For the cabin, Embraer chose the Honeywell Ovation Select cabin information/entertainment system, and both the 450 and 500 will boast a 6,000-foot cabin pressure at their ceiling of 45,000 feet.
The seats themselves are wonders. In the 500, each of the four pairs of facing seats will recline to create a single flat sleeping surface, a nice feature for an airplane that will often fly long distances with fewer passengers than its maximum load. In the 450, there will be two berthable seat pairs. The 450 has a refreshment center in lieu of the wet galley.
Both airplanes will be powered by a pair of Honeywell HTF7500E engines, featuring very low noise and vibration as well as excellent fuel efficiency. Honeywell claims the engines will easily outperform future Stage Four noise requirements.
The 500 will be a true trans-United States airplane, boasting a long-range cruise of 3,000 nm with eight passengers and a high-speed cruise of 2,800 nm at Mach .80 with four passengers. Its range will also be ideal for European and Middle Eastern customers who are looking at very long trips but who don't need the legs of an ultra-long-range airplane.
While not having as long a range as the Legacy 500, the Legacy 450 will be able to fly 2,300 nm with four passengers at slightly reduced speed and 2,200 nm with seven passengers at Mach .78, making it an ideal airplane in terms of speed, comfort and range for operators looking to make long trips in comfort and high style but who seldom need the range or capacity of an airplane like the 500.
In an airplane that's a demonstration platform for cutting edge technology, perhaps the most exciting example is the fly-by-wire technology that will be standard in both models. In a midsize airplane, the technology is simply unheard of. And like everything else on the airplane, Embraer didn't seem content to do fly-by-wire as it's ever been done before. Indeed, this is perhaps the most advanced application of the technology in a civilian airplane.
All of the surfaces of the airplane, the elevator, ailerons, rudder and spoilers, are controlled by the fly-by-wire system, which replaces conventional mechanical links between the flight deck controls and flight control surfaces, and the system essentially reads the pilot's mind (through control inputs of the force-feedback sidesticks, of course) and interprets those commands into the safest and most efficient response.
In a CFIT alert scenario, for example, the pilot would command full power and pitch nose full up by pulling back completely on the sidestick. The fly-by-wire computer then gives the airplane the most efficient climb while keeping it within G-limits and above stall, giving the airplane escape capability that exceeds that of a mechanically controlled hand-flown airplane.
The fly-by-wire computer has a whole bag of safety, comfort and efficiency tricks, including automatic asymmetrical thrust compensation, overspeed protection, steep approach capability through spoiler control, and automatic turbulence compensation.
For avionics, Embraer went with Rockwell Collins' Pro Line Fusion, with four 15.1-inch LCDs. The cockpit has graphical flight planning, synthetic vision, electronic charts, WAAS, enhanced vision system (EVS), a head-up guidance system (another first) and the latest navigation and datalink capabilities.
Embraer plans to deliver the first Legacy 500, priced at $18.4 million, in the second half of 2012. The first customer Legacy 450 will go out the door about a year later, in the second half of 2013. Its cost is $15.25 million.
To learn more about the Legacy 450 and 500, visit embraer.com.