EBACE: Embraer confident on sustained market recovery

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Embraer [stand 7041 and static] remains confident the market for business jets will continue to head in the right direction, despite the outlook for European economies remaining weak.

Even if growth is at the bottom end of the scale, it forecasts a market for 9,300 aircraft worth a combined $246 billion during the next 20 years, says Ernie Edwards, president of Embraer Executive Jets.

The Brazilian airframer believes it will grab a sizeable share of this market as it cements its position as a "serious player" in business jets.

Key to its future success will be the developmental super-light Legacy 450 and midsize 500. The latter is due to enter service in the first half of next year, with its smaller sibling following 12 months later.

The first wings for the Legacy 450 are complete and will be mated with the fuselage next month ahead of an expected maiden sortie in the second half of 2013.

Edwards says that if the "game-changing" new Legacys are as successful as it anticipates, they will "outsell anything we have produced to date", eclipsing the success of the Phenom 100 and 300.

Meanwhile, Embraer continues to refine the other aircraft in its range. Its E-Jet-derived Lineage 1000 has received a number of tweaks to its exterior, including the removal of several windows obscured by interior monuments. The long-range jet also gains an updated interior, being shown on the aircraft on the static display at EBACE.

Additionally, Embraer is upgrading the type's cockpit displays to include an Elbit Systems-developed Enhanced Vision System and head-up display. This is due for certification in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Its Phenom 300 light jet has also gained an avionics update, with the recent approval for the Garmin G3000-based Prodigy Touch system. This will be available from the fourth quarter, says Embraer.

However, Edwards says the airframer has "no further plans at the moment" to begin development of a new aircraft to plug the gap in its range between the large-cabin Legacy 650 and the Lineage 1000.

"It's a placeholder for us to remind ourselves [and others] that there's an element missing in our portfolio," says Edwards.