Luxury's 25 Most Innovative Brands: Embraer

<< Back to Robb Report, August 2013

Over the last decade or so, the Bra­zilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has forced its competitors to change the way they approach business-jet design. Founded in 1969, Embraer initially built only military and commercial planes; it is now the world’s third-largest manufacturer of commercial jets, behind Airbus and Boeing. The company did not enter the private-aviation business until 2000, and so it had time to analyze other manufacturers’ aircraft and assess their shortcomings before designing and building its own business jets. The company based its first executive model, the super-midsize Legacy (now known as the Legacy 600), on its 37-passenger ERJ 135 commercial airliner, equipping the new jet with a spacious 14-passenger cabin and more in-flight access to baggage than any other business jet had at the time. (In 2009, Embraer launched the Legacy 650, with upgraded avionics and a longer range than the 600.) After five years of R & D, Embraer introduced the Phe­nom 100 and the Phenom 300, two clean-sheet designs that entered service in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Both offer performance on a par with other jets in their categories, but their operating costs are considerably lower. The entry-level Phenom 100 is priced at approximately $4 million; the Phenom 300 light jet is roughly $9 million. While other manufacturers scramble to push models into service that will be more competitive with the Phenom jets, Embraer is already well into the process of certifying its next models, the $19.9 million Legacy 500 midsize jet and the $16.5 million Legacy 450 light-midsize jet, which are expected to enter service in early 2014 and in 2015, respectively. These aircraft will be the only models in their categories offering fly-by-wire controls and flat-floor cabins. 954. 359.3700, www.embraerexecutivejets.com

These aircraft may never see a production release, but they signal what aviation’s future may hold…
The two-person flying car was exhibited at this year’s South by Southwest festival…
Photo by Brett Schauf
After more than 300,000 volunteer hours to restore it, the plane is set to take flight later this...
Photo by Adrian Koeppel
The massive aircraft will measure an impressive 238 feet long and 385 feet wide…
The first chopper to wear the Airbus Helicopters name, the H160 promises to be revolutionary…
The forthcoming aircraft offers vertical takeoff and landing and can fly like an airplane…
With Joby Aviation and ESAero, NASA has begun developing the LEAPTech all-electric airplane…
The chopper can be outfitted with a conference table, swivel seating, and a mini galley…
After two years of development, the fuel-efficient plane has completed its first test flight…
This solar technology could have applications in commercial and business aviation…