Embraer’s Legacy 500 was getting high marks in the business aviation trade press even before the jet was delivered to the first customer late last year. Nearly all of the attention seemed to be on passenger accommodations, such as the six-foot flat-floor cabin and the aircraft’s 12 oversize windows—so much so that the Legacy 500, with its $20 million base price, routinely was compared to super-midsize models costing much more.
Going forward, look for the spotlight to shine more on performance. The Legacy 500, which is powered by two Honeywell HTF7500E engines—the greenest in their class—recently set four new world speed records for midsize jets.
The first two were set for speed over a recognized course on a round-trip flight from Oakland, Ca., to Lihue, Hawaii, a distance of 2,135 nm, with six passengers on board. The flight lasted 5 hours and 49 minutes, achieving an average ground speed of 420 mph. The return flight took 4 hours and 11 minutes at an average ground seed of 586 mph.
The third speed record was set en route from Bangor, Maine to Friedrichshafen, Germany. The crew and three passengers completed the 3,210-nm flight in 6 hours and 50 minutes. The fourth record was on a flight from Dusseldorf, Germany to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The trip took 7 hours and 3 minutes and spanned a distance of 3,268 nm, the longest Legacy 500 flight to date. In all cases, the aircraft completed the flights with NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) IFR (instrument flight rules) fuel reserves. “These speed records validate the Legacy 500′s game-changing performance,” Embraer Executive Jets President and CEO Marco Tulio Pellegrini said. “Having achieved or exceeded each of its design goals for certification, this revolutionary aircraft is now demonstrating all of its operational capabilities, including oceanic missions.”
The figures will be sent to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in Switzerland for recognition as world records after the National Aeronautic Association has confirmed each flight as a U.S. record.