By Karen Di Piazza
Brazil-based Embraer said that its six-place Phenom 100 very light jet is on target for mid-2008 deliveries, which is good news for the emerging air taxi market in both the United States and elsewhere in the world. The aircraft manufacturer said it plans to deliver up to 15 100s initially.
The company completed assembly on its nine-place Phenom 300, a slightly larger twin-engine plane, on April 12; its second 300 is being assembled at its Gavião Peixoto plant in São Paulo. The 300’s rollout is the first step prior to ground tests. Its maiden flight is presently scheduled for mid-2008. If everything goes according to plan, the plane will enter service in mid-2009.
“We’re thrilled to see the Phenom 300 become a reality,” said Luís Carlos Affonso, executive vice president of Embraer Executive Jets, a division of the company’s commercial airline manufacturing unit. “The 300, with its premium comfort, best-in-class performance and low operating cost, will set a new standard for the light jet category.”
More than 400 engineers were commissioned to work on the 300’s program. The company’s state-of-the-art paperless design enabled it to use a high-tech platform to efficiently integrate more than 50 suppliers, serial production tooling for the first aircraft and fully digital quality assurance.
The 300’s rollout follows the Phenom 100 by 10 months. The first metal cut of the Phenom 300 occurred in late March 2007, with wings and engines installed at the end of February 2008. The aircraft’s first electrical turn on occurred in March 2008.
Embraer’s two new GA business aircraft
Embraer recently announced it would produce clean-sheet designed business planes—the MSJ (midsize) and the MLJ (mid light), both configured to seat up to 10 passengers. These aircraft will compete against Cessna Aircraft Co.’s Citation Columbus, also a 10-passenger twin-engine jet. The MSJ will have a 3,000-natucal-mile range and the MLJ will have 2,300.
The company said it delivered 45 aircraft in the first quarter of 2008, including seven business jets and 38 commercial airliners. Known for producing commercial aircraft for the airlines, the plane maker said it had a backlog of $1.5 billion during the first quarter of 2008 for 509 aircraft.
For more information, visit [http://www.embraer.com].