Category Archives: Embraer

Boeing, Embraer to open joint aviation biofuel research center

Boeing and Embraer have agreed to open a joint research center to advance a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil, Boeing said Monday.

The two will perform joint biofuel research and fund and coordinate research with Brazilian universities and other institutions.

The research center will be located in Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil.

Research will focus on technologies that address gaps in a supply chain for sustainable aviation fuel in Brazil, such as feedstock production and processing technologies, Boeing said.

Aviation biofuel emits 50 percent to 80 percent lower carbon emissions through its lifecycle than petroleum jet fuel when produced sustainably, it said.

More than 1,500 passenger flights using biofuel have been conducted around the world since the fuel was approved for use in 2011.

Embraer’s Legacy 450 business jet makes first flight

Brazil-based Embraer announced that its Legacy 450 mid-light business jet has successfully completed its first flight.

During the one hour and thirty-five minute flight, test pilots conducted an evaluation of the jet’s handing and performance characteristics.

The maiden flight is an important milestone on the project, Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer president and CEO, said in a statement.

It sets “a new standard in business aviation, delivering innovations that reflect our vision (and) our commitment to customers,” Curado said.

The plane has a fly-by-wire system, side-stick flight controls and an advanced avionics suite.


Embraer: China to need 805 business jets over next 10 years

China will need 805 executive jets over the next 10 years with demand for large-cabin business jets to account for 51 percent of the demand, according to a just-released forecast by Embraer Executive Jets.

The market outlook was released at the Chinese International Business Aviation Show in Beijing, China.

China’s fleet of executive jets has grown an average of 27 percent annually from 2008 to 2012, fueled by a 26 percent growth in its wealthiest population. That’s according to the Hurun Report, Embraer said.

The overall environment calls for the development of business aviation to meet demand for business and leisure travel beyond the destination and schedule limitations of the airlines, Embraer said.

China is also improving its infrastructure and has added fixed-base operators, which are expected to rise to nine from five.


Embraer to enter helicopter business

Embraer and AgustaWestland plan to establish a joint venture, which could lead to the production of AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil, Embraer announced.

The helicopters would be marketed for commercial and military use in Brazil and Latin America.

Brazil is an important market for AgustaWestland and having an industrial presence in the country will help grow its business, Bruno Spagnolini, AgustaWestland CEO, said in a statement.

Preliminary studies by the two companies show market potential for twin-engine, medium lift helicopters for the offshore oil and gas, executive transport and military markets.

Brazil-based Embraer builds commercial, business and military aircraft.

Embraer’s first U.S.-built Phenom 300 makes first flight

Embraer’s first U.S.-assembled Phenom 300 light business jet took its maiden flight this week.

The aircraft was assembled at Embraer’s Melbourne, Fla. plant and will be used by the Brazil-based company as a flight demonstrator.

Embraer officials hail the flight as a milestone for its 23-month-old U.S. production facility.

“The reduction in production time to half of what it took for the first Phenom 100 means the processes we put in place for production have now matured,” Phil Krull, managing director of the site, said in a statement.

The plant is on schedule to produce eight planes per month as it ramps up to full production in the coming months, Krull said.

Embraer opened the facility in February 2011. In December 2011, it opened a 58,000-square-foot customer center at the site.

Last month, it began construction on a $26 million, 67,000 square-foot engineering and technical center. Completion is expected in mid-2014.

The $50 million investment in the site, along with investments in manufacturing elsewhere, reflects Embraer’s commitment to business aviation, the company said.

Embraer adds Phenom 300 to Florida assembly line

Brazil-based Embraer has added the Phenom 300 light aircraft to its assembly operation in Melbourne, Fla.

The first wing and fuselage arrived in late August.

The company currently produces the Phenom 100 at its Melbourne plant.

Embraer added the Phenom 300 to bring production closer to customers, officials said.

The Melbourne facility employs 233 people, including 160 assembly personnel.

Eventually, the assembly line will be able to produce eight planes per month.

The first Phenom 300 to come off the line is scheduled for delivery in March, one of more than 12 scheduled for production in Melbourne next year.

Embraer is also developing an engineering and technology center at the site, scheduled for completion next year.

It plans to add 200 employees at the center over the next five years.

Embraer, AVIC forge joint venture to build business jets in China

Brazil-based Embraer and the Aviation Industry Corp. of China have signed an agreement to build Embraer’s Legacy 600/650 executive jets in China.

Embraer said it will use the infrastructure, financial resources and work force of its joint venture, Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Co., which began in 2002.

The deal was signed during a visit to Brazil by China Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

Embraer also announced an order for 10 Legacy 650 jets with ICBC Leasing, including five firm orders and five options.

