Before buying a business jet, it’s important to consider all the options, along with the facts and stats for each. Let’s take a look at the Embraer Legacy 600.
The typical purchase cost of a pre-owned Embraer Legacy 600 is $9.95 million. The price can be as high as $13.4 million. Powered by twin, aft-mounted Rolls Royce AE 3007 turbofans producing 7,953 lbf each, the 600 cruises at Mach 0.78 (515 mph) with an average fuel burn of 312 gallons per hour.
As an avgeek and pilot who’s spent most of my professional and adult life surrounded by bizjets, I’d like to walk you through the specs and features of the venerable Embraer Legacy 600.
Embraer Legacy 600 Overview
The Legacy 600 is a medium-range executive transport jet, produced by Brazilian airplane manufacturer Embraer between 2002 and 2020, with 289 airframes built. Embraer is the third airplane manufacturer in the world, after Boeing and Airbus.
The Legacy 600 is generally considered to be in the super midsize category of bizjets, however, is sometimes classed as a heavy jet by some charter or sales brochures.
It is a twin-engine, low-wing business jet flown by a crew of two. The Legacy 600 is available in two versions: the Legacy Executive (15 passengers) and the Legacy Shuttle (19 passengers).
The Legacy series of business jets is derived from the Embraer ERJ regional jet range. The Legacy 600 was announced at the Farnborough Airshow in 2000, originally under the name ‘Legacy 2000’.
Eventually, the ‘Legacy 2000’ name was dropped and the name ‘Legacy 600’ was adopted in 2005. Despite this, some still refer to the jet as the Legacy 2000, whilst others refer to it by the unofficial name “Embraer jet”.
The Legacy 600 is most popular in Europe and North America, which together have the highest number of wholly-owned Legacy 600s in the world. The next most popular regions are South America (particularly Brazil, where Embraer is based), the Middle East (particularly in places like Dubai) and China (where the aircraft was built from 2002 until 2020).
The Legacy 600’s airframe features conventional semi-monocoque construction with stressed skins, longitudinal stringers and hoop frames. The control surfaces (primary and secondary), main landing gear doors and fairings are made from composite material. The design life of the Legacy 600 is 20,000 cycles, or 55,000 hours of flight time.
The 600’s wing features an airfoil design with a flattened upper surface and an S-curve lower surface, giving the best combination of lift and low drag, to fly safely at up to Mach 0.80. The wing has four vortilons, which act like leading-edge slats to reduce stall speed.
Vortilons are flat surfaces, mounted vertically beneath the wing, aligned with the direction of flight. Near stall speed, the vortilons cause the boundary layer of air around the wing to become turbulent, delaying the onset of the stall. Vortilons produce less drag than wing fences when flying at the aircraft’s cruise speed.
Vortilons are a typical feature of the Embraer ERJ 145 series, from which the Legacy 600 is derived. They are also fitted to a number of other aircraft, including airliners such as the Boeing 717.
The Embraer Legacy 600 Executive features winglets to reduce drag and increase lift. A conventional wing, without winglets, produces vortices of air at the wingtips, wasting energy. Winglets reduce or prevent vortices from forming, enhancing fuel efficiency and range. Fuselage strakes also enhance aerodynamic performance.
The aircraft also has additional fuel tanks - in the tail behind the rear baggage compartment, and forward of the wing - in order to increase range, allowing it to achieve an impressive 3,900 miles, which brings transatlantic flights within reach, connecting cities such as New York and London.
Embraer Legacy 600 Specifications
The Embraer Legacy 600 is often said to be at the height of business aviation technology, combining the best avionics (like the Honeywell Primus Elite avionics suite, which replaced the updated Mark I Honeywell cockpit present on the ERJ-145) with a tried and trusted design to create an extensive lineup that beats anything Cessna, Bombardier or Gulfstream can throw at it.
How Much Does An Embraer Legacy 600 cost?
Purchasing a private airplane is one of life’s biggest expenses, so it’s worth looking at all the information available before coming to a decision. Although no longer in production, the Embraer Legacy 600 is a well-established super-midsize bizjet and there are usually several airframes to be found on the market.
