already working on the Lineage 1000, a business jet derivative of its airliner fleet, and the large-cabin Legacy 600. To support its growing fleet, the company will open 45 service centers before the end of the year; seven of them company owned, the balance authorized service centers.
The business aviation division of Embraer boasts a $6 billion backlog, according to Luis Carlos Affonso, executive vice president of executive jets.