Lineage 1000

Embraer's Lineage 1000

Is a used Lineage 1000 a good deal? Sure—just understand what you’re buying.

It’s definitely a good deal. Just understand what you’re getting.
More airplane for less money.
That has been the core of Embraer’s value proposition since it entered the corporate jet fray in 1999, and it has resonated with the market. Last year, the company virtually tied Cessna when it came to dollar volume on new-jet sales: $1.62 billion vs $1.64 billion for Cessna. That’s cause to celebrate in Brazil and cause to crawl under a rock in Kansas. It’s also an amazing accomplishment when you think about it—developing a full line of business jets in less than a decade by building on successes in the regional airliner game. And Embraer did it with a degree of style and panache not seen in this field in decades, marrying modern aerodynamics and European interior design with the reliability of American avionics and engines. Perhaps only a Brazilian company could do this. 
One of Embraer’s successes has been the so-called “E-Jet.” The manufacturer has delivered more than 1,000 of them to airlines, about half of which have been 100-seat E190s, the basis of the executive version it calls the Lineage 1000. As Embraer’s airline customers can attest, the airframe is rugged and so are its engines. The 190, which first flew in 2004, employs a pair of under-wing-mounted General Electric GE CF34-10E turbofans, rated at 18,500 pounds of thrust each. Inside, the cabin is comfortable in airline configuration. And pilots speak well of it, as an airliner and as the Lineage.
Captain Bernard Schvartz has logged more than 1,000 hours in a 2011 Lineage over the last three years, flying primarily between the Middle East and Europe and taking other trips lasting as long as 9.5 hours. “It’s a proven airframe and a reliable aircraft. It handles great at all weights and all speeds.” Schvartz says he prefers the Lineage over a long list of other bizjets and airliners he has flown. “It’s a very good mix of automation with the human element. The layout of the systems is not overly complicated. Compared with a traditional business jet, you cannot beat the comfort that the extra real estate gives you on board the Lineage, and the air conditioning works really well.”
However, converting an airliner into an executive aircraft looks easier than it is. Ask the half-dozen completion centers that financially choked to death trying to complete early Boeing Business Jets in the late ’90s. Oh wait, you can’t—they’re gone. Well, ask anyone who used to work for them.
I suspect Embraer sensed the challenge it faced when it announced the Lineage in 2006 for the head-turning discount price of $40.05 million with a full executive interior. This likely befuddled initial potential buyers more than it impressed them. “You’re going to give me this for that? I mean, what, whoa, how?” Maybe more of them would have ordered the airplane if it hadn’t felt so much like stealing. Not only that, but Embraer promised deliveries starting in 2008.
The company lacked the in-house knowledge to get the job done internally, so it decided to outsource.
Not surprisingly, the initial interior completions were overweight and late and had fit and functionality problems. And it wasn’t all the fault of the subcontractors. The difficulties grew to the point that Embraer decided to take the completion process in-house after the first six airplanes. And rather than becoming a serious challenger to the Boeing Business Jet or the Airbus Corporate Jet single-aisle bizliners, or even eating into sales of large-cabin conventional business jets from Bombardier or Gulfstream, the Lineage became something of a market orphan. FAA certification came in 2009 and to date 13 have been delivered, mainly to customers in the Middle East, China and South America, where the aircraft’s 4,400-nautical-mile range (with two crew, eight passengers) seems to resonate with a select clientele.
Embraer announced a major upgrade to the model late last year, the Lineage E1000, with better fit, function, soundproofing and cabin electronics; more range; and about 500 pounds less weight than a comparably completed first-generation Lineage. However, because the fuselage attach points have been redesigned and moved, few of these improvements can be retrofitted to Lineage 1000s, according to an Embraer spokesman.

So is a used Lineage 1000 a good deal? Sure—just understand what you’re buying. The airplane isn’t as large as an Airbus or Boeing and is unlikely to offer as many refinements. It’s also slower than a Bombardier Global 5000 or 6000 or a large-cabin Gulfstream (G450, G550, G650) and lacks their range.
The Lineage has an NBAA-IFR range with 19 passengers of nearly 4,000 nautical miles, and it has more than twice the cabin volume of both the Gulfstream and the Global, but about 75 percent that of the Airbus ACJ319 and Boeing BBJ1. Yet the Lineage can still carry eight passengers nonstop from New York to Moscow and has a maximum cruising speed of Mach 0.82, although that cuts into range.
Because of its low noise signature, steep approach angles and shorter wingspan, it can operate from airports where some other “heavy iron” business jets cannot—places like Aspen, Colorado, and New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport. However, you won’t set any speed records with this airplane: to achieve maximum range, cruise speed is a pokey Mach 0.78 and maximum speed is 470 knots. Maximum altitude is 41,000 feet. In the high 30s—depending on load and phase of flight—you’ll burn more than 500 to 600 gallons of fuel per hour, so make sure you have a few bucks left on the credit card. And keep in mind that at its maximum takeoff weight of 120,000 pounds, this airplane is pavement hungry, requiring a balanced field length of 6,195 feet. However, under most loads you can stop it in less than 3,000 feet without making the passengers wear their drinks.
You control all in-flight information and entertainment components—as well as lighting, window shades, temperature, water and waste—through a master unit in the galley or through individual passenger units. You can equip the aircraft with all the latest entertainment options, including Wi-Fi.
The first crop of Lineages feature a modular scheme that divides the main cabin into five zones plus the lavatory and walk-in baggage compartment. Some have a forward crew rest area as well as an aft stateroom with a full