Embraer Launches Legacy 650

Embraer's outgrowth of its 600 adds range.

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Embraer Legacy 650Embraer

At the National Business Aviation Association Convention in late October, Embraer announced a new model, the Legacy 650, a large-body bizjet based on the company's popular EMB 145 regional jet. The airplane is an outgrowth of the Legacy 600, the company's first business jet. Embraer has delivered 179 Legacy 600s. It will continue to produce that airplane, which is priced at $27 million.

But Embraer believes that at $29.5 million the Rolls-powered Legacy 650 will attract customers who love the 600's cabin but who are looking for the additional range the 650 will afford them, thanks to a larger fuel capacity than on the 600. There is additional fuel in the wings and a new T-shaped fuel compartment on the belly behind the wing.

Paired with the additional fuel are new powerplants, Rolls-Royce AE 3007 turbofans producing 9,020 pounds of thrust apiece. Embraer says the engines are quieter inside and out, more fuel-efficient and more economical.

The combination of more fuel and more efficient engines will allow the 650 to fly up to 3,800 nm with eight passengers, a range that connects a number of desirable city pairs too distant for the 600. Included in the pairings are London to Teterboro under any winds; Dubai to London; Japan to Singapore; Beijing to Moscow; and São Paulo to Miami.

Additionally, the improved hot-and-high performance of the Rolls engines will allow the 650 to fly into some hard-to-access high-altitude airports, including Telluride and Toluca, and Embraer claims the airplane's descent capability will open up access to some destinations that require steep approaches, including London City and Cannes-Mandelieu.

The cockpit gets a big upgrade with new displays, the Honeywell Primus Elite, a suite that replaces the CRT displays in the Primus suite of the 600 with LCDs, thereby allowing a number of new graphics-intensive capabilities, such as charts and satellite weather. The cabin, already among the best in its class, has been upgraded with Inmarsat SwiftBroadband, better soundproofing and upgraded interior options.

While the 650 was a closely guarded secret, development has been ongoing for more than a year, and Embraer is already flying a pair of 650s. First deliveries are expected in the second half of 2010.