Just a day after achieving the first flight of the midsize Legacy 500, Embraer marked another milestone on Wednesday as it broke ground on the company’s new Engineering and Technology Center in Melbourne, Florida.
The center will be the latest addition to Embraer’s growing presence in the United States and will complement the company’s existing 80,000-square-foot Phenom assembly plant and its 58,000-square-foot customer center, both of which opened their doors in Melbourne last year.
The new facility will be home to a number of different engineering efforts, such as aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics, among others, but Embraer executives say the first focus will be on developing interiors for Embraer’s business jet line.
Embraer has already begun hiring engineers to man the new facility, which is expected to employ about 200 people by the end of 2016. With the loss of the Space Shuttle program last year, Embraer execs said the Space Coast, along with its wealth of aviation talent, was a perfect choice for the company's first engineering facility outside of Brazil.
“You can’t pick many companies as successful as Embraer to come to our state,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott, who was on hand to celebrate the ceremony. “These people are really committed to having a great product.”
To date Embraer has invested $50 million in its Florida facilities, which currently employ more than 200 workers. Twelve delivered Phenom 100s have rolled out of those facilities to date, and the first American-built Phenom 300 is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of next year.