Embraer sets U.S. jet service facility

Sept. 13, 2011 at 5:55 AM
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has selected Constant Aviation of Cleveland as its authorized service center amid projections of increased sales of its small commercial jets in North America and other international markets.

Embraer S.A. is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial jets of up to 120 seats, and one of Brazil's leading exporters. This year the manufacturer unveiled plans to expand into military aircraft markets and unmanned aerial systems.

Constant Aviation will be concerned with maintenance and service of Embraer's Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 models that have proved to have a competitor edge over U.S. rivals and Canada's Bombardier.

Embraer has chosen Constant Aviation as part of its strategy to enhance its competitive edge. The service center will provide maintenance and avionics services as well as modifications, composite repairs, Airworthiness Directives and Service Bulletins on both types of aircraft. The organization will also use its experience with Embraer on warranty claims to provide service to the Phenom customers.

Constant Aviation President Stephen Maiden said the companies have been collaborating since the 1990s.

"We began our relationship with Embraer in 1996 as an ERJ-135 service center," Maiden said.

"In 2002, we became a Legacy 600/650 service center and developed a worldwide reputation for our Legacy expertise. We are excited to offer Phenom operators that same level of knowledge and experience."

Embraer's pitch says its Phenom range is an affordable alternative to its rivals.

An added attraction is Constant Aviation's GoGo Biz WiFi system aboard the Phenom 300, a high-speed Internet system said to be 56 times faster than a traditional dial-up connection.

Constant Aviation centers at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Birmingham (Ala.) International Airport specialize in airframe and engine maintenance, major repairs, avionics installation and repair, parts distribution, interiors, accessory and composite services.

Embraer has headquarters Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, and a workforce of 17,194 employees, not counting the employees of its partially owned subsidiaries. By last count Embraer's firm order backlog totaled $15.8 billion.

Embraer Defense and Security and AEL Sistemas, a subsidiary of Israel's Elbit Systems Ltd., recently announced a new company, Harpia Sistemas S.A., to work on developing unmanned aerial systems. Embraer Defense and Security holds 51 percent of Harpia's capital, and AEL the remaining 49 percent.

Embraer Defense and Security President Luiz Carlos Aguiar said the new partnership was part of Brazil's National Defense Strategy.

"The creation of Harpia is in perfect alignment with Brazil's National Defense Strategy, and it will be an important instrument for meeting the needs of the armed and security forces," he said.

As a part of the partnership and to advance the process of transferring Israeli technology to Brazil, Embraer Defense and Security will acquire 25 percent of AEL's capital.

AEL supplies the avionics for the Super Tucano light attack and advanced training turboprop, as well as the F-5M fighter jets, modernized by Embraer for the Brazilian air force.

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