Embraer Legacy 500 Makes China Debut

Embraer Executive Jets’ new midsize Legacy 500– the first midsize business jet incorporating digital flight controls based on fly-by-wire (FBW) technology–is made its China debut this week at ABACE 2015. Meanwhile, company brand ambassador Jackie Chan is scheduled to take delivery later this year of the first Legacy 500 to be based in China.

The $20 million aircraft features a flat floor, six-foot tall cabin and a range of 3,125 nm (5,778 km) with four passengers, sufficient to fly non-stop from Beijing to New Delhi. The Legacy 500’s cockpit features a Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite and sidestick controls, while its FBW system “helps dampen turbulence when flying,” said Embraer director of marketing and product strategy Fernando Grau. ABACE attendees can also view the twinjet’s “intelligent luxury” cabin features, such as the curved wood veneer on its tables and the fine stitching on the leather seats.

The Brazilian OEM is also displaying its super-midsize Legacy 650 and flagship Lineage 1000E bizliner here at the show. The 14-passenger Legacy 650 has a range of 3,900 nm (7,223 km), and is capable of non-stop flight from Beijing to Dubai or Hong Kong to Adelaide, Australia, while the ultra-long range 1000E, Embraer’s largest executive jet, boasts a 4,600 nm (8,519 km) range, allowing it to fly from Shanghai to Anchorage without refueling. Though the China market is noted for its preponderance of long-range jets, “we do see increasing potential for midsize jets like the Legacy 500 as the market matures and aircraft ownership grows,” said Guan Dongyuan, president of Embraer China.

Embraer also expects China’s growth in ownership to outpace global trends. According to a new Embraer market forecast, over the next decade China is expected to take delivery of 855 new business jets. That will increase the country’s share of the world’s business jets, currently at 2.8 percent, to a projected 9 percent of the fleet, with a value of some $33 billion–about 12 percent of the global fleet’s value. “Chinese customers are increasingly aware of the benefits executive jets being as business tools,” said Dongyuan.

Since its first executive jet delivery to the region in 2004, Embraer has received 35 purchase orders and five options from Asia. To date it has shipped 27 aircraft.

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