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Embraer delivers first Phenom 300 Embraer ended 2009 on a high note. On December 29, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer delivered its first Phenom 300 light jet to Kansas City-based Executive Flight Services. Its parent company, Executive AirShare, is the largest single operator of Embraer’s VLJ, the Phenom 100. “We have been extremely pleased with the performance and low direct operating costs of this entry level jet, and hold similarly high expectations for the Phenom 300,” said Executive AirShare President Keith D. Plumb.

787 Completes First Flight The first new commercial jetliner of the 21st Century, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, made its first flight on December 15. A crowd of 12,000 people watched as the plane lifted off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington. Pilots Mike Carriker and Randy Neville flew the Dreamliner for three hours over the Strait of Juan De Fuca to gather data, which was transmitted in real-time back to the ground, on the airplane’s systems and structures. “Today is truly a proud and historic day for the global team who has worked tirelessly to design and build the 787 Dreamliner,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “We look forward to the upcoming flight test program and soon bringing groundbreaking levels of efficiency, technology and passenger comfort to airlines and the flying public.” 56 customers have ordered 851 of the technologically advanced airliners, which feature composite construction for the fuselage and wings. The first 787 deliveries are scheduled for the fourth quarter.

First plane in Antarctica found Remains of the first airplane ever taken to Antarctica have been found in the ice by a group of researchers. Parts of the 1911 Vickers monoplane were spotted by an expedition from the Mawson’s Huts Foundation on January 1 after a search that spanned three summers. The plane was last spotted was during the 1970s when researchers found the steel fuselage nearly covered in ice. Although originally brought along as part of Douglas Mawson’s expeditions, the Vickers’ wings were damaged in an accident prior to its 1912 Antarctic journey. The plane was primarily used as a motorized sled to move equipment across the ice, earning the handle “air tractor.” The plane was ultimately abandoned because its engine could not withstand the extreme arctic temperatures.

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The Phenom 300 can jet up to ten passengers more than 1,900 nautical miles with reserves at speeds up to 453 knots—one of the fastest cruise speeds in the light jet class. It features a BMWdesigned interior, lavatory, and single-port fueling.

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