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Flight test update: Embraer Phenom 300

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Embraer's Phenom 300 is pushing through its certification campaign, having passed the 750 flight test-hour mark with four flying aircraft since the aircraft's first flight on April 29, 2008.

The aerodynamic configuration of the aircraft is now finalized and the company is continuing to explore the maximum operational speed and maximum altitude envelope, says Augusto Salgado da Rocha, product strategy sr. manager Executive Jets.

Other testing has included water spray, engine controllability and in-flight start and thrust determination and fire detection and extinguishing in on the Pratt & Whitney Canada's PW535E engine.

Salgado da Rocha added that the aircraft has completed bird strike tests on the light jet and its fatigue and static structural tests are ongoing. Natural icing, crosswind takeoff and landings, cold soak and external noise test have all been completed with autopilot and avionics tests, flutter and high speed tests and landing and takeoff performance are continuing.

The Brazilian airframer says the aircraft is on track for a certification and entry into service in the fourth quarter.

For the smaller Phenom 100, which was certificated in the fourth quarter of 2008, Embraer has delivered a total of 25 of the VLJs to date, says Ernie Edwards, Embraer vice president, marketing and sales U.S.A., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

The company will introduce its clean-sheet DeCrane Aerospace cabin seat design, with optional armrest in the fourth quarter for newly delivered Phenom 100s with a retrofit option available in the first quarter of 2010.

Embraer has responded to certifications concerns about the amount of cabin space available by increasing the aisle width from 8.15 in to 13.58 in. Other upgrades to the Phenom 100 coming in 2010 will include pathways navigation and a synthetic vision system.

Salgado da Rocha adds that Embraer has been actively retrofitting an interim fix to the Phenom 100's flap system following an airworthiness directive in February after it was found the flap handle position could miscompare between commanded and actual flap settings.

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