Embraer on 28 December completed first flight of the super-light Legacy 450 business jet in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

The milestone event keeps the fly-by-wire aircraft on track to enter service in early 2015, or roughly 12 months after the scheduled certification of the larger Legacy 500 jet.

Legacy 450

Embraer test pilot Eduardo Camelier called the fly-by-wire controls “very smooth”.

“With the avionics suite, the aircraft operation was very easy and intuitive,” he says.

Photos released by Embraer show the mostly unpainted aircraft with registration PT-ZIJ at cruise altitude with the landing gear still deployed. Camelier and co-pilot Eugênio Cará covered a "significant" range of the flight envelope during the 90min flight, Embraer says.

Legacy 450

In addition to introducing fly-by-wire controls, both the Legacy 450 and mid-size Legacy 500 are designed with a 1.83m (6ft) flat floor.

Development of the Legacy 500 was delayed for more than a year, with Embraer citing problems in particular with integrating the fly-by-wire system.

The Legacy 500 completed first flight in November, 2012.

Legacy 450

While the Legacy 500 will compete with midsize aircraft such as the all-composite Bombardier Learjet 85, the Legacy 450 will challenge the future Cessna Latitude.

“With full fly-by-wire technology and the roomiest cabin it its category, this aircraft will deliver unique features and amenities,” says Embraer Executive Jets senior vice-president for operations Marco Pellegrini.

Source: FlightGlobal.com