MEBA: Embraer prepares to add spoilers to Phenom 100

Washington DC
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Embraer has completed a flight-test programme to add spoilers to the Phenom 100 entry-level business jet to help pilots in getting the aircraft stopped on the ground.

The action comes in response to numerous incidents of pilots having difficulty landing the brake-by-wire equipped twinjet, many ending with blown main gear tyres when emergency brakes had to be applied as a result of actual or apparent brake system failures. Owners have told Flight Daily News that Embraer has promised to release performance and prices for the retrofit option soon.

The airframer earlier had launched an education programme, reminding pilots to keep "constant pressure on the brake pedals" for best performance.

"Immediately following the touchdown the braking may seem to be too stiff and the pilot sensation is of slow deceleration," Embraer wrote in a flight operations support letter issued in November 2009. "As in any aircraft without lift dampers, during the initial part of the deceleration the brake may appear to have a low effectiveness while above 70-80KIAS."

Two landing accidents in Brazil, one in 2009 and one in 2010, were both attributed to pilot error, although a recent brake failure and tyre blowout accident in Texas is being investigated by the US National Transportation Safety Board.

Taking the next step, Embraer has developed a spoiler system that automatically deploys when a weight-on-wheels sensor detects a landing, reducing the lift on the wings and correspondingly putting more weight on the tyres for deceleration. The system consists of two panels, each positioned laterally on each wing top near the wing root.

The company hopes to have the system incorporated into forward-fit production line aircraft and available as a retrofit option.