““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
Embraer's Lineage 1000
Airframer Embraer entered the business aviation market in 2000 when it announced the Legacy 600, which it had derived from the ERJ-135 regional airliner. Taking a similar approach with the larger E-190/195, the Brazilian manufacturer has created the Lineage 1000. This new business jet joins a rarefied field that includes the Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ), Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) and several other models. [See "When bigger is better" in our previous issue (October/November).]
Though the Lineage is large, its price tag is relatively small. While the ACJ costs $75 million and the BBJ sells for $57 million, the latter without passenger cabin, the new Embraer model will hit the market for $46 million (2008 dollars) with the cabin installed. Smaller than the ACJ and the BBJ, slower than the Bombardier Global Express XRS and the Gulfstream G550 and shorter-legged than all four of them, the Lineage is a product of compromise. With it, Embraer is aiming a new set of variables squarely at the middle of the ultra-luxury jet market in the hope of carving out a unique niche.
The Lineage has an NBAA-IFR range with 19 passengers of 3,967 nautical miles, 622 square feet of passenger cabin floor area and 4,085 cubic feet of cabin volume. That is more than twice the volume of both the Gulfstream (1,669 cubic feet) and the Global (2,022 cubic feet), but about 75 percent that of the Airbus (5,300 cubic feet) and Boeing (5,390 cubic feet). Yet the Lineage can still carry eight passengers directly from New York to Moscow at speeds up to Mach 0.82. Because of its low noise signature, steep approach angles and shorter wingspan, it will also be able to operate from airports where some other "heavy iron" business jets cannot-places like Aspen, Colo., and New Jersey's Teterboro Airport.
Embraer announced its E-Series E-190/195 large regional airliner in 1999. It has delivered more than 300 and forecasts a world market for more than 1,400 by 2016. At the time of its launch, the main customer base for the E-Series was seen as commercial airlines, and the aircraft has gained wide acceptance with carriers that include JetBlue and US Airways. A shorter variant of the E-190/195-the E-170/175, which Embraer began delivering in 2004-has become popular with regional carriers. The models share numerous components, including fuselage barrels and avionics (Honeywell's Primus Epic system). The 190/195 can seat 100 in airline configuration. A military transport variant, the C-390, is also under development. The 190 first flew in 2004 and is powered by a pair of under-wing-mounted General Electric GE CF34-10E turbofan engines, rated at 18,500 pounds of thrust each. The Lineage is outfitted with the Dash 10B version of that engine, which offers slightly higher thrust: 20,000 pounds.
When it comes to interior layouts, Lineage customers have a wealth of choices, thanks to a modular scheme that divides the main cabin into five zones plus the lavatory and walk-in baggage compartment. The modules maximize flexibility and utility, simplify installation and hold down costs. Customer-specified interiors are available for an additional charge.
The cabin-management system controls all in-flight information and entertainment components-as well as lighting, window shades, temperature, water and waste-through a master control unit in the galley or through individual passenger control units. The aircraft can be equipped with all the latest in-flight entertainment options, including Wi-Fi.
The Lineage's flowing foyer area recalls an office reception room. Adjacent to the main forward entry door, this space can be configured with a curved sidewall divan, which doubles as a crew rest area, and curved storage drawers and countertops. A forward crew lavatory is located on the right-side wall between this area and the cockpit. Finished in light-colored Ultraleather and metallic laminates, it looks open, airy and inviting. If you prefer, though, this area can instead be fitted with an enclosed crew rest area with oversized single reclining seat for privacy, keeping the curved monument to the right of the entry door.
From the foyer area, you pass through the large double-sided galley and into Zone One of the passenger compartment. The standard galley features microwave and high-power convection ovens, ice drawers, six-unit storage and a kitchen tap. An espresso maker, refrigerator, wine chiller, high-power outlets and beverage center are among the options. Galley finishes include generous use of Lexan, stainless finishes and veneer to accentuate the light, open feeling.
Zone One and the galley and Zone Two can be separated by pocket doors for privacy. Zone One can be outfitted with a choice of five modules: a large conference table and four side-facing single seats; three single seats and an entertainment unit; a club-four configuration; or right-hand or left-hand conference four groupings with hi-lo table and an opposing half-club with folding sidewall table. Dropping the table and reclining the seats can convert the zone into a lie-flat sleeping area with optional mattresses. The seats can be fitted with full or partial electric function and other options, including slide-down arms and plug-in trays and monitors. A 17-inch or optional 20-inch monitor is installed in the forward bulkhead of Zone One.
The pocket door and either a mid-cabin lavatory or an entertainment system cabinet and small wardrobe separate Zones One and Two. Another bulkhead monitor can be installed on the left side of the forward cabin divider. Zones Two, Three and Four can be combined to create a large, open master salon with curved sidewall divans and single seats, credenzas with large popout or fixed monitors (up to 42 inches) and an office work area. Or variations of Zone One layouts can be duplicated, but here they also include divans. The same can be done in Zones Three and Four, which can also be combined to create a junior salon.
Zone Five can be configured as a master bedroom suite with a large lavatory that includes a bidet and shower. Adding the shower, however, cuts deep into the main cabin luggage area, which measures 360 cubic feet and holds 2,293 pounds. (Other closet storage plus the belly storage under the forward cabin below and behind the main entry door and directly accessible through an exterior luggage door in the lower fuselage brings total luggage capacity to 615 cubic feet.) The area can also be outfitted with opposing berthable divans or a single divan and a private sitting area.
Embraer recently completed the first Lineage 1000, which will be operated by Dubai-based Prestige Jet on behalf of owner Aamer Abdul Jalil Al Fahim, a leading industrialist and member of the United Arab Emirates' Federal National Council. The manufacturer hopes to gradually ramp up Lineage production over the next three years and eventually deliver one per month.