LABACE: New super-light jets by Cessna and Embraer make progress

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Final assembly work gathering pace on two new entrants to superlight sector with maiden sorties due in coming months

Two new entrants in the superlight business jet segment by Cessna and Embraer are starting to come together in final assembly ahead of first flight events scheduled to take place over the next six months.

The three fuselage sections of the first Legacy 450 have been joined at Embraer's factory in São José dos Campos.

The wing will be mated to the fuselage in September and the aircraft ­remains on track to fly by the end of the year and enter service in the first half of 2015, says Embraer Executive Jets president Ernest Edwards.

The development of the Legacy 450 trails the larger Legacy 500 by about a year. The latter is due to enter service in the first half of 2014. Both aircraft ­feature fly-by-wire on all major control surfaces. Meanwhile, recent software-related delays affecting Cessna's M2, new Sovereign and new Citation X jets have not spilled over into the Latitude development programme.

Cessna senior vice-president of sales Kriya Shortt confirms the first fuselage has been completed in final assembly and it remains on track for its maiden sortie in early 2014.

The Latitude shares the wing, tail and engine structure of the slightly larger Sovereign aircraft, but not the fuselage.

Both Cessna and Embraer released the updates at LABACE in Brazil, which is a key market in the superlight sector.