Embraer is currently working on four upgrades to its Phenom 100s and 300s. A synthetic vision system (SVS) and highway-in-the-sky (HITS) application is now being flight-tested on a Phenom 100 at Embraer’s Gavaio Peixoto manufacturing and flight test center. Phenoms use a Garmin G1000-based avionics suite dubbed the Prodigy.
At the same time, Embraer is hard at work certifying an “enhanced takeoff distance” option for Phenom 100s built in the second half of 2009. This involves an adjustment to the full authority digital engine controls (FADECs) on the Phenom’s 1,695-lbst Pratt&Whitney PW615 engines to boost thrust, and a flaps-2 (16-degree extension) takeoff setting. The enhanced takeoff option will lower standard-condition takeoff distances from the current 3,400 feet to 3,125 feet. Embraer is considering plans to make the enhanced option available as a retrofit to Phenoms sold in the first half of 2009.
Another upgrade on the horizon is a digital link to automatically send maintenance anomalies directly from an aircraft in flight—or from a WiFi hotspot on an airport—to an Embraer maintenance center. Information on such items as engine malfunctions or exceedances would be sent via the Iridium satellite system as an airplane flies, enabling service personnel to better track discrepancies and monitor trends issued from the airplane’s computerized maintenance center (CMC). This data is currently only available via a download from an on-board SD card.