Embraer will invest more than $230 million over the next six years on two new manufacturing export facilities in Portugal, one to develop "complex" composite aircraft structures like empennages, the other for complex metallic components such as wings.

The facilities are the first industrial locations for Embraer in Europe, and follow a $41 million investment in May to build a final assembly plant for the company's Phenom 100 very light jet and Phenom 300 light jet in Melbourne, Florida. The facility is expected to produce its first jets in 2010.

The Brazil-based builder of regional, corporate and military aircraft is not saying which of its existing or new aircraft programmes will receive the Portuguese components, but expects the first wings to emerge from the $157 million metallic plant in Evora in 2011 and the first tailplanes from the $76 million composites facility, also in Evora, in 2012.

While Embraer's larger already established E-Jet-family twinjets and its ERJ variants are primarily metal, the new Phenom 100 and Phenom 300, both in the testing phase, include composite horizontal and vertical stabilisers in addition to composite flight control surfaces.

Embraer has not commented on construction contracts for its Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 mid-light and mid-size business jets, launched in April, except for the awarding of the landing gear structure and actuation systems to Canada's Heroux Devtek in mid-July.

Source: Flight International