Embraer is touting recently announced airframe enhancements to its Legacy business jet to support a ramped-up sales effort for the super mid-size aircraft, which is on display at the show.
The Brazilian manufacturer has also launched an effort to slash the maintenance downtime for the aircraft, to boost customer perception of the ERJ-135 executive variant. Details of airframe refinements came during the second Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE) in São Paulo earlier this year. Antonio Pires Monteiro, vice-president for corporate aviation, reported the combined airframe and maintenance changes will enable the manufacturer to raise its share of the super mid-size segment from around 13% today to more than 20% of the 400 aircraft sales globally forecast over the next 10 years.
Overall, Embraer delivered 13 ERJ-135-based Legacy business jets among an order book for 101 ERJs in 2003.
Embraer's corporate jet is seeing a gradual improvement in overall business aircraft market demand, with the 2003 Legacy deliveries rising by 63% over 2002's figures.
The 14-seat Legacy Executive features a new, state-of-the-art interior as well as several systems and performance enhancements. It incorporates modifications that include the addition of winglets and fuselage reinforcements, extra fuel tanks and enhanced fuel system and higher-thrust turbofan engines. These changes will now be incorporated into the standard version.
The Legacy's AE3007-A1P engine has been discarded in favour of the A1E variant, which offers a 7% thrust increase. These enhancements have combined to increase the aircraft's range to 6,010km (3,250nm) with eight passengers flying at Mach 0.74.
The Legacy has also recently received Brazilian and US certification to widen its landing and take-off envelope from high altitude airports located at up to 8,500ft (2,590m) above sea level.
This gives Legacy operators access to high-altitude airports in 20 cities in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The basic Legacy's maximum take-off weight is also set to be increased from just under 22,000kg (48,500lb) to 22,500kg, which will allow for a 2% fuel capacity increase. Moreover, by employing redesigned and lighter parts in selected airframe areas, Embraer says it has secured a "significant" net payload gain.
Removal of the aircraft's windshield wipers and installation of a new windshield design, redesigned wing/fuselage junction and main landing gear wheel hub caps were some of the recently introduced aerodynamic refinements designed to improve the Legacy's performance.
In addition to these improvements, Monteiro is reported as saying that Embraer is setting its sights on revamping the Legacy's maintenance programme to reduce downtime periods.
Source: Flight Daily News