Phenom 100 Prepping For First Flight

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Embraer is currently performing the ground tests for the Phenom 100 very light jet at its Sao Paulo, Brazil, headquarters in preparation for the jet's first flight, which is expected in the "next month or so." According to the company, progress is "steady" as engineering teams test the functionalities and integration of the airplane's systems. "The Phenom 100 test campaign has begun and steadily advances," said Embraer Senior Manager of Phenom Programs Alexandre Figueiredo. "The ground tests prepare the aircraft for its first flight and provide results for the certification process, which is scheduled to be completed in mid-2008." The twinjet's Pratt & Whitney Canada PW617F turbofans have already been powered up, and the focus is now on ground vibration tests that will verify the Phenom's aero-elasticity. During these tests, the aircraft is suspended with elastic cables to simulate actual flight loads, and flight controls will be tested for flexibility. After completion of the vibration tests, engineers will power on the jet's electrical system to put the airplane's Garmin G1000 avionics and other electronics through their paces. From there the test crew will begin low- and high-speed taxi runs to check steering, braking and emergency systems before making the maiden flight. Embraer will be marketing the Phenom 100 and its larger sibling, the Phenom 300, at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., later this month.