Embraer Reveals Praetor 500 and 600 Plans at NBAA Conference
The National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) annual conference is always an opportunity for airlines to showcase their upcoming releases to help generate buzz and excitement. On October 14, 2018, it was Embraer Executive Jets who stole the show, dropping not one but two big plans for the near future.
Plans are in place to make two new aircraft available to customers. The first is the Praetor 500. It’s based on the Legacy 450 and it suited to up to nine passengers. The second is the similarly-named Praetor 600, but this one is based on the Legacy 500 and has a longer range, bumping up from a midsize to a super-midsize jet in the process.
This hardly renders the Legacy models redundant. Just recently, the Legacy 450 set a new transatlantic speed record, being flown from Portland, Maine to Farnborough Airport in the UK in slightly over six hours. But, if you’ve already splashed out on a Legacy model and feel a little short-changed, just hold that thought.
‘Disruptive’ to the industry
Owners of the previous models are able to upgrade, and the price is – relatively – quite respectable. For instance, if you currently possess a Legacy 450 and want to upgrade, it will set you back about $500,000. That’s not too bad to update your aircraft to what Embraer Executive Jets President is calling a ‘disruptive’ aircraft.
‘The Praetor 500 and Praetor 600 are the disruptive aircraft for the entrepreneur, for the pioneer, for the innovator,’ said President of Embraer Executive Jets Michael Amalfitano. ‘The Praetors are aircraft certainly in keeping with their name, leading the way in redefining the characteristics of what a midsize and super-midsize aircraft deliver to the market.
‘The introduction of these aircraft support our vision of fascinating our customers and providing them with superior value and the best experience in the industry.’
Redefining expectations is nothing new to the company. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, Embraer originally had a firm focus on military and civil transport. It was successful, but around the year 2000, the company began to change tact, dipping its toe into the private jet market. Again, it hit the mark.
Today, the name Embraer carries with it a weight of expectation. It is revered and respected in the aviation industry, which helps to explain why there is so much excitement about these two latest models hitting the market.
So what do we know about the two new aircraft so far?
The praetor 500 will be the smaller of the two, and slightly more affordable at an estimated cost of $17 million. It’s non-stop range is impressive, gliding from Miami to Seattle or Dubai to Bangkok non-stop. For longer flights, such as flying to Europe from the west coast of the US, you’ll need to touch down once.
Pilots’ mouths will water at the prospect of getting into the cockpit here. A top-of-the-range Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion flight deck delivers an interface between pilot and aircraft which experienced fliers will find fairly intuitive. This means easier flying and safer journey.
‘Exciting upgrades for…existing Legacy 450 and 500 aircraft’
‘The extension of the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics systems onto Praetor 500 and 600 aircraft enabled exciting upgrades for not only Embraer’s newest executive jet offerings but also the existing Legacy 450 and 500 aircraft,’ said Vice President and General Manager of business and regional systems for Rockwell Collins, Christophe Blanc. And it doesn’t take much to see where his excitement comes from; the system includes state-of-the-art avionics, a compact HUD (Head-Up Display), Synthetic and Enhanced Vision Systems, and full fly-by-wire for active turbulence reduction.
There’s a huge amount of space in the baggage compartment, located just behind the onboard lavatory. It has a pull-across door for privacy that doesn’t impact on space, a quiet vacuum toilet, and lots of natural light to highlight the high-end vanity and sink.
The cabin holds huge appeal and a large proportion of this is down to the excellent and tasteful design. In a nod to the company’s Brazilian roots, the interiors have a design named ‘Bossa Nova’ which is based on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Interior-design boss proves this with patterned seats which are reminiscent of the stone walkways at Ipanema Beach, whilst the carpets have been created to mirror the ocean’s reflective ripples. It’s a considered approach, and that’s typical of every aspect of this aircraft.
Superior range of the Praetor 600
If you’d rather splash out a little more you can opt for the Praetor 600 instead. There are certainly some benefits to be had by going for the larger model. Maximum passenger capacity is bumped up from nine to twelve people, and the range is increased thanks to extra fuel ion the auxiliary belly tanks. This helps tip the scales on long-haul flights, as the 600 model is capable of flying from London to New York non-stop. That’s even more impressive when you consider that no other super-midsize jets consistently delivery London to New York flight missions.
The cabin is larger but equally comfortable, with a generous 6ft in height helping to accommodate taller passengers. Guests won’t be able to avoid being impressed when their meals emerge from the stone-floored galley on top-end silverware; class is etched throughout the aircraft in details both big and small.
If this all sounds exciting, the good news is that you won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on the latest models. Test flights are already in full swing, and various projections place them as being available within the second or third quarter of 2019.