The first Embraer Legacy that will be assembled in the U.S.—a Model 450—is expected to start rolling down the line at Embraer Executive Jets’ Melbourne, Fla. final assembly plant in about three weeks, when an expansion project there is completed. This project, started in October 2014, more than doubles the size of the facility, to 149,000 sq ft, allowing Legacy 450 and 500 assembly to be added alongside the current capability to produce Phenom 100s and 300s. All Phenom assembly will also be shifted to the Florida facility as of July 1, Embraer Executive Jets managing director and COO Phil Krull told AIN.
Meanwhile, he said, the fuselage for the Legacy 450 arrived from Embraer’s Faria Lima facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil, earlier this month; the midsize jet’s wings and empennage, built at the company’s Evora factory in Portugal, are scheduled to arrive this week. Krull told AIN that 25 Melbourne employees are now halfway through four weeks of training at the Legacy 450/500 production line in São José dos Campos.
According to Krull, Legacy assembly will start out slow in Melbourne; the first Legacy 450 built there won’t be delivered until mid-December. Two Legacy 450s will first be assembled at the facility, followed by two 500s. After that, this mix will be determined by customer demand, he said. The facility will be able to assemble up to 96 Phenoms and 72 Legacys annually.
There are three other main elements to the expansion project: a new paint facility that can accommodate the Legacy 450/500, a completion center/flight-prep building and a new dedicated delivery center for the Legacy jets. The completion center/flight-prep building is attached to the final assembly facility and will also be finished next month. Structures are currently being raised for the other two buildings, which will be opened later this year.