Embraer will add assembly lines for the Legacy 500/450 business jets to the expanding Melbourne, Florida, production complex, the company says today.
Frederico Curado, Embraer’s chief executive, made the announcement today in Melbourne with Florida governor Rick Scott looking on.
Embraer started building Phenom 100 and 300 jets in Melbourne in 2011. An engineering and technology centre is opening in Melbourne next year. Last year, Embraer confirmed it would consider building Legacy series jets in Florida if market demand could support it.
“This is a natural step forward to the benefit of our customers,” Curado says.
The Legacy 500/450 are midsize jets featuring fly-by-wire flight controls, a first for a commercial aircraft of its size.
Embraer has assembled the first flight test aircraft at its headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.
The first Legacy 500 jet entered flight test last November and is scheduled to enter service in the second quarter of next year.
Meanwhile, Embraer is assembling the first Legacy 450 to achieve first flight in November this year.
The Legacy 500/450 jets are powered by the Honeywell HTF7500E turbofan engines and are equipped with Rockwell Collins ProLine Fusion avionics.
Embraer delivers roughly half of its executive jets to customers in the USA. US suppliers and industrial partners also contribute more than 60% of the parts and systems on board the aircraft.
In a separate programme, Embraer also is assembling 20 Super Tucano light attack aircraft in Jacksonville, Florida. The turboprop-powered fighters will be modified by Sierra Nevada and delivered to the Afghan Air Force, under a contract awarded by the US Air Force.