The Embraer Legacy 500/450 (EMB-550/EMB-545) are mid-size business jets launched by Embraer in April 2008, the first of their size with a flat-floor stand-up cabin and fly-by-wire. The longer 500, which typically carries 4 passengers over 3,125 nmi (5,790 km) with room for up to 12, first flew on November 27, 2012, and was certified on August 12, 2014. The shorter 450 first flew on December 28, 2013, was certified on August 11, 2015, carries 4 passengers over 2,900 nmi (5,370 km) and can accommodate up to 9.
At the August 2007 NBAA convention, Embraer unveiled a cabin mock-up of two concepts positioned between the $7 million Phenom 300 and the $26 million Legacy 600, called midsize jet (MSJ) and midlight jet (MLJ), positioned on 22% of the market in units. They should share their flat floor, stand-up cabin but the MSJ should be 5 feet longer to accommodate 8 passengers over a 2,800-nm range against 2,200-nm for the smaller version.
The program was introduced in April 2008, Embraer planned to invest US$750 million and to introduce the larger model in 2012 and the smaller in 2013. Honeywell HTF7500E turbofans were selected along a Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite integrated cockpit and a Parker Hannifin fly-by-wire flight control system. At the May 2008 European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition, the larger was named Legacy 500 and priced at $18.4 million and the smaller Legacy 450, priced at $15.25 million. The variants have 95% systems commonality.
They are low wing, T-tail airplanes with cabin pressurization, powered by two rear mounted turbofans. The landing gear is fully retractable and designed to be operated on paved runways only. The glass cockpit includes four multi-function display. The operation is made through a flight management system with autopilot, autothrottle and closed-loop control and monitoring of flight controls Fly-By-Wire. The aircraft are certified for Day, Night, VFR and IFR flights, and are approved for reduced vertical separation minima (RVSM) airspace and flight into known icing conditions, extended flight over water, Category II ILS, operations at high altitude airports up to 13800 ft and steep approach operations.
An assembly line was officially opened in Melbourne, Florida on 2 June 2016, adding Embraer Legacy 450 and 500 production to the existing Phenom 100 and 300 line, along a completion center/flight-prep building. The first Legacy 450 on the line since May 16 should be delivered in mid-December. The facility will be able to assemble up to 96 Phenoms and 72 Legacys annually. The first Legacy 450 produced in Florida was delivered in December 2016, while the first Legacy 500 will enter final assembly in early 2017; the fuselage is built in Botucatu in Brazil, and the wings in Évora, Portugal.
Embraer offers an enhanced flight vision system constituted by the Rockwell Collins HGS-3500 Head-up display combined with the EVS-3000 Infrared camera, permitting a decision altitude necessitating visual references of 100 ft above touchdown at a projected price of $515,000. Federal Aviation Administration's draft AC 20-167A further proposes a descent below 100 ft if the required visual references can be observed using the EFVS, similar to Cat II and III approaches with limited instrument landing systems in many small airports.
Embraer's timeline was delayed because software development for the fly-by-wire flight control system was running behind schedule. Supported by 800 engineers, the first Legacy 500 prototype (PT-ZEX) was rolled out on 23 December 2011 to begin ground testing and systems evaluation, prior to the aircraft’s first flight scheduled for the third quarter of 2012. The first engine run was completed on January 17, 2012.
The aircraft's first flight occurred on 27 November 2012 with certification and initial deliveries expected in early 2014. After 1,800 hours of flight tests and 20,000 hours of laboratory tests, its type certificate was received from National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC) on August 12, 2014, exceeding design goals. First delivery occurred to a Brazilian company on October 11, 2014. It received its Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) certification on October 21, 2014. Delivery of the 50th Legacy 500 is expected in the third quarter of 2016.
The Legacy 500 can be configured to carry up to 12 passengers, and can carry eight passengers over 2,948 nautical miles (5,460 km), or four passengers over 3,125 nautical miles (5,788 km). The aircraft fly-by-wire control enhances safety and confort. It competes with midsize jets like the $17.9 million Cessna Citation Sovereign+ and $23.4 million Cessna Citation X, but also with super-midsize $24 million Gulfstream G280 and $26 million Bombardier Challenger 350 and can be compared with the halted $21 million Learjet 85 program.
The Legacy 450 first flight occurred on 28 December 2013. It received its Brazilian certification on 11 August 2015, exceeding its design goals. It was certified by the FAA shortly after on 31 August 2015. Its fuselage is shortened by 4 feet (122 cm) and it has a flight life of 27,500 flight hours. It competes with the $16.25 million Cessna Citation Latitude and the $17.9 million Cessna Citation Sovereign. In July 2016, its certified range was extended to 2,904 nm (5,378 km), 329 nm (609 km) more than previously, and it is designed to carry 7 to 9 passengers.
More than 30 jets were in service in June 2016.
† MTOW, 4 pax, NBAA IFR reserves, 200 nm alternate, SL, ISA