The acquisition cost of an Embraer Legacy 600 is between $9.95 million and $13.4 million, depending on year of manufacture, history, specification and condition.This cost is based on both the current historic sale price of the aircraft and associated costs (broker fees, inspections etc.)
Of course, the outlay does not end there. There are numerous operating costs that are part and parcel of owning and running an airplane.
When acquiring your business jet, if you do not have available funds to cover the full purchase price, you will need to consider financing costs and build these into your annual budget. Also, there will be the costs of fuel, insurance, aircraft storage, maintenance, and crew to consider.
The variable costs of operating your Legacy 600 are of course influenced by the number of hours’ flying the airplane will do each year. The number of hours in the air will affect fuel usage, frequency of maintenance and overhaul, and ongoing crew costs.
On top of the initial purchase outlay, as per this cost calculator, if you plan to fly 200 hours per year, you will need to budget for $1,365,015 annually. If you are a more frequent traveler flying 400 hours per year, the annual budget will be $2,173,925.
These costs are surprisingly low for an airplane of the Embraer Legacy 600’s size and specifications. Accordingly, they make the Legacy 600 an attractive choice for budget-minded business jet customers, who want a large, luxury bizjet for a price normally associated with a smaller airframe.
Embraer Legacy 600 Performance
Performance is an important factor to consider. You are investing a lot in a business jet and you want it to deliver the goods. Will the Legacy 600 get you where you need to go, safely, in a reasonable time and in a comfortably pressurized environment?
To answer those questions, let’s look at the Legacy 600’s power plants, cruise speed, cruising altitude, fuel burn, range and passenger accommodation, together with the features that help her achieve the facts and figures.
What Engines Does The Embraer Legacy 600 Have?
Rolls Royce airplane engines have a reputation for power. The Embraer Legacy 600 has twin RR AE3007A1E turbofans, mounted at the rear of the fuselage. The engines are made at the Rolls Royce North America plant in Indianapolis.
The AE3007A is a high-bypass (5:1 bypass ratio), two-spool, axial flow engine. It has a wide-chord, single-stage direct drive fan and a 14-stage compressor.
Fuselage-mounted engines are, of course, closer to the aircraft’s occupants than wing-mounted engines would be, so it is important for the engines to be as quiet as possible. As well as being very fuel-efficient, the AA3007 is an extremely quiet engine, 13 decibels below the FAA’s Stage 4 engine noise requirement.
One advantage of fuselage-mounted engines is that there are no engine pods hanging below the wings, so air flow over and under the wings is uninterrupted, leading to more efficient wing characteristics.
Also, there is less off-axis thrust, in the event of an engine failure, than there would be with wing-mounted engines. Therefore, when flying on a single engine, the aircraft has only a slight tendency to yaw toward the side of the inoperative engine, and remains quite easy for the pilot to control.
Those advantages come with some costs, though. Firstly, the fuel lines feeding the engines from the wing tanks have to pass through the fuselage, which can increase the risk of fire in a non-normal situation.
Secondly, in the event of an uncontained engine failure, the engines are much closer to the fuselage than wing-mounted engines would be, so there is a greater chance of fuselage penetration by engine parts with very high kinetic energy.
How Fast Is The Embraer Legacy 600?
Thanks to the twin Rolls Royce engines’ powerful thrust, the Legacy 600 can reach her cruising altitude in around 15 minutes, at a climb rate of over three thousand feet per minute. Should an engine fail on take-off, the airplane can still climb away safely at over 750 feet per minute.
Once at cruise level, those power plants pump out enough thrust to carry you over the ground at a very impressive maximum speed of 618 miles per hour if the winds are calm. That equates to an airspeed of Mach 0.80, four fifths of the speed of sound.
However, cruising at maximum speed affects fuel burn, so you will probably choose the more usual cruise speed of Mach 0.78, or 598 miles per hour, to get the optimum range. This is about the same speed that most medium-size airliners cruise at.
