Perfectly Logical, Captain: The Embraer Legacy 500
Samba-loving hedonists build world’s best private jet in spare time. World gawps.
The Brazilians get pissy when accused of slacking on the job. Observe the brouhaha when FIFA’s secretary general Jerome Valcke admitted England fans could face major problems if the team qualifies, and said ‘not a lot is moving’ in Brazil and that as far as being ready for 2014, the organisers needed a ‘kick up the arse!’. Let’s hope no one from the IOC is thinking of dissing preparation for the Rio Games, two years later.
But to more exclusive matters – And drum roll… Trumpets!! Bugles, etc. Finally, Brazil’s contribution to aerospace history, The Embraer Legacy 500, is finally ready to take off carrying smiling passengers. Already a modern classic of luxury aviation design, Embraer’s originally announced timeline for first flight and certification of the Legacy 500 had to be revised because software development for the aircraft’s fly-by-wire control system was running behind schedule. But the whole point of game changing technology is that it takes a while to get zinging. They started with an entirely blank sheet of paper. One of the most significant achievements of its original design is something passengers never even know is there. The Legacy 500 is the first in its class to replace conventional controls with full fly-by-wire. The redundant high-speed computers will help smooth out turbulence before passengers can feel it. And maneuvers that were once almost impossible will be performed without fanfare, such as steep descents to short-field landings.
Taking four passengers 3,000 nautical miles, it is amazing to consider the Legacy can still take eight up to 2,800 nautical miles. At Mach 0.80! With a flight deck out of (new) Star Trek and a sleek cabin not too far away from it, either, this will be the smoothest journey on the planet. In both senses of the word.