Legacy 500 makes first flight
Embraer has announced that its new Legacy 500 business jet made its first flight, marking the beginning of its flight test programme. Deliveries of the first aircraft are expected to begin in 2014.
“This remarkable airplane symbolizes the future of executive aviation and is the product of the innovation, talent and dedication that is part of the Embraer culture,” said Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer president and CEO.
“This is the aircraft that will move us from industry player to industry leader,” said Ernest Edwards, president, Embraer Executive Jets. “The Legacy 500 breaks through the traditional midsize jet envelope to offer something that has never been done before. It is hard to overstate the importance of fly-by-wire technology. Fly-by-wire does for business aviation what GPS has done for navigation. It will empower more precision, efficiency, safety and comfort every time the aircraft flies.”
Embraer test pilots Mozart Louzada and Eduardo Camelier with flight test engineers Gustavo Paixão and Alexandre Figueiredo flew the aircraft for one hour and forty five minutes, performing handling and performance characteristics evaluation. Aircraft systems were assessed including landing gear retraction.
“From the minute you enter the cockpit, you can tell this is clearly a remarkable, new-generation aircraft,” Captain Louzada said. “The flight was a success, precisely according to plan. In fact, it was flawless.”
The Legacy 500 is a “clean-sheet” design based on extensive input from operators and customers. “We listened enthusiastically and acted aggressively,” said Marco Túlio Pellegrini, senior vice president Operations & chief operating officer, Embraer Executive Jets. “The Legacy 500 is truly the product of market desires and preferences.”
The Legacy 500 is the first midsize business jet incorporating a fly-by-wire control system. “It has the largest cabin in its class, by far, and provides the comfort and incorporates the technology found only in larger, more expensive aircraft,” Pellegrini said. “It is, undoubtedly, raising the bar in terms of technology, performance, style and comfort for future designs.”
The midsize Legacy 500 will be followed by Embraer’s fourth clean-sheet design, the mid-light Legacy 450, which will enter service one year later.
“Clean-sheet designs are part of our DNA. They are the reason we can be so responsive to customer needs without compromise,” Pellegrini said.