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Embraer intros PraetorsEmbraer intros Praetors

Company promises 'disruptive' midsize and super-midsize bizjetsCompany promises 'disruptive' midsize and super-midsize bizjets

Embraer kicked off the 2018 National Business Aviation Association Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) by announcing two new jets—the midsize Praetor 500 and the super-midsize Praetor 600.

Embraer announced two new jets at the 2018 NBAA annual convention, including this super-midsize Praetor 600. Photo by Tom Horne.

The Praetor name, bound to attract attention, is derived from the title granted to a commander of an army or an elected magistrate in the ancient Roman Empire. Various theories have emerged as to the reasoning behind the naming choice. One argues that the name was more aspirational than contending ideas, and another cites its hint of authority. Either way, one purpose has been achieved: Everyone at NBAA is talking about the Praetors.

Along with the usual superlatives, Embraer Executive Jets President and CEO Michael Amalfitano said that the Praetor 500 and 600 “…are the disruptive aircraft for the entrepreneur, for the pioneer, for the innovator.” Both airplanes will have fly-by-wire flight controls and Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line Fusion avionics suites with vertical weather displays and predictive wind shear capability. Also standard is turbulence-reduction technology, a feature added to the Praetors’ flight control software. It automatically activates when a gust or other load is sensed and triggers the ailerons to make corrective deflections to relieve transient wing loadings. In a sense the technology mimics that used by Tamarack Aerospace’s winglets, but unlike the Tamarack design there are no small, aileron-like control surfaces at the outboard wing sections.

Embraer’s Enhanced Vision System with a head-up display, an inertial reference system, and synthetic vision are available as options.

The Praetors are currently under development. The larger Praetor 600 is expected to be certified, and enter into service, in the second quarter of 2019. The Praetor 500 should follow in the third quarter of 2019.

The Praetors’ Brazilian-inspired “Bossa Nova” interiors will be based on both ergonomics and superior craftsmanship, said Jay Beever, Embraer Executive Jets vice president of interior design. “Each customer’s personal design style will be reflected throughout the cabin,” Beever said. There are four fully reclining club seats that can be berthed into two beds, a rear lavatory with a vacuum toilet, and an in-flight-accessible baggage area—with what Embraer says is the largest space in the midsize category. The valence above the passenger seats will show the airplane’s flight progress on what Embraer calls an Upper Tech Panel. Cabin management features on personal electronic devices can be controlled by Honeywell’s Ovation Select system, and there will be internet connectivity through Viasat’s satellite system. An optional high-definition video system with surround sound and multiple audio and video inputs is another option.

The Praetor 500 will be powered by twin Honeywell HTF 7500E turbofans with 6,500 pounds thrust, designed to give the airplane a four-passenger NBAA IFR range of 3,250 nautical miles. An extra fuel tank and the turbulence-reduction technology account for the airplane’s range advantage over its Legacy 450 stablemate, which posts a 2,900-nm maximum range. The Praetor 500 will be capable of flying from the U.S. West Coast to Europe with one stop, and have the highest payload capacity in its class, Embraer said. Maximum speed is 0.83 Mach. The $16,995,000 Praetor 500’s performance profile has apparently been aimed at the Cessna Latitude and Bombardier Challenger 350 competition.

The Praetor 600 will have similar cockpit and cabin features, as well as HTF 7500E powerplants, rated in this airplane at 7,500 lbst. With four passengers, its NBAA IFR range is set at 3,900 nm. Price of the Praetor 600 is set at $20,995,000. These features make it competitive with Cessna’s Longitude and Gulfstream’s G280.

Though there are strong similarities to Embraer’s Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 (the designs share the same fuselage barrels), Embraer says it will continue building Legacy 450s and 500s—as demand requires—while simultaneously manufacturing the Praetors. Subassemblies will be built at Embraer’s Brazilian facilities, and final assembly will take place at the company’s Melbourne, Florida, campus on the Orlando Melbourne International Airport. New assembly plants to accommodate the extra work will be built in the very near future. This will make for capacity to assemble what will be six different airplane types—Embraer’s Phenom 100E and 300E, the Legacy 450 and 500, and the Praetor 500 and 600.

Thomas A. Horne

Thomas A. Horne

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
Topics: Jet, National Business Aviation Association

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