Embraer's VLJ Sees Light Of Day

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The first Phenom 100 very light jet rolled out on Saturday from Embraer's headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil, and is now in the paint shop. After its cosmetic upgrade, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW617F-powered twinjet will begin a series of ground tests in preparation for its first flight this summer. "We are thrilled to see the Phenom 100 become a reality," noted Embraer Executive Vice President for Executive Jets Luís Carlos Affonso. "We are confident that the Phenom 100 … will become the benchmark of the very light jet segment." Embraer launched the Phenom 100, as well as the derivative Phenom 300 light jet, in May 2005 and cut the first metal for the VLJ in May last year. Subassembly manufacturing of the Phenom 100 was performed at Embraer's Botucatu facility, and the fuselage and wing were manufactured there and delivered to the company's sprawling São José dos Campos plant in March. The $2.85 million VLJ (to be $2.95 million in less than two weeks) is expected to receive Brazilian certification and enter service in mid-2008.