Embraer launched the Legacy program at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK in July 2000 and its maiden flight took place less than one year later in April 2001. The US Company, Swift Aviation based in Phoenix, Arizona, is the launch customer of the aircraft. Indigo Air of Chicago has has placed firm orders for 25 aircraft and 50 options. A total of 164 aircraft (71 firm orders and 93 options) have been ordered and deliveries are underway. US launch customer is Indigo with 25 aircraft on order.
The Legacy received type certification from the Brazilian CTA in December 2001, from the European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) in July 2002 and from the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in September 2002.
Final assembly of the Legacy, systems integration and testing are carried out at Embraer's aircraft manufacturing facilities in Sao Paulo. Embraer has subcontracted the manufacture of some sections and subassemblies of the aircraft: Norton supplies the nose radome, Sonaca of Belgium the rear and centre section of the fuselage, Gamesa of Spain the wings, and ENAER of Chile the fin and tailplane.
Although the Legacy is derived from the ERJ-135 and ERJ-145 regional jetliner family, the basic airframe underwent a considerable number of changes transforming it into a new aircraft. The changes include the addition of winglets and fuselage strakes, underbelly and cargo compartment tanks, higher-rated turbofan engines, new fuel system, higher maximum Mach operation (MMO), an entirely new main cabin and advanced avionics suite.
The aircraft has a circular cross-section fuselage, rear-mounted high by-pass ratio engines, low mounted swept wings and a T-tailplane. The wings are of two-spar wing design with a third spar to support the landing gear. The wing leading edges are made of aluminium. The wings are fitted with winglets, which provides increased lift and improved efficiency with reduced drag of the tip vortex. The T-tail is of aluminium box construction with aluminium leading edges on the tailplane. The fin leading edge is of composite construction.
The full glass cockpit includes a Honeywell Primus 1000 digital avionics suite and a dual flight management system (DFMS), which minimises the crew workload. The avionics suite is integrated with dual digital air data computers, dual attitude, heading and reference system (AHRS), a TCAS II traffic alert and collision avoidance system and an enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS). The instrumentation includes a Flight Dynamics head up display that gives the aircraft CAT III landing capability. Five electronic flight and information system displays, each measuring 20.3cm x 18cm (8in x 7in) include two multi-function displays, two primary flight displays and an engine indication and crew alert system (EICAS).
The aircraft has a global positioning system (GPS), Laseref inertial reference system, a Primus 1000 colour weather radar with turbulence detection, satellite communications and a dual Primus II radio communications.
The Legacy has a 40m³ (1,410ft³) interior and the cabin is built with fine quality hardwoods, fabrics and finishes. The interior layout options range from a two abreast 20-seat Corporate Shuttle version to Government VIP /Executive version cabin in a twelve-seat arrangement with sideboard, tables and three-seat sofa. The passengers can have Airshow systems, DVD, real time communications, telephone and fax in the cabin. The cabin can be furnished with working tables for staff meetings and individual workstations at the required seats.
There is an airstairs passenger door, a wardrobe and full service galley at the front of the cabin. The oxygen system is supplied by EROS. The cabin and baggage compartments are air-conditioned and pressurised by a Hamilton Sundstrand air conditioning system and Liebherr Aerospace pressurisation system.
The Legacy has an in-flight accessible, air-conditioned and pressurised baggage compartment with 6.8m³ capacity, allowing 453kg of luggage to be carried. The baggage compartment is located to the rear of the cabin between the two engines.
The Legacy is powered by higher rated engines than the ERJ-135 aircraft. The Legacy Executive aircraft has two rear mounted Rolls-Royce engines AE 3007A1P turbofan engines rated at 3,368kg and mounted on pylons supplied by Sonaca of Belgium. International Nacelle Systems supplied the engine nacelles and the optional clamshell thrust reversers. The engines are fitted with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the engine air intakes are fitted with an engine bleed air anti-icing system. The Legacy Corporate Shuttle is powered by Rolls Royce AE 3007 A1/3 each with a thrust rating of 3,201kg.
The aircraft is equipped with a Parker Hannifin fuel management system. The aircraft has integral wing tanks, belly tanks and aft fuel tanks in new extended fairings on the underwing providing a maximum usable fuel of 8,030kg in the Legacy Executive and 12,510kg in the Legacy Corporate Shuttle.
