FBW also potentially reduces aircraft empty weight because the airframe doesn't have to be overbuilt to provide margins for ham-fisted pilots. In addition, FBW has a stability augmentation function that allows the weight and balance envelope to be expanded so the aircraft can be safely flown with a more aft c.g. This results in reduced trim drag, thereby improving fuel efficiency and range performance.
Four solid-state Goodrich SmartProbe air data/AOA sensors eliminate pitot and static plumbing along with a moving AOA vane. SmartProbes should slash the cost of pitot/static/AOA system maintenance by a factor of seven.
Rockwell Collins is supplying its Pro Line Fusion equipment for the Legacy 450/500, one of the latest avionics designs. The two Embraers feature four 15-in. landscape configuration flat-panel displays with standard synthetic vision, dual FMS and electronic charts. The base package also includes a hybrid TCAS/Mode S traffic surveillance system, Class A TAWS, solid-state weather radar with Doppler turbulence detection and dual comm/nav/surveillance radios.
Most optional equipment will be certified after the aircraft enters service. Options include HUD and EVS, VNAV, auto-throttles, WAAS LPV, RNP 0.3 and dual IFIS file servers for paperless chart operations, plus required time of arrival, 4-D nav and takeoff and landing distance computer for the FMS. Rockwell Collins MultiScan weather radar, ADS-B OUT, predictive wind-shear and XM satellite radio or XM data link weather also will be offered at extra cost, along with Link 2000+ CPDLC for Europe, single or dual HF transceivers and VHF data link for ACARS.
Other standard equipment includes a brake-by-wire system with EICAS temperature monitoring and an optional three-level auto-braking feature. Low weight, long-life NuCarb heat packs should reduce the cost per landing.
Since the Legacy 500's maximum cabin altitude is 6,000 ft. at FL 450, passengers will experience less high-altitude fatigue on missions as long as 6-7 hr. Embraer also is focusing on minimizing cabin sound levels, also helping passengers to arrive more rested.
Honeywell will provide its Ovation Select cabin management system that incorporates an Ethernet architecture and features 1080p HD video, surround sound, multiple media inputs and Wi-Fi. Gogo Biz, Iridium and Inmarsat satcom connectivity solutions will be available.
What's missing? Honeywell has yet to embrace the Apple revolution in cabin management and AV entertainment systems. Company officials say they're looking into Apple device compatibility, but for now Rockwell Collins is stealing the show with its Airshow app for iPads and iTunes/Apple TV audiovisual on-demand (AVOD) system that's becoming available for its Venue CMS/AV systems.
Embraer is positioning the Legacy 500 in the narrow niche between the longer-range midsize class and the super-midsize class. As such, the aircraft has a slightly smaller cabin cross-section and shorter cabin length than its two main super-midsize competitors, the Bombardier Challenger 300 and Gulfstream G280. Overall cabin volume is 820 cu. ft. compared with 860 cu. ft. for the Challenger 300 and 935 cu. ft. for the G280. But it also has 30-75 min. less endurance compared respectively to those competitors, so cabin size is well matched to range performance.