Work is progressing on the prototype of Embraer’s new midsize Legacy 500, and the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer says it is on schedule to fly the $18.4 million twinjet by year-end. The first aircraft will be receiving its wings “imminently,” according to the company, and the three fuselage sections on the second prototype were mated at the end of last month at Embraer’s plant in São José dos Campos.
Embraer ERJ 145 family
Embraer joined the fuselage of the first Legacy 500 at its São José dos Campos, Brazil plant last month. The midsize jet’s fuselage is built in three sections–cockpit, center fuselage and aft fuselage–and is constructed of aluminum alloy, with “substantial” composite materials content, the company said.
While news announced by Cessna and other OEMs at the Shanghai business aviation show in March to explore joint business jet production with Avic in China resurfaced last week in other trade media, Embraer is actually doing, not just exploring.
Embraer announced this week that it has joined the fuselage of the first Legacy 500 at its São José dos Campos, Brazil plant. The midsize jet’s fuselage is built in three sections–cockpit, center fuselage and aft fuselage–and is constructed of aluminum alloy, with “substantial” composite materials content, the company said.
The first flight of the midsize Legacy 500 remains on schedule for the second half of this year and will take place at Embraer’s facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil, according to Maurício Almeida, v-p of Embraer’s executive jet programs. The 500’s design is now frozen and all drawings, except for some assembly drawings, are complete.
Embraer is looking at the possibility of a stretched civil version of its KC-390 tanker/transport, but not until the current task of developing the military version has been completed. A freighter version would most likely have fuselage plugs added fore and aft of the center section, not only increasing internal capacity, but also providing sufficient fuselage length for a side cargo door.
Embraer will wait as late as year-end for Boeing to decide on a plan for a 737 replacement before the Brazilian company commits to a successor for its own E-Jet family of aircraft, Embraer executive vice president for the airline market Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva told AIN in an interview ahead of this week’s Paris Air Show.
An amendment to Republic Airways’ capacity purchase agreement with Delta Air Lines will allow it to add six dual-class Embraer E170s to the Delta Connection network, Republic announced in late April. The move follows a previously announced amendment in January that added eight Republic E170s to its Delta capacity purchase agreement.
China’s Harbin Embraer Aircraft has delivered the last serial-production Embraer ERJ 145 ever built to Tianjin Airlines. Also the 41st ERJ 145 produced in Harbin since the first airplane rolled out of the factory in December 2003, the airplane landed at Tianjin Binhai International Airport on April 26 following a ferry flight from the site of Embraer’s 50-50 joint venture with Avic subsidiary Harbin Aircraft.
Embraer has resigned itself to a slower rate recovery for the business aviation market, further downgrading its anticipated delivery rates for 2011 compared with those envisaged by the forecast it issued last year. In March, the Brazilian airframer revised its output projections, indicating that total bizjet deliveries for the whole industry could dip this year by as many as 50 units less than the 2010 total of 763.