Embraer To Build Legacy 450/500 In Florida

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Embraer plans to assemble its new fly-by-wire Legacy 450 and 500 business jets at an expansion of its Melbourne, Fla, operations. The company announced Tuesday that, subject to various approvals, the company will add an assembly line for the midsize aircraft in 2014 and the first Legacy 500 will be delivered from there in 2016. Embraer currently builds Phenom 100 and 300 aircraft in Melbourne as well as operating a paint facility. It also has an engineering and technology center that will get its permanent home next year. “Some 50 percent of our executive jet deliveries go to the U.S. and more than 60 percent of the aircraft content comes from U.S. suppliers and industrial partners, so this is a natural step forward to the benefit of our customers,”  said Embraer CEO Fred Curado. 

The Brazilian planemaker also has an assembly plant in Jacksonville for the Super Tucano light attack aircraft. Florida Governor Rick Scott was on hand for the announcement. Embraer concentrated on its new midsize aircraft at last week's NBAA convention and announced that Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan will be the launch customer for the 500, which he'll get in 2014. The first 450 will be delivered in 2015. In addition to fly-by-wire controls, the two jets will include a head-up display with enhanced vision by Rockwell Collins and the 500 will have what Embraer says is the "largest cabin in its class."