Late last year Embraer earned FAA certification for its Phenom 100 very light jet. Deliveries were expected to begin immediately.
Based on the unofficial 10,000-pound cutoff for the very light jet segment, the twinjet is technically a VLJ. But with the largest cabin in the segment and a top speed of 390 knots, it's also a serious entry level jet that puts up numbers that are competitive with some larger and more expensive models.
The jet surpassed performance projections in a few other key areas, achieving better range (a 1,178 nm maximum range with four aboard), hot and high performance, landing requirements and fuel efficiency, which is as much as 3.6 percent lower on longer trips.
The new avionics system in the Phenom 100, the Prodigy flight deck, an outgrowth of the Garmin G1000 system, also earned full operating approval at certification.
With orders still strong for its new lighter jets, the 100 and the 300, Embraer has taken the next step, beginning construction of its 150,000-square-foot assembly plant in Melbourne, Florida. In addition to being home to the assembly process, the new facility will also serve as a sales and delivery center for the Phenom jets, as well as a service center for all of Embraer's business jets. Embraer expects to begin operations in Melbourne in 2010.