April 17, 2013
Embraer, accruing more than 150 hr. on its Legacy 500 midsize jet, hopes to have the smaller 450 join the flight test program by year’s end.
The company cut metal on the 450 light-mid aircraft in August and expects to finish the wing next month with the fuselage sections joining in July. This would put the 450 on pace for first flight sometime in the second half of 2013, about a year after the 500 first flew.
The initial 500, meanwhile, flew for the first time on Nov. 27, with the S/N 02 and 03 joining in February and March, respectively. By early April, the three aircraft have accrued close to 70 flights with hours pushing past 150. This is in addition to the 14,150 tests on an iron bird.
Embraer is maintaining that the aircraft should be certified in the first half of 2014, although that may extend by a few weeks or so into the second half. The first flight was more than a year behind schedule due to initial software issues with the fly-by-wire system that have since been resolved.
“Testing to validate all system and interior components is proceeding well,” says Embraer Executive Jets President Ernest Edwards. “After some 150 hours of test flights, we are pleased with the results.”
The company has completed verification trials using an interior test rig, and has incorporated changes into S/N 03, which is designed to test interior fittings.