How High Does The Embraer Legacy 600 Fly?
In its Executive configuration, the aircraft cruises comfortably at 41,000 feet, comparable with the cruise altitude of modern airliners with composite construction. In its Airline configuration, the Embraer cruises at 37,000 feet. Either way, you are above most of the weather, so a smooth ride is likely.
Moreover, the cabin is pressurized to 8,000 feet in the cruise, contributing significantly to passenger comfort and crew effectiveness. Human lungs require air pressure to be able to absorb oxygen. Some aircraft are pressurized to a cabin altitude of 10,000 feet, which is less comfortable for most people.
Embraer Legacy 600 Fuel Burn Rate
Over the course of a complete flight, the Embraer Legacy 600 burns an average of 312 gallons of Jet A fuel per hour. The highest fuel burn occurs during take-off and climb. When total thrust is reduced, such as at cruise altitude and during descent, the fuel burn is much lower.
The Legacy has dual channel FADECs (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) that keep the engines running at maximum efficiency at every phase of flight, ensuring that you get the optimum energy from every drop of fuel.
How Far Can The Embraer Legacy 600 Fly?
The maximum range is available with the number of passengers limited to eight. With maximum fuel load, the Legacy 600 can then travel 3916 miles (3403 nmi) at a speed of 524 mph (455 kn). This puts them on the upper end of the range scale for super midsize jets.
With a tail wind, that range can be even longer, so it makes sense for pilots to choose the most efficient cruising altitude based on wind data. The aircraft’s ACARS system allows them to do exactly that, just as a scheduled commercial airline crew would.
On a seven-hour flight, a 50 mph tail wind would blow the aircraft along for an additional 350 miles. A headwind would do the opposite, so wind planning is essential. Crosswinds can impact range too, because the aircraft uses energy crabbing into the wind to maintain its track over the ground.
At least when compared with the ERJ-145 it was developed from, the Legacy 600 has an added range thanks to the extra fuel tanks installed on the aircraft during the development in place of the airliner-style baggage hold.
The Embraer Legacy 600 Experience
It is important to be comfortable and productive while on the move in your business jet. Whether you intend to work or to relax whilst you travel, you need to be able to do both, to meet your deadlines and arrive at your journey’s end refreshed and ready for business.
Let’s take a look at how the Legacy 600 lives up to our exacting expectations as we tour the interior of the aircraft. Does it have what it takes?
Passengers will quickly notice the sense of space and opulent luxury in the cabin, which is typically divided into three sections, also known as cabin zones. The seats are arranged in club configuration, to facilitate in-flight meetings and conversations, and as marketing material for the aircraft like to repeat “increase your in-flight productivity”.
Interestingly, each seat is rated to withstand 16 g, a considerable amount given the aircraft itself is only rated to pull a few gs.
The spacious, airy feel of the cabin is enhanced by gaps between seats and cabin wall, leaving room for a sideboard or sofa depending on configuration. The sideboard has a curved section taken out of the surface, to give enough of a gap to enter and leave the adjacent group of seats.
In a typical configuration, the aircraft can accommodate up to 13 people, although you will encounter a range of other optional configurations as you look at previously-owned aircraft. It all depends on what the original customer specified.
The result of the company employing cabin zones is that, instead of the ‘long tube’ experience airliner cabins give us, we feel more as though we are at home. We feel as though there are multiple rooms just a short walk away from the one we’re in at any given time. There are three power outlets, and a three-line phone system.
There is a total of approximately 240 cubic feet of baggage space so there is no need to travel light. Like many other bizjets, you can access the baggage compartment in flight and it has full class C fire protection, meaning your luggage should be safe no matter what. The 1,413 cubic feet cabin is larger than any other in its class.
When it comes to interior space, the Legacy 600 had the competition beaten. However, one feature missing from the aircraft is the lowered aisle to increase cabin headroom - that had to wait for the Legacy 650, the next derivative after the 600.
On a daytime flight, passengers will find plenty of natural light, thanks to the 22 cabin windows with a total area of over 28 square feet. The passenger cabin seats recline fully to convert to berths. The seats are upholstered in leather, whose color depends on customer choice at purchase.
