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Wed, Nov 09, 2005

Embraer Selects Garmin G1000 For Its VLJ And... The Legacy 600?

Do We Know The Name Of The Company's Light Jet?

In something of a surprise move, Embraer announced it has selected Garmin's G1000 avionics suite to fill the cockpit of its upcoming Very Light Jet and Light Jet entries... but that may not have been the only surprise of the day, even for Embraer.

First, though, the Garmin. Embraer Senior Vice President for Executive Aviation Luis Carlos Affonso told attendees of a pre-opening NBAA convention press conference the Brazilian manufacturer chose the G1000 suite over its competitors because Garmin "is a solid business partner with outstanding brand recognition," and that the G1000 is "a product compliant with Embraer's vision" for the aircraft.

"Embraer is committed to delivering truly revolutionary products to our sophisticated customer base," added Affonso. "Garmin has the most integrated system on the market for this class and will bring intuitive technology to the cockpit."

Speaking of the cockpit, the flight deck of both the VLJ and LJ will be remarkably similar, with three 12-inch multirole G1000 displays comprising the "Prodigy" avionics suite on both aircraft. The IP will also feature a smaller backup screen, fed by its own battery and located at top center on the IP -- right in the pilot's line of sight -- in case the unlikely event the main power were to fail.

Embraer also covered the pricing and likely intro dates for the VLJ and LJ, with the smaller jet scheduled for a mid-2008 introduction and stickering at $2.75 million. The LJ will be released one year later, at a price just over $6.5 million -- right in line with their respective competition, according to the company, most of which feature smaller cabins and lower luggage capacity than the Embraer pair.

Embraer plans to unveil the cabin mockups for both jets -- displaying interiors designed by BMW DesignworksUSA -- at a Wednesday morning event at the company's display Booth 5559. The company will also reveal the names of both jets at the event, and not a moment before -- or, so they intended.

See, one of the first rules of covering press conferences is: if you have a really good question you think might be a scoop, DO NOT ask it during the actual conference, but rather afterwards, in private -- thus keeping the scoop to yourself, without sharing it with your competition. This advice was not heeded by one unidentified reporter who asked during the Q&A segment "what can you tell us about the Legacy 600?"

"Um... nothing, until tomorrow," stammered an obviously flustered Affonso.

Bold ANN prediction: the VLJ will be the Legacy 400, and the LJ will be named the Legacy 600. We'll know for certain after 11 a.m. EST Wednesday...

FMI: www.embraer.com

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