The aircraft is fitted with a Smiths electrical power system and a tail mounted APIC APS-500 auxiliary power unit providing 18.6kW.
EDE supplied the retractable tricycle type landing gear and the subcontractor, Liebherr, produced the forward retracting nose landing gear. The main units retract inward into the wing and fuselage landing gear fairings. The landing gear is fitted with a Hydro-Aire brake-by-wire control system, Goodrich wheels and carbon brakes.
AIN Online May 2001:
Embraers Legacy marks maiden flight
The bizjet iteration of Embraers ERJ-135 regional airliner, the ECJ-135 Legacy, took off from São José dos Campos, Brazil, for the first time March 31, beginning a flight certification effort expected to result in FAA approval by the end of August and JAA certification and deliveries in September. The last day of March marked a major milestone for Embraers super-midsize Legacy, a business-jet version of the ERJ-135 regional jet, when it achieved first flight. Aircraft S/N 363 the first iteration to be fitted with auxiliary fuel tanks (two in the belly and two in the aft section), winglets and aft strakes took off from the São José dos Campos Airport (SBSJ) in Brazil on a sortie that lasted some two hours on March 31. The aircraft program, Embraers first foray into the business aviation arena, was officially launched last year at the Farnborough Air Show.
According to Sam Hill, vice chairman of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Embraer Aircraft Corp.the division that is marketing the 3,200-nm-range Legacy an ERJ-135 (S/N 002) fitted with winglets and a dummy belly-tank fairing to simulate the aerodynamics of the Legacy, has been flying for several months. In those tests it was determined that aft strakes needed to be added to the design for better stability and handling characteristics, even though the twinjets are equipped with a yaw damper. Additionally, the aft strakes eliminate the yaw damper as an MEL item, which potentially translates into higher dispatch reliability.
S/N 412, the first Legacy to be delivered to a customer, will be used for interior certification. That aircraft will be outfitted in a 13-passenger configuration at Embraers facility. In fact, all Legacy twinjets will be outfitted by Embraer in Brazil and delivered complete to the customer. Customers can opt to have their Legacy completed by an outside vendor, but Hill said none has chosen that route yet. Embraer has an interior allowance of nearly 4,000 lb, and the company expects that all interiors should come in under that weight.
The Legacy will have an Mmo of Mach 0.80 and a takeoff field length of about 6,300 ft (mtow, sl, ISA). Price wise, at $19.8 million (2001 $ complete and fully loaded) the Embraer business jet is competing with the Bombardier Continental, Galaxy Aerospace Galaxy and Raytheon Hawker Horizon. Although the Legacy is considered a super-midsize business jet, Hill said its cabin will rival that of the Gulfstream IV, giving it the most spacious interior in its class. And despite the two aft auxiliary fuel tanks, Embraer said the Legacy will also have the largest baggage space (240 cu ft/1,000 lb) of all the super-midsize contenders.
Brazilian certification is slated by the end of July, with FAA approval expected the following month and JAA certification and first deliveries in September. A corporate shuttle version will be certified in April next year, with delivery to an oil and refining company to follow immediately.
The Brazilian manufacturer plans to deliver nine Legacy twinjets this year and 18 next year before going into a full production rate of 24 business jets per year, although Hill said this rate could go higher if theres enough demand. Next year Legacy production will shift from Embraers plant in São José dos Campos to a production facility about 200 mi north in Gaziao Peixoto, Brazil. That complex will be dedicated to the companys Legacy and military aircraft programs.
Embraer said it has orders for 34 of the twinjets, with options for an additional 31. (Two of those airplanes will replace an operators aging Gulfstream IIs.) In addition, a Fortune 100 company that apparently couldn't wait for the Legacy to be certified ordered six ERJ-135ERs to be used as business aircraft.
The company is not yet certain if the Legacy will be followed by a business-jet version of the 70-seat ERJ-170 regional jet, which is currently in development and slated for certification in September next year. A corporate version of the ERJ-170 is a possibility, said Hill, but were not yet committed to that project. However, he said that the Legacy has already surpassed Embraers sales goals, an indication that the Brazilian manufacturer would indeed favor adding another business-jet variant to its stable.