The order makes ICBC Leasing the launch customer of HEAI’s Legacy 600/650 program, the company said.

With the deal, Embraer has 159 firm orders from China for commercial and executive jets.

Hawker Beechcraft competitor Sierra Nevada files lawsuit in light air support contract

Sierra Nevada Corp. filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking the reinstatement of a light air support contract from the Air Force.

The suit was filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The action is in response to a lawsuit filed by Hawker Beechcraft following its disqualification in the competition.

The Air Force set aside the contract to Sierra Nevada in March, opened an investigation into the source selection process and reopened the competition.

“The cancellation of the contract was an extreme response to what appears to be paperwork errors on the part of the USAF,” Sierra Nevada said in a statement.

Sierra Nevada alleges the revised Request for Proposal is “tilted in favor of the competition.”

The company has not received adequate explanation or justification for the contract’s termination, it said.

Sierra Nevada has partnered with Brazil-based Embraer to offer the Super Tucano to the Air Force.

Hawker Beechcraft’s bid is for the AT-6, an upgraded T-6 trainer used to train Air Force and Navy pilots.


Report: U.S., Brazil resume talks on light air support contract

It didn’t take long for the U.S. and Brazil to resume talks about a U.S. Air Force light air support contract after the Air Force last week canceled the award made to Sierra Nevada Corp. and Brazil-based Embraer, according to Defense News.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota had a  “cordial and frank” conversation with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at a meeting in Brasilia, Brazil, March 2, the report said.

The conversation followed a warning by the Brazilian government that the cancellation could damage military relations.

“The Brazilian government learnt with surprise of the suspension of the bid process” the foreign ministry said, according to the Financial Times. “This development is not considered conducive to strengthening relations between the two countries on defense affairs.”

The Air Force canceled the $355 million contract for 20 Embraer-built Super Tucanos last week after Hawker Beechcraft filed suit alleging problems with he acquisition process.

“The doors are not closed, the issue was the subject of discussion and there is still a possibility that the plans will be sold to the United States,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Tovar Nunes told Defense News.

The contract was canceled a month before an official visit to the United States by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, the report said.

“Burns clearly said there was no hostility on the American side with regard to Brazilian interests,” the spokesman told Defense News. “It was not a matter of a definitive decision that could close the doors” to a negotiation.

The Air Force excluded Hawker Beechcraft from the competition in November and awarded the contract to Sierra Nevada the following month.

Hawker Beechcraft and members of the Kansas delegation have been asking the Air Force for a debriefing on the reasons behind the exclusion without success.

In January, the company filed a lawsuit regarding the acquisition process.

Last week, the Air Force canceled the contract and launched an investigation.

A court document said the Air Force intends to reinstate Hawker Beechcraft to a “competitive range,” accept new proposals from Hawker and Sierra Nevada, conduct meaningful discussions with the parties and re-evaluate proposals, the Financial Times said. It also reserves the right to conduct a new competition.

Air Force “setting aside” light air support contract awarded to Sierra Nevada

The Air Force is setting aside a light air support contract awarded to Sierra Nevada Corp., saying that its acquisition executive is “not satisfied with the quality of the documentation supporting the award decision.”

The Air Force advised the Department of Justice of the action, which is effective March 2.

“While we pursue perfection, we sometimes fall short, and when we do we will take corrective action,” Michael Donley, secretary of the Air Force, said in a statement.

General Donald Hoffman, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, has initiated an investigation into the matter, the Air Force said this morning.

The Air Force declines further comment beyond its statement because the acquisition is in litigation.

Hawker Beechcraft filed suit in January after it was eliminated from the competition, questioning the selection process and seeking to determine whether the bidding process was conducted legally. The Air Force had issued a temporary stop work order on the contract as a result.

Sierra Nevada is Brazil-based Embraer’s U.S. partner on the contract. The company offered the Air Force Embraer’s Super Tucano. Hawker Beechcraft offered its Wichita-built AT-6 turboprop, based on its T-6 trainer, in the bidding.

The Air Force eliminated Hawker Beechcraft from the competition in November, saying it had not adequately corrected deficiencies in its proposal. Hawker Beechcraft officials have said that the specifications kept changing during the selection process.

The Air Force awarded the contract to Sierra Nevada in December.

The company and Rep. Mike Pompeo held a joint news conference in January saying they want the Air Force to explain why the company was excluded from the contract, which is expected to be worth up to nearly $1 billion with follow-on contracts.

The light air support aircraft will be used in Afghanistan to conduct advanced flight training, aerial reconnaissance and light air support operations.

First shipments were to begin in April 2013, but the Air Force has said it now expects delays because of the lawsuit.