Embraer first flight bodes well for US production line

Washington DC
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Embraer says there were no anomalies in the 2.5h first flight of a US-built Phenom 100 business jet from the Melbourne international airport on 8 December, marking a trouble-free start for the company's first US-based production plant there.

The aircraft, owned by Missouri-based fractional provider and charter outfit, Executive AirShare, flew to its maximum certificated altitude of 41,000ft and to its maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.7 during the post-production flight.

 

 ©EMBRAER

First US-built Phenom gets water gun salute after first flight

"The aircraft successfully flew designated items from the standard test card used to evaluate systems and performance of each Phenom 100 aircraft prior to delivery," said Embraer. Executive AirShare is the largest operator of Phenom 100s globally, with a fleet of 13 aircraft including the first Melbourne-built aircraft, which is to be delivered before year's end. As of early December, Embraer says there were 220 Phenom 100s in service.

Embraer opened the Melbourne production facility to build Phenom 100s and Phenom 300s in February 2011, inaugurating its new Global Customer Centre on the same property on 5 December.

Production of the two business jets on the same five-station, paperless, single line is slated to reach 30 aircraft next year, potentially ramping to 60 in 2013. The maximum capacity of the facility is 96 aircraft per year.

 

 © JOHN CROFT

 Four Phenom 100s in the production queue at Melbourne

"This flight clearly shows that our Melbourne team is ready to carry on seamless production of the Embraer Phenom 100 with the same level of excellence as our colleagues in Brazil," said Phil Krull, managing director of Embraer Executive Aircraft.