You dream of an ultra-large business jet with all the trimmings. One whose twin engines will whizz you to other continents in premium style and comfort. One that indulges up to 19 passengers in a swanky cabin twice as large as that of any other aircraft with comparable range. One with five distinct privacy zones that have been configured to your specific needs, with a dining area, an executive suite loaded with a queen bed and a stand-up shower, a fully accessible walk-in baggage compartment, high speed Internet, and a fully equipped wet gallery. One that makes you master of time and space. That dream is no longer a flight of fancy, as Embraer has stretched the aviation imagination with the Lineage 1000.
Embraer started making sonic booms in the business jet arena in 2000 when it announced the Legacy 600, which derived from the successful ERJ-135 commercial airliner. Taking a similar approach with the larger E-190/195 (98 to 114 seats), the Brazilian manufacturer gave birth to the Lineage 1000 in 2006. This new business jet joins a rarefied field that includes heralded heavyweights like the Airbus Corporate Jet and the Boeing Business Jet. 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 is approximately $43 million with the cabin installed. The Lineage 1000 thus brings a new set of variables that Embraer has aimed squarely at the middle of the ultra-luxe, executive-configured airliner market, hoping to carve out a unique niche. It already has been doing a good job, with 20 L-1000s on order.
Customers have a broad range of choices, thanks to a modular scheme that divides the main cabin into five zones, plus the lavatory and walk-in baggage compartment.
The aircraft has received the necessary stamps of approval, as it was type certified in Brazil and Europe (meaning deemed air-worthy). Early 2009, the FAA gave its official sanction, which is timely because the Lineage’s first customer, the industrialist Aamer Abdul Jalil Al Fahim of Abu Dhabi, is anxiously expecting delivery in the first quarter of 2009. Who can blame him? The plane is powered by two General Electric engines that each deliver 18,500 pounds of thrust. It can blaze at Mach 0.82 at an altitude of 41,000 feet, aided by the top-of-the-line Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite for reduced pilot workload. It comes with five LCD multifunction control screens; intuitive interface with cursor control device; auto-throttle; weather radar with turbulence detection; fly-by-wire; optional class two, electronic flight bag; enhanced vision; head-up display; and a host of other cutting-edge gizmos to keep Al Fahim safe and happy at cruising altitude.
He must also be ecstatic with the news that the L-1000’s max range-originally projected to be 4,200 nautical miles with eight passengers, or 4,350 with four-has been bumped up to 4,400 nautical miles with eight, or 4,500 with four, even with the requisite fuel reserves factored in. This is massive news for future operators, as it allows for even more route and destination options; the big bird can easily carry flyers directly from New York to Moscow, Dubai to Tokyo, and Jeddah to Beijing. 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 can’t-places like Aspen, New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, and London City.
When it comes to interior layouts, the Lineage’s cabin styling, designed in partnership with London-based Priestman Goode, is sweet. Customers have a broad range 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, and water and waste, through a master control unit in the galley or through individual passenger control units. The aircraft can be equipped with all of the latest in-flight entertainment options, including Wi-Fi. In all, the wealth of choices and zones creates elegant and relaxing ambiances where separate groups of passengers can simultaneously enjoy privacy for working, resting, lounging, or dining.
The Lineage’s flowing foyer area resembles an office reception room. Adjacent to the main forward entry door, this space can be configured with a curved sidewall divan (it doubles as a crew rest area) and curved storage drawers and countertops. Finished in light-colored Ultraleather and metallic laminates, it looks open, airy, and inviting.
From here, passengers pass through the large double-sided galley and into Zone One of the passenger compartment. Galley finishes include generous use of Lexan, stainless finishes, and veneer, leading to a light, anti-claustrophobic atmosphere. The area can be outfitted with a choice of five modules, such as a large conference table with four side-facing single seats or three single seats and an entertainment unit. Additionally, when the seats recline, the zone can convert into a lie-flat sleeping area with optional mattresses.
Zones Two, Three, and Four can be combined to create a large, open, master salon with curved sidewall divans and single seats, credenzas with pop-out 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). Or Zones Three and Four can be combined to create a junior salon. Or Zone Five can be configured as a master bedroom suite with a large bathroom that includes a bidet and shower. Or…well, you get the idea. Adding the shower, however, cuts deep into the main cabin luggage area, which measures 360 cubic feet and holds 2,293 pounds. (The jet’s total luggage capacity is 615 cubic feet.)
Apparently, Embraer realized that in order to take on the blue-chippers like Airbus and Boeing, it had to go big or go home. With the Lineage 1000, the airframer certainly hit the mark with the right combo of range, performance, cabin size, and price. So if you’ve been dreaming of having the biggest and best, with the Lineage 1000, your associates and competitors likely will have nothing on you.