The boys from Brazil have done it again.
While other planemakers are adjusting production rates downward, shuttering or slowing development programs to help stave off an incoming tide of red ink, Embraer has announced it’s not only lauching, but has been flying a new business jet for the past month.
“We have kept this secret very well,” Luis Carlos Affonso, the company’s business jet boss, told a packed newsroom at the NBAA convention today in Orlando. Indeed. And they’re working fast.
He said the new Legacy 650 – essentially a 600, but with more fuel and more efficient engines that boost its range to 3,900 nm – is not only in flight test down in Sao Jose dos Campos, but will be certified and delivered to customers about a year from now. One year.
When Embraer announced it was entering the executive jet market early in this decade, it identified some either different segments. It said it intended to fill all of them with Embraer models by 2015. Well, with the addition of the 650, there’s only one slot left to fill, the ultra long range aircraft.
American competitors have acknowledged that Embraer’s ambition, capability and the torpedoes-be-damned tenacity give them the chills. Well, the temperature in Florida just fell another 15 degrees.
There are now a total of 225 Embrarer business jets flying in the world. That number is going to get a lot bigger fast. The Brazilians were determined to become "serious players." They've achieved that and are being taken seriously indeed.