Monday, October 1, 2007
Embraer News Outpaces Others at NBAA
Embraer continues the intense flight test campaign for the first Phenom 100 aircraft at its Gavião Peixoto plant in Brazil. The very light jet first took off on July 26, 2007, and completed 55 flight hours in 39 flights up to date. Test flights are moving towards expected certification, with first deliveries scheduled for mid-2008.
The Phenom 100 test campaign will include a fleet of four jets, for an accumulation of about 1,800 flight hours, 600 of which for the maturity campaign. The second Phenom 100 assembly is complete. The fully-instrumented jet will join the campaign soon to undergo tests to confirm flight qualities, stall procedures, high-speed characteristics, and general performance.
Meanwhile, the Phenom 300’s sub-assembly process has begun in Botucatu plant, Brazil, where the rear fuselage is currently being built. The program reached the landmark of more than 2,000 parts produced, and around 6,300 drawings have already being released by engineering to manufacturing planning. In addition, the jet engine ran for the first time, on a test cell, at Pratt & Whitney Canada.
Embraer performed the maiden flight of the second Phenom 100 jet, registration PP-XOM, last week at its headquarters in São José dos Campos. The flight crew was Captain Marcio Brisolla Jordão, Captain Antonio Bragança Silva, and flight engineer Carlos Roberto Silveira Filho. Flight tests are producing the first results, and the assembly of the third plane is moving ahead.
The tests to be performed by this aircraft deal with systems functioning, In-Flight Thrust Determination (IFTD), and flutter. The full test campaign of the Phenom 100 will be carried out by four aircraft. With this flight, there are now two jets in the test phase to confirm design features, as well as to provide data for certification. The first and second Phenom 100 jets are fully instrumented, while the third and fourth aircraft will be outfitted with the interior designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA.
Eagle Creek Confirms Five Options For Phenom 100 Jets
Eagle Creek Aviation Services, a U.S.-based full-service, aircraft sales, management and maintenance provider, confirmed five additional Phenom 100 aircraft options, from its original order announced in October 2006. The total value of the new agreement is $14.9 million. During last year's NBAA Convention, Embraer signed Eagle Creek for 12 Phenom 100 and four Phenom 300 jets, with options for an additional five Phenom aircraft, now confirmed. At the same time, Embraer announced Eagle Creek as one of the service and maintenance centers for Embraer's Phenom family, as part of the expansion of its authorized network in the United States. The first Phenom jet delivery to Eagle Creek is scheduled for the end of 2008 and the aircraft
Executive AirShare Signs for Phenoms
Embraer signed Kansas City, Mo-based Executive AirShare to a fleet expansion order of three Phenom 100 and two Phenom 300 aircraft, with options for an additional three Phenom 100 and two Phenom 300 jets. Last May, the U.S. fractional aircraft ownership company placed an order for seven Phenom 100 jets, plus seven options for additional aircraft of the same model. The total value of the new agreement is $22.24 million, and could double, if all options are exercised.The first Phenom 100 delivery is scheduled for the third quarter of 2010, and deliveries of the Phenom 300 are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2011.
The Phenom jets will fit into Executive AirShare's concept, where fractional owners have access to their aircraft for a given number of days per year, rather than a strict number of flight-hours per year. Furthermore, Executive AirShare customers have the use of the aircraft for an entire day, unlike national ownership planes that fly multiple customers to different locations on the same day with the same aircraft.
Embraer Introduces New Biz Jet Models, Taking LOIs
Emphasizing that they are concept aircraft and not launch aircraft, Embraer introduced a new family of aircraft designed to fill the void between its Phenom series and the Legacy 600. The announcement came at the start of this year’s NBAA event and despite the insistence on being a concept jet, Embraer is taking letters of intent with refundable deposits costing $70,000 and $90,000 for the MLJ and MSJ, respectively, for which customers would be guaranteed an early delivery position.
So far dubbed the Midsize Jet (MSJ) and Midlight Jet (MLJ), the two aircraft are ranged to cover all of North America but could include much of Central America and the Caribbean as well from Santo Domingo to Hawaii and from Managua to Anchorage. Its display at NBAA included a MSJ Mockup.
Embraer also said it will be revising upward its market projections for its business aircraft based on a new Honeywell forecast showing a dramatic increase in the requirement for business jets from 11,000 in the next 10 years worth $170 billion to 14,000 jets in 10 years worth $230 million. (See related story)
In deciding on the concept jet, Embraer Vice President-Executive Jets Luis Carlos Affonso, the company needed a true coast-to-coast aircraft that would amount to a “new paradigm for the sector.” Consequently, the MSJ will have a 3,000 nm range at long-range cruise with four passengers and a 2,800 nm range with eight passengers at Mach 0.80. Meanwhile, the MLJ will have a 2,300 nm range with four passengers and long-range cruise and a 2,200-mile range with 8 passengers at M 0.78. Max payload for the MSJ is 2,800 pounds with a 1,600-pound useful weight with a ceiling of 45,000 feet.
They are clean-sheet designs to provide premium comfort, outstanding performance and low operating costs, said Affonso.
President and CEO Frederico Fleury Curado said there is no launch date projected since the purpose of releasing the concept jet designs is to gauge the market and design it to meet market demand. “We won’t launch just to launch new programs,” he said. “We are seeking avenues of growth which is what we did with the Phenom – we identified a market opportunity and decided that we have the capability to produce an aircraft that is a game changer, not just to do a new jet.” Affonso said that launch was not so much contingent on orders but on so much as its belief that it will be able to produce and sell and aircraft that is different
The two jets are being offered in numerous configurations as are all its jets. They will have full, stand-up cabins, the only one in the sector to have full cabin size with a flat floor. The concept stage means the ultimate aircraft will benefit from changes in systems and avionics, all intended to be state of the art. Embraer has teamed with BMW design works to help in the design. It is also talking to engine and avionics manufacturers to better understand what the cost base will be for the aircraft. The company is currently making its business case for the two aircraft.