Embraer is studying the market for a business jet based on its new Embraer 170 aircraft, Luis Affonso, 170/190 director of programmes, said at the show yesterday.

"With the success we are enjoying with the Legacy [based on the Embraer 145] there is a natural thought that the 170 could also be an excellent platform for a business jet," said Affonso.

"So at the moment, Embraer is looking at the market and looking for market responses. If the response is positive, we might launch a programme."

The fifth 170 – and the first to be equipped with an interior – is at Farnborough and flying each day. It will be doing a short demonstration tour of Europe after the show.

Embraer plans to build 23 of the type in 2003. Affonso said the high initial production was aggressive but achievable as the eight initial aircraft (six are being used in the certification programme) were built using the final production tooling.

Up to now, the fifth aircraft has accumulated 52h of flying time. The five aircraft flying have accumulated a total of 325h of flying time.

It is part of an aggressive certification programme for the first member of Embraer's family of new commercial jets – the 170, the 175, the 190 and the 195.

The sixth 170 will also feature a fully-equipped interior. The aircraft will initially be subject to electromagnetic interference and lightning tests, and will later join the flight test programme.

The 170 is scheduled for certification in the first quarter of 2003, followed by delivery of the first production aircraft to Swiss.

Source: Flight Daily News