Embraer is again looking at offering a business jet version of the new ERJ-135 regional aircraft and has already opened talks with the Brazilian air force to supply a VIP-configured model.

The manufacturer says it would be a relatively straightforward adaptation of the new 37-seat jet to the role of a business aircraft.

It would be targeted at potential users not requiring the ultra-long haul capability of the Gulfstream GV or Bombardier Global Express and would cost around half as much as its rivals.

Embraer says the range of the proposed Embraer Corporate Jet could be extended from theERJ-135's 2,574km (1,400nm) to as far as 4,000km with extra fuel. The new ERJ-145SA/RS SIVAM military surveillance version under development will be fitted with an internal auxiliary tank and these could also be fitted to the smaller business jet.

A business jet version of the ERJ-135/145 had been considered earlier in the programme and Embraer claims to have been in talks with a number of potential operators. But the company decided to keep its production line clear to give delivery priority to major airlines such as Continental Express and American Eagle.

With monthly production being increased from three to eventually 12 aircraft a month, Embraer says it will have the extra capacity to support relatively limited sales of the Embraer Corporate Jet.

The Brazilian air force requires a new presidential and government VIP transport to replace its BAe 125s used on domestic and Latin American trips.

Source: Flight International