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Culture / Travel

New Private Jets Raise the Luxury Bar

The Brazilian Magic of Embraer Makes a Texas Impact With Stunning Interiors, Extra Cockpit Room and More

BY Jim Kastleman // 05.28.19

Brazilians know how to make airplanes.

They have excelled with military and commercial planes for decades, then launched into the private jet world in 2000 with the Embraer Legacy collection. They took one of their popular regional jets (trust me, you’ve been on one), ripped out the 40 or so seats, and installed 13 comfy luxury seats, added top-tier finishes, and made the interior an executive’s toy. They called it the Legacy 600.

Since then, they’ve expanded the line and now have everything from small, single-pilot Phenoms to midsize Legacy 450s and Lineage executive business jets. These planes are wickedly beautiful, inside and out. The company recently brought in the new Phenom 300E and a Legacy 500 to tease clients in Dallas and Houston.

Wing Aviation, one of the largest Embraer operators and managers in Texas, hosted the event that paired the sleek jets with Porsche of Plano’s newest models. As I flew on a demo of the Legacy 500, the fly-by-wire produced the most stable flight I’ve witnessed.

The side-stick, which replaced a traditional control yoke, leaves enough space to dance in the cockpit — or, at least, to sit back and enjoy extra room without a yoke in your lap. Regarding the automation, the captain said, “I can move really fast, without rushing.” Trust me, rushing in a cockpit is what causes tragic errors.

Solemnly, it’s the last hurrah for the 500, which is being updated with avionics, cabin design, and added range, and being renamed Praetor 600. Luckily, Legacy 500 owners can upgrade to the Praetor’s newest features.

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While Embraer has concepted many beautifully designed private plane interiors, the Bossa Nova-branded interior, which can be ordered on most of their planes, is a step above with the feel of a chic study or cozy lounge. The doublepique leather seats, which swivel and lie flat, are like having a hundred fingers nudging you to sleep. The Ipanema carpet references the coastline that is Brazil’s DNA, and a marble floor in the entry/galley is a showstopper.

For more information about Embraer private jet charter, lease, or purchase, visit wingaviation.com.

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