Embraer has received European approval for the Legacy super-mid-size business jet, with US certification expected by the end of the month. The Legacy is a variant of the ERJ-135 regional jet and the Brazilian manufacturer's first foray into the business jet market.

Deliveries to European customers have begun and Embraer has orders for 74 aircraft and options for 94. The Rolls-Royce AE3007-powered Legacy sells for $20 million in the 15-seat executive version and $16.1 million in the 19-seat shuttle variant.

Embraer says performance has improved from that originally promised. Take-off distance has been reduced from a projected 1,950m (6,400ft) to 1,740m, bringing the Legacy within the key 1,830m runway length requirement and opening up 4,000 extra airports around the world.

The Legacy has winglets, additional fuel and uprated AE3007AE1 engines, providing a maximum speed of Mach 0.8 and a range of 5,740km (3,100nm).

Embraer's largest customer is US scheduled public-charter operator Indigo, which provides shuttle services between Chicago and New York. Indigo last year ordered 25 aircraft, plus options. The order was pushed back because of financing issues after 11 September, but remains in place and is now "moving forward", the company says. Indigo is expected to receive its first Legacy in October, a couple of months behind the original schedule.

Source: Flight International