[Avionics Today 08-12-2014] Aerospace Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are in Sao Paulo, Brazil this week for the 11th annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE). The first day of the conference featured several announcements from major OEMs such as Embraer, Cessna and avionics manufacturers including Rockwell Collins and Honeywell. Avionics brings you a roundup of the top announcements from the first day of the event.
Legacy 500 Gains Ground
Embraer started LABACE with the biggest announcement of all. The Brazilian airframe manufacturer has received type certification for its Legacy 500 business jet following a flight testing program that featured more than 1,800 flight hours and more than 20,000 hours of laboratory tests with rigs for the aircraft's avionics, electrical, hydraulic and environmental systems. According to Tulio Pellegrini, president and CEO of Embraer Executive Jets, the aircraft features greater range and better field performance than originally planned. The company expects to receive certification from the FAA and EASA within several weeks. The first delivery for the Legacy 500 is already scheduled for September, with plans to increase production throughout 2015.
Embraer Legacy 500. Photo: Embraer.
Along with the certification of the Legacy 500, Embraer also announced an expansion of its aircraft maintenance and repair network into the northeast region of Brazil. AeroMecânica, located at Coroa do Avião airfield, in Igarassu, metropolitan Recife, will be the first authorized service center for line maintenance, scheduled inspections, and remote services for Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 jets, in the region, Embraer said.
On the avionics side, Rockwell Collins announced its Pro Line Fusion avionics integrated flight deck has received type certification for the Legacy 500. Pro Line Fusion certification for the Legacy 450 is expected in early 2015.
Honeywell is also looking to have a strong showing at LABACE this week. On the Legacy 500, Honeywell provides the HTF7000E turbofan engines, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), Ovation Select Cabin Management System, cabin pressure control system and the air conditioning system.
Citation M2 Expands Reach in LatAm
Not to be outdone, U.S.-based OEM Cessna announced it has received certification from civil aviation authorities in Argentina and Brazil for its Citation M2 business jet, allowing the first deliveries to Latin American operators to begin. The M2 achieved certification in the United States in December 2013, and in Europe earlier this year.
Cessna Citation M2. Photo: Cessna
Challenger 350 Makes First Appearance
Bombardier is also at LABACE this week, showcasing its Challenger 350 jet, which recently entered service in June 2014 and is now making its first appearance in Brazil. The Canadian OEM feels it is well positioned to meet demand for new business jets in Latin America. Over the next two decades, Bombardier is forecasting more than 2,130 business jet deliveries throughout Latin America.
The lack of investment in the business aviation industry — particularly in airport infrastructure — by the Brazilian government was the main takeaway from Richard Noguiera’s remarks during the LABACE opening session. The director general of the Brazilian General Aviation Association (ABAG for its acronym in Portuguese), which organizes LABACE, said the government has not done much in terms of improving the country’s capacity for the expected growth the industry will experience in the coming years.
“We’ve seen little effort [from the government] to handle more aircraft, only to handle more passengers,” said Noguiera. “There’s been a focus on terminals, and not on airports. There has been nothing relevant to improve capacity for air traffic, only localized, uncoordinated and temporary actions.”