Embraer’s Legacy 500 program is gathering pace as the new midsize business jet is prepared for its maiden flight.
Very light jets
This week at the NBAA Convention, Embraer Executive Jets is displaying a complete Legacy 450 cabin and cockpit mockup for the first time. The mid-light Legacy 450, which is expected to enter service in 2015, is designed to carry up to nine passengers and have a range of 2,300 nm with four passengers at Mach 0.78. The interior on display, which was designed in partnership with DesignworksUSA, features a stand-up cabin with a flat floor.
Embraer Executive Jets is expanding its Melbourne, Fla. campus. Already home to a Phenom 100 and 300 assembly plant and a state-of-the-art customer center, Embraer has begun construction on a 67,000-sq-ft engineering and technology center announced earlier this year.
It’s been a bit more than three years since Eclipse Aerospace was awarded the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation in August 2009, not quite enough time, perhaps, to fully separate conversations about the former from the mixed record of its predecessor, but Mason Holland, CEO of Eclipse Aerospace, told AIN the company is weary of “Phoenix rising from the ashes” stories and declared it has made considerable progress updating a
Honda Aircraft has started the production line for its $4.5 million HondaJet entry-level twinjet. A handful of initial customer aircraft are scheduled to be completed next year. Honda expects FAA certification of the HondaJet’s GE Honda HF120 engine (2,095 pounds of thrust/5,000-hour TBO) in the middle of next year and aircraft certification in 2013.
GE Honda Aero completed water-ingestion testing on the HF120 engine that powers Honda Aircraft’s HondaJet in early September. The tests were done in one of GE’s Peebles, Ohio test cells and are just one of many the HF 120 has passed during a busy year as the engine nears FAA certification.
Before digging into the details of each of the light jet markets, it’s worth noting some global factors affecting the market. In 2012, the big story in the light jet market was Europe and the devaluing euro. As the light jet market typically trades in U.S. dollars, with the euro dropping nearly 20 percent in value compared to last year, European sellers saw an opportunity to take advantage of the strong dollar and liquidate at relatively lower dollar values for their assets, yielding a higher amount of euros.
Three grassroots general aviation business owners told Congress last month that user fees in any form would be “devastating” to the general aviation community. At a hearing called by the House Small Business Committee, the trio blasted President Obama’s call for a $100 per-flight fee for turbine-powered fixed-wing aircraft.
“The costs associated with user fees far outweigh any benefit to deficit reduction,” said National Air Transportation Association (NATA) treasurer Marian Epps, whose family operates Epps Aviation in Atlanta.
GE Honda Aero Engines completed water-ingestion testing last week on the HF120 engine that powers Honda Aircraft’s HondaJet. The tests were done in one of GE’s Peebles, Ohio test cells.
“2012 has been an extremely productive year,” said GE Honda Aero president Terry Sharp. The HF120 passed the ice slab test in August 2011 after failing it in February 2011, due to fan blade tip deformation causing a reduction in required thrust, according to executive v-p Masahiko Izumi. “We decided to make a small design change” to the fan blade tips, he said.
Eclipse Aerospace announced last week that an anti-skid braking system will become an available option on new production Eclipse 550 jets as a retrofit item to all existing aircraft. The new anti-skid system adds 17 pounds to the aircraft’s empty weight; the company says it will offer a weight-reduction package to help offset the new feature.