Embraer opens Melbourne manufacturing faciility

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Embraer is gearing up to assemble to first Phenom 100 business jet in June from its newly opened facility in Melbourne, Florida - its first factory on US soil.

"The 80,000ft² [7,430m²] hangar and paintshop is dedicated to the executive jet business in the company's largest market, where it will begin operations with the production of the entry-level Phenom 100," says Embraer.

Plans for the $50 million final assembly plant were unveiled in May 2008, shortly after the light-cabin Phenom 300 made its first flight. The facility will also house flight-testing and delivery preparation for both types - of which 126 were delivered last year.

Embraer is also building a 1,730m² customer design centre dedicated to interior outfitting across its family of business jets, including the Legacy 600/650 and Lineage 1000 at the top of its product line. Completion is scheduled for the fourth quarter.

The Brazilian airframer has a backlog of more than 450 Phenoms and says it has the capacity in Melbourne to build up to eight Phenoms a month. Only one aircraft will be manufactured this year ramping up to 31 in 2012 and 60 in 2013, says Embraer.

Major airframe parts will be shipped to Melbourne from Embraer's factory in Gavião Peixoto while major components such as engines and avionics will be supplied directly by the manufacturers.