Embraer begins final production today of what will be the first U.S.-assembled Phenom 300 at its Melbourne, Florida, facility. Scheduled for delivery in early 2013, the aircraft is one of more than a dozen 300s slated for production in Melbourne next year.
It was less than two years ago when the company broke ground on the final assembly facility, located at the Melbourne International Airport, for the entry-level Phenom 100 bizjet line and, now the Phenom 300, its light jet entry. The complex includes an 80,000-square-foot assembly hangar, a 20,000-square-foot paint facility and a 58,000-square-foot Customer Center.
Today’s addition of the Phenom 300 to Embraer’s U.S. production line marks the company’s continued commitment to the North American executive jet market, which currently represents 68 percent of the world’s bizjet fleet, according to Robert Knebel, vice president of the company’s North American executive jet sales.
The two-shift assembly operation currently has the capacity to produce up to eight aircraft a month, says Phil Krull, managing director for the Melbourne operation. To date, the facility has produced 14 Phenom 100s, with the first Phenom 100 delivery taking place last December.
In another nod toward its strategy to grow the Melbourne complex, the company announced yesterday that it has begun hiring engineers for its Engineering and Technology Center. The Center —Embraer’s second R&D facility to be established outside of its São José dos Campos, Brazil, headquarters, and its first in the United States — will initially focus on development of Embraer’s executive jet interiors. According to Krull, completion of the 67,000-square-foot facility is scheduled for 2013.