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New business jet - Embraer Legacy 650

Looking ahead to an economic recovery, and to fulfilling its stated intention to become a major player in the business aviation industry, Embraer provided one of the surprises at the NBAA Convention last month by introducing a new business jet – the large-cabin Legacy 650.

Embraer v-p of market intelligence Claudio Camelier told AIN that this latest addition to the Embraer Executive Jets line is related to the $27.45 million Legacy 600 in that it shares the Legacy name and the ERJ-135 platform. The 650 is a derivative, however, as its certification will be based on that of the Legacy 600.

The differences begin with Honeywell’s Primus Elite, which brings LCD technology into the cockpit with function control via a cursor device. Among the standard and optional equipment are coupled Vnav, RNP 0.3, charts and maps capability, Fans 1/A CPDLC + datalink recorder, Waas/LPV, moving map with XM Weather uplink in the U.S., and Honeywell SmartRunway and SmartLanding.

With structurally reinforced landing gear, the 650 will sit about five inches lower than the Legacy 600.

The addition of an aft ventral fuel tank and a wet central wing box opens capacity for 381 more gallons of fuel. The 650 will use the same wing as the 600, but winglets have been added, the structure reinforced and the shape of the aft wing/fuselage fairing changed. 

The engines are Rolls-Royce AE3007A2s with high-flow fans, each producing 9,020 pounds of thrust, 210 pounds more than the AE3007A1Es in the Legacy 600. With the additional fuel and 10-percent more efficient engines, the 650 has a projected range of 3,900 nm with four passengers (NBAA/IFR reserves). The Legacy 600 has a range with four passengers of 3,400 nm.

This additional range, said Camelier, “will add a lot of new city pairs,” including nonstops from Dubai to London, São Paulo to Miami, and London to New Delhi, to name a few. The Legacy 650 is also designed to qualify for steep approach certification for such airports as London City.

The performance will allow operation from airports at up to 13,800 feet elevation, as well as a max operating speed of Mach 0.80. The 53,572-pound mtow is 3,968 pounds more than the Legacy 600’s mtow of 49,604 pounds. At the same time, projected landing and takeoff distances of 2,854 feet and 5,741 feet are just 171 feet and 127 feet, respectively, more than required by the Legacy 600.

Camelier said that until its introduction at NBAA the 650 had been presented only to a limited number of customers, and he added that the company already has firm orders with non-refundable deposits for “a number” of airplanes. The first airplane made its first flight early last month and certification flight-testing has begun, according to Camelier. “We have two Legacy 650s flying, and we expect to have the airplane certified in mid-2010, with deliveries beginning in the second half of the year.”

There are no plans to replace the Legacy 600 with the Legacy 650. However, Embraer expects to make most of the improved features of the Legacy 650 available as retrofit items for existing Legacy 600 customers, and to incorporate them in production Legacy 600s at some point in the future.

The 600 and 650 share the same three-zone cabin design, with 6 feet 11 inches of width and 6 feet of headroom and a variety of configurations for up to 13 passengers. Configurations also include 7 feet 10 inches of forward galley as well as 7 feet 5 inches of aft baggage space accessible in flight.

Despite the similarities, the interior represents a departure from the Legacy 600. In an effort to produce a quieter cabin, Embraer designed the interior to improve airflow, is creating a new thermal/acoustic package and is working to eliminate cabin parasitic noise from such sources as pitot tubes and probes.

Standard in the aircraft will be Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband in-flight Internet connection, offering worldwide coverage at a data transfer rate of 432 kilobytes per second. It allows for e-mail, intranet, Internet and instant messaging, as well as voice-over-Internet telephony and video conferencing.

The second of the first two aircraft in the certification test program will later receive a finished interior. Interior cabinetry will come from Embraer’s shop at Gavião Peixoto and the executive seating from DeCrane Aircraft Seating in the U.S. All interior installation work will be done at Embraer’s completion shop in São Jose dos Campos.

A Growing Stable of Business Jets

The launch of the Legacy 650 expands to seven the number of aircraft in the Embraer Executive Jets product line:
• the Phenom 100 very light jet, in service.
• the small-cabin Phenom 300, scheduled for certification by year-end.
• the midsize Legacy 450 and Legacy 500, in development with certification expected in 2013 and 2012 respectively. 
• the Legacy 600 based on the ERJ-135 regional jet platform, in service.
• the new Legacy 650, for which certification is expected in 2010.
• the Lineage 1000, an executive version of the E190 airliner for which the company claims firm orders for more than 20 aircraft.

The nearest competitors for the Embraer 650 are Bombardier’s Challenger 605 and Dassault’s Falcon 2000EX, according to Camelier. The Challenger 605 has a list price of $28.08 million, slightly less than the 650’s at $29.5 million, cabin volume of 1,150 cu ft compared with the 650’s 1,650 cu ft, and range of 4,035 nm with four passengers, 135 nm more than the 650. The Falcon 2000EX compares at a price of $30.20 million, less cabin volume with 1,024 cu ft and slightly less range at 3,870 nm, according to Embraer. 

The 650 will require the same pilot type rating as the 600, with only a familiarization course necessary. The overall syllabus includes level-D simulator pilot training, technical training and flight attendant training at one of five FAA-approved centers in the U.S. and three EASA-approved centers in Europe.

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