Embraer Legacy 450: Buyer’s and Investor’s guide
A fast and capable aircraft, paired with a large cabin that is filled with amenities, makes the Legacy 450 a well-rounded aircraft.
It can’t fly as far as its competitors, but the lower list price makes up for this.
First delivered in December 2015, the Legacy 450 is branded as a light-medium jet – filling the gap between Embraer’s smaller Phenom aircraft, and the larger Legacy 500 and 650. The Brazilian OEM invested $750 million into developing both the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 from clean-sheet designs.
The flight statistics make the Legacy 450 slightly less capable than other mid-size jets on the market. The aircraft can fly at a maximum cruise speed of 548mph/870kmh/Mach 0.83, with a maximum range of 3,337mi/5,371km/2,900nm. This allows the aircraft to fly nonstop between Los Angeles and New York, Dubai and Rome as well as Beijing and Kuala Lumper. Range is the limiting factor of the Legacy 450, with its sibling – the Legacy 500 – as well as the G280 and Citation Sovereign+ being able to fly at least 415km further.
Embraer increased the range of the Legacy 450 shortly after the first delivery, with a retrofit kit now available for the early build aircraft.
The Legacy 450 can take advantage of airports with steep approaches as well as smaller airfields. It needs just 2090ft/637m – making it more versatile than other medium jets.
In the cockpit, a full fly-by-wire system alongside Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line Fusion avionics makes the Legacy 450 a highly modern and safe aircraft. Embraer’s optional E2VS avionics system also allows for the aircraft to land in CAT II weather – reducing the chance of needing to divert due to poor weather.
The Legacy 450 has a comfortable cabin, with the ability to fly seven people – with the option to fit a divan at the front of the cabin to accommodate an extra two passengers. The cabin is also surprisingly spacious, with a height of 6ft/1.83m and width of 6ft 10in/2.08m. All seats swivel out, with the two center club seats being able to fold flat to become fully berthable.
The total storage space available on the aircraft is 140Ft³, which is split between the main baggage compartment and an internal storage area which is accessible inflight – allowing passengers to take the equivalent of six pairs of skis, 14 roll on bags as well as four garment bags.
The cabin includes all the technology and amenities expected – including WIFI, an oven, a fully-enclosed aft-lavatory and power outlets for every seat. The aircraft also has the option of a full wet-galley.
Entertainment is handled by the Honeywell Ovation Select cabin management system – consisting of full HD surround sound, a Blu-ray player, Apple TV, WIFI connectivity as well as two large cabin monitors and nine individual seat monitors.
Embraer also claims the Legacy 450 has the best cabin pressurization in its class at 6,000ft – reducing the effect of jetlag and providing far greater levels of comfort than a commercial aircraft.
Innovation comes with risk – which holds especially true when OEMs build an aircraft from a clean-sheet design such as the Legacy 450. However, Embraer has a long track record of making some of the best executive aircraft, including the Phenom 300 – the world’s best-selling executive aircraft for four consecutive years (2013-2016). This makes the Legacy 450 a relatively safe bet.
A new Legacy 450 costs $16.8 million (list price), making it one of the cheapest medium sized jets available and competitively priced to challenge the Cessna’s Sovereign+.
When considering buying a Legacy 450, the Legacy 500 is an obvious competitor. For an extra $3 million, the Legacy 500 provides the same Embraer quality alongside the ability to fly 417km/260mi/225nm further, slightly faster, and the ability to carry more passengers. With 47 Legacy 500s in service compared to 19 Legacy 450s, it’s clear that buyers are willing to spend the extra money for the larger jet.
Embraer have a pattern of creating new generations of existing aircraft – such as the Phenom 100E, 100EV and Lineage 1000E. Although nothing has been confirmed, be aware that the Legacy 450 may receive the ‘evolution treatment’ and reduce the values of the current aircraft.
As of April 2017, there are no Legacy 450’s publicly listed for sale, but the crowded pre-owned market for medium jets indicates that the pre-owned price for a Legacy will likely drop. Although this is not certain, the rate of depreciation will most likely mirror that of the whole sector.
Range: 3,341 mi/ 5,378 km/ 2,904 nm
Maximum speed: 548mph/ 870kmph/ Mach 0.83
Typical passengers: 4
Typical crew: 3
Competitor aircraft: Embraer Legacy 500, Cessna Citation Sovereign+, Gulfstream G200, Gulfstream G280, Bombardier Challenger 350
List price: $16.8 million