First Phenom 300 Flies Months Ahead of Schedule

Embraer's entry into the light jet market took a giant leap forward last week with the first flight of the company's Phenom 300. The first flight was reportedly at least two months ahead of schedule, and the computerized design format is credited with the advanced stages of the program. Three more test articles are planned for the 1,400-hour developmental flight test program. Embraer first established itself as an international player in the airframe business with its EMB135 regional jet (RJ), a product that established the Brazilian manufacturer as a bedrock in the industry. Embraer's Legacy, the business jet variant of the RJ, has found success largely as a corporate shuttle. The Phenom family of light jets takes direct aim at the light-jet market. First deliveries of the Phenom are expected in the second quarter of next year.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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