Embraer is working to address several post-delivery issues with the Phenom 100, including a redesign of cabin seats and a problematic software design for portions of the flap system
The company says it is working with DeCrane Aerospace to design and fabricate new cabin seats that will provide more aisle room while fixing issues with the arm rest and fold-over on the current seats. Embraer parted company with the original seat vendor, Italy's Aviointeriors, after encountering certification problems with the seats during certification of the Phenom, says Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer executive vice-president for executive aviation.
Rather than delay entry into service, Embraer used the existing seat structures with a new exterior. "We did the best we could with the constraints," says Affonso.
A clean-sheet design is in the process at DeCrane, however, and will be available for installations, starting in the fourth quarter this year. Embraer has stopped short of saying it will cover the expenses, however. "We will offer very special conditions for them [customers] to retrofit," says Affonso.
Perhaps more significant is an airworthiness directive aboutthe aircraft's Eaton-built flap controller. The mandate requires operators to land with only one-half of the aircraft's full-flap setting, boosting landing speeds and accelerating tire and brake wear. The issue involves a miscompare between commanded and actual flap settings, a condition that causes the diagnostic system to freeze the flaps in their current position and increase the airspeed at which the aircraft's anti-stall stick pusher activates.
At the request of Embraer, regulators issued an emergency AD on the system in February, fearing that the stuck flap logic could cause the aircraft's anti-stall stick pusher to activate at the higher airspeed during a go-around, surprising the pilot at a crucial phase in the manoeuvre.
An interim fix, designed to prevent the miscompares had been installed since March. A further refinement of the stall warning computer software needed to eliminate the landing requirements specified the AD will be ready in the third quarter of 2009, says Embraer.