Embraer Legacy 500 Arrives at EBACE

Emerging midsize jet the talk of the show.

Embraer Legacy 500
Embraer Legacy 500
** Embraer Legacy 500**

Embraer on Saturday showed up in Geneva for EBACE with its emerging Legacy 500 midsize jet. The 500, yet another clean-sheet design from the Brazilian jet maker, marks several firsts for the company and for the segment. The jet, which features fly-by-wire flight controls, extensive envelope protection and a large, nicely outfitted cabin, is slated for certification next year.

The Legacy 500, which is being built at Embraer’s manufacturing headquarters near Sao Paolo, Brazil, has had quite an odyssey the past few weeks, flying from Brazil to Embraer’s assembly/completion facility in Melbourne, Florida. While the 500 was in Florida, Embraer took the opportunity to conduct cold-weather testing at Eglin Air Force Base’s climate chamber, where the Legacy 500 passed all checks. From Florida, Embraer pilots flew the 500 on a courtesy call to avionics supplier Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before heading back to Melbourne, and finally on to Geneva for EBACE.

At an EBACE press conference, Embraer Executive Jets president Ernie Edwards described flying the airplane on the first leg of the trip to Geneva. He said it was “so easy,” thanks to the fly-by-wire flight controls, that it was hard to tell the airplane wasn’t flying on the autopilot.