First Flight: Made-In-USA Phenom 300

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Embraer Executive Jets took another step forward in its expansion into U.S. production this week with the first flight of the first Phenom 300 built at the company's Melbourne, Fla., assembly plant. Embraer announced just a couple of months ago that it would be adding the 300 to its Florida production line, which has been turning out Phenom 100s since last year. The company also said it has been refining its production processes and has cut in half the time required to assemble an airplane. "We are now on schedule to produce eight [airplanes] per month in the coming months," said Phil Krull, managing director of the facility.

Embraer opened the Melbourne production facility in February 2011 and added a customer service center last December. Last month, the company started construction of a new engineering and technology facility, expected to be completed in mid-2014. Next year, the company plans to produce 12 Phenom 300 jets in Florida, with the first delivery in March.