September 24, 2005

Embraer LJ (Light Jet)

Embraer is making progress on its light jet program, which it announced at the Paris airshow last spring. The company, which makes a lineup of regional jets and a high-end bizjet, the Legacy, will get into the light jet market by producing both a very light jet (six to eight seats) and a light jet (eight to nine seats).

The Embraer Very Light Jet (both airplanes are still going by generic names), powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW617F engines with 1,615 pounds of thrust, will carry up to eight people to a service ceiling of 41,000 feet. With four onboard, the Very Light Jet will have a range of 1,160 nautical miles with NBAA IFR reserves and an Mmo of Mach 0.70. The VLJ, expected to enter
service in mid-2008, will carry a price tag of $2.75 million in 2005 dollars.

Embraer’s nine-seat Light Jet will be powered by a pair of P&W PW535E engines with 3,200 pounds of thrust. Range of the Light Jet with six onboard is predicted to be 1,800 nautical miles with NBAA IFR reserves. It will have a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.78 and a service ceiling of 45,000 feet. Expected to enter service in mid-2009, the Light Jet carries a sticker price of $6.65 million in 2005 dollars.
Embraer’s Luis Carlos Alfonso, senior vice president corporate aviation market, said that the two new airplanes share the same fuselage cross section and that it’s larger than that of the Eclipse, the Mustang and the CJ1. According to Alfonso, the market segment of very light jets will encompass some 1,400 units not including those ordered as air taxis. "If the air-taxi model is successful," he said, "that could amount to another 3,000 airplanes."

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