Gulfstream, Embraer advance middle offerings

Washington DC
Source:
This story is sourced from Flight International
Subscribe today »

Despite a continued market slump in the segment, Embraer and Gulfstream are maintaining schedules for their new mid-range product offerings.

Gulfstream is planning an official roll-out of its G250 super-midsize twin from partner company Israel Aerospace Industries in Tel Aviv in early October, with a first flight promised before the end of the year.

The first test aircraft is undergoing systems tests after the successful completion of runs of the Honeywell HTF7250G turbofan engines and the Honeywell auxiliary power unit, and the first successful electrical power-on and landing gear drop tests.

IAI has also achieved the fuselage/wing mate of the second of three planned flight-test aircraft (serial number 2002) and has completed the structural test vehicle and begun testing.

Officially launched in November 2008, the G250 comes to market under trying conditions; Gulfstream earlier this year cut its production numbers for the G150 and G200 - which the G250 will eventually replace - from 69 to 24, and warns of possible further downsizing. The company delivered 32 G150/G200s in 2008. However, with service entry set for 2011, a market rebound widely predicted for the 2012 timeframe could help.

Conditions should be improved in 2013 when Embraer begins delivering its midsize Legacy 500, the fifth business jet in a portfolio that includes the Legacy 600, Lineage 1000, Phenom 100 and Phenom 300. Entry into service for the $18.4 million midsize aircraft is scheduled for the second half of 2012.

In addition to validating the flight-control laws for the fly-by-wire aircraft, Embraer has also completed interior trade-offs using a mock-up and has begun structural layout definitions as part of the detailed design and certification phase of the programme, an effort involving 500 engineers, says Embraer.

A man-machine interface meeting, which in part will deal with how pilots will communicate with the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion integrated flightdeck, is to be held this month.

One year behind the Legacy 500 will be the mid-light Legacy 450, also powered by Honeywell engines, priced at $15.25 million.

Both companies are busy with other projects as well. Gulfstream is planning first flight of its ultra-long-range large-cabin G650 in the fourth quarter, and Embraer also plans to certificate and begin delivering its $6.85 million Phenom 300 light jet before year's end.

The Phenom 300's little sister, the Phenom 100, entered service at the end of last year. Embraer delivered only about 20 Phenom 100s in the first half of this year but is planning to deliver more than 80 Phenom 100s in the second half, including 35-40 in the current quarter, as it ramps up production of the new very light jet. For the entire year, Embraer is aiming to deliver 110 Phenoms, including the first batch of Phenom 300s, and about 17 Lineages and Legacies.