Embraer has cut the first metal for its Legacy 450 business jet as it targets late 2014 for certification of the mid-light business jet.

"Even as we have been making progress on the Legacy 500, we have been anticipating this event for the Legacy 450," says Embraer Executive Jets president Ernest Edwards. "The first metal cut for the Legacy 450 is a landmark event for the programme and is the latest step in bringing this, the second of our revolutionary jets, to reality."

A component of the forward fuselage was milled from a block of aluminium alloy by a five-axis, high-performance machining centre, says Embraer.

"Fully automated, the milling process drew data directly from a digital mock-up of the Legacy 450. Once completed, the part was approved by a quality control process that employed the use of laser devices for design validation with the digital mock-up," it adds.

The first metal cut comes after the completion of the joint definition phase for the aircraft in May. The detailed design and certification phase is ongoing and the critical design reviews are scheduled for completion at the end of August.

For both the Legacy 450 and midsize Legacy 500, Embraer has completed more than 8,000 systems test hours, with 2,500h logged on the Iron Bird since November 2010. The two aircraft bring fly-by-wire technology to the mid-light and midsize segments for the first time.

Meanwhile, the Legacy 500 prototype (serial number 001) is undergoing pre-flight testing ahead of its first flight later this year. The first prototype was rolled out in January, while the second prototype, S/N 002, rolled out in May. S/N 003 is in final assembly with the wing-to-fuselage mating completed in June.

Source: Flight International