The airplane has a large, well-equipped galley complete with a cutting board and a microwave or convection oven. Further key features of the area include a refrigerator, wine chiller, and a second oven as an option if it was specified. The galley is long and spacious, comparable with the kitchen in a small condominium.
One large, private, full-width toilet is fitted as standard, at the rear of the cabin. If the original customer specified it, another toilet will have been fitted at the front. The aft toilet has a coat storage space, including racking for multiple suits separate from any wet coats you may have.
Cabin noise is noticeably low, thanks to effective insulation which prevents engine and wind noise disturbing passengers. The cabin boasts a 54 dBa acoustic insulation package, which soaks up the whine of the twin AE3007As.
Cabin systems can be controlled by those flying onboard the aircraft via a touch screen master control unit. A coffee machine is fitted - either a coffee brewer or an espresso machine, depending on the original customer’s preference.
In-flight passenger entertainment comes from a system such as the Rockwell Collins Airshow 410, via LCD widescreen monitors mounted on the bulkheads. The aircraft has a 128kbps Inmarsat Swift 64 wireless network.
On the flight deck, the pilots have the state-of-the-art Honeywell Primus Elite avionics suite, with liquid crystal displays and a cursor control device. The control yokes are of the M type, and the pilots have a good clear view of the glass cockpit displays and the standby instruments.
The pilots also have the advantages of an electronic flight bag (which does away with the need to carry heavy, bulky paper documentation) and a central maintenance computer. The aircraft has dual inertial reference systems, dual flight management computers and an ACARS data link recorder.
The airplane has four primary DC generators, along with a 12 kVa auxiliary power unit to provide power when there is no electrical hook-up available on the ground. The APU is also available in the air if required. The aircraft can be ready to fly within ten minutes of a cold start.
All in all, the pilots will find the cockpit environment very similar to a medium-sized airliner. The cockpit is the largest in its class. The pilot workflows are efficient and are designed not to cause stress.
The Legacy 600 has carbon brakes. These have several advantages over older steel braking systems. In both carbon and steel braking systems, rotating disks (linked to the turning wheels of the main landing gear) interact with stator disks. When brakes are applied, the disks abrade and friction slows the aircraft.
Of course, the kinetic energy that the aircraft loses has to go somewhere, and it is converted to heat. The effectiveness of steel brake disks fades as the brake temperature increases. Carbon brakes dissipate heat more quickly than steel brakes, and so they are less prone to ‘brake fade’.
Another feature of carbon brakes is that wear and tear depends on the number of applications of the brakes, not the duration of each application. This allows pilots to maintain smooth braking, rather than the pumped braking action that is more common in airplanes with steel brake disks.
The Legacy 600 has heavy duty, trailing-link landing gear making a safe, firm landing more comfortable for passengers than it would be with a direct-strut landing gear design. Shock absorbers soak up the energy of touchdown. In wet runway conditions, a firm landing is a good way to avoid aquaplaning.
Aquaplaning takes place when an aircraft touches down gently onto a wet runway, allowing a wedge-shaped body of water to accumulate between the tire and the runway surface, before the tire actually touches down. This reduces braking effect to practically zero and can lead to a runway excursion.
In winter weather, with possible icing conditions, pilots can make use of the Legacy 600’s ice detection and prevention systems, which include a temperature monitor on the cockpit display. The Legacy 600 is fitted with an engine bleed air anti-icing system to prevent ice accumulation on wings and control surfaces.
While flying in the aircraft, you will feel reassured by its excellent safety record. After the one recorded accident involving the type - a tragic mid-air collision at cruise altitude with a Boeing 737 airliner, in 2006 - the Embraer Legacy 600 was able to continue flying and made a safe landing at a Brazilian Air Force base and was later repaired and returned to service..
About THE AUTHOR
After spending years watching every video I could find about flying, I finally scratched the itch and got my pilots license. Now I fly every chance I get, and share the information I learn, here.Read More About Joe Haygood