EBACE: Embraer Legacy 500 makes last appearance before certification

Geneva
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In a return visit to the EBACE static park, Embraer is taking out the Legacy 500 for perhaps the final time before achieving a scheduled certification milestone by mid-year.

The mid-size business jet’s second appearance in Geneva comes near the end of a six-year development programme marked by challenges developing the Legacy 500’s pioneering fly-by-wire ­technology, and growing confidence by the company’s in the type’s successful introduction.

It features the production cabin interior demonstrating the cabin space that the manufacturer says competes with super-midsize competitors. The Brazilian manufacturer has been travelling around the word with appearances intended to demonstrate the aircraft is finally ready for service – and likely to avoid the reliability glitches that plagued the introductions of the Phenom 100 and 300 jets several years ago.

“After entry into service of the Phenoms that suffered a bit we created a programme when we launched the [Legacy 500} – a maturity campaign,” says Marco Tulio Pelligrini, president and chief executive of Embraer Executive Jets.

“We believe the level of maturity of the 500 will be far better than the ­Phenom’s entry into service,” he adds. “We designed for that.”

Of course, the Legacy 500 was launched to offer customers more than merely reliability. Embraer stuffed the Legacy 500 with several features unique to the midsize cabin segment, including lie-flat floors, a super mid-size jet’s cross-section and fly-by-wire flight controls.

But Embraer has taken special care to make the introduction of the Legacy 500 a smooth one. The company commissioned a full interior mock-up using production components 2.5 years ago to run thousands of hours tests and simulations. The Legacy 500 also will not be rushed into service, as Embraer plans to gradually build up production starting with deliveries of only three to six aircraft this year, Pelligrini says.

The entry into service of the Legacy 500 comes as Embraer seeks to improve the efficiency and profitability of the overall executive jets division, with a special focus of the Phenom 100/300 family.

“Our plan is to improve overall efficiency without challenging us to increase the volumes of production,” Pellegrini says. “It’s better to work on the cost side and improve the operation and be prepared for the future than trying to increase volume and to fail in that process.”