Embraer adds two – that makes four, or is it five?

Embraer’s board has approved the launch of the MLJ medium-light and MSJ mid-size business jets. They are to enter service in 2012 (MSJ) and 2013 (MLJ). They come hard on the heels of the launches of Cessna’s large-cabin Citation Columbus and Gulfstream’s ultra-long-range G650. Bombardier has also unveiled, but not formally launched, the mid-size Learjet NXT. So it’s a busy year so far for business aviation (four or five all-new jets, depending on how you look at it – and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet has also been launched, but that’s not a bizjet). And there’s at least a couple more new aircraft in the pipeline…

The MLJ and MSJ are about 90% common, sharing the same cabin cross-section, wing, cockpit, engines, tail etc, but with different fuselage lengths. That’s more common than Embraer’s Phenom 100 and 300, which share cabin cross-sections and cockpits, but have different wings, tails and engines. That probably explains the $750m development cost for both aircraft (compared to $780m for the Columbus and around $1bn for the G650).

Usually manufacturers launch a new aircraft then follow up later with a derivative, but Embraer seems to like doing things in pairs. Maybe because it’s in a hurry to establish itself in the business jet market. The Phenom 100 will enter service this year and the 300 next year, joining the Legacy 600 and Lineage 1000. By the time the MLJ and MSJ are ready, it will have built a six-aircraft range in just a dozen years. And, if my arithmetic is right, there’s room for a couple more…

3 Responses to Embraer adds two – that makes four, or is it five?

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