FAA Certifies Legacy 650

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The FAA has certified the Embraer 650, opening the door for the Brazilian planemaker to compete worldwide in the lucrative long-range, large-cabin business jet market. The 650 is an upgrade to the 600 model, which was Embraer's first business jet and a variant of its EMB 145 regional jet. The aircraft has had Brazilian and European certification since last October and seven have been delivered. The FAA certification is an important milestone, however. "This important approval of our new long-range large cabin Legacy 650 executive jet opens the way for the company to better serve not only the U.S market, but also several other countries that require FAA certification," said Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer's executive vice president for business jets.

The biggest difference between the 600 and 650 is range. The new airplane will go 3,900 nautical miles (four passengers) with NBAA reserves, compared to 3,000 nm for the 600. Structurally, the main differences are beefed-up wings and landing gear capable of handling an increased fuel load. The 650 also sports a Honeywell Primus avionics suite and the latest in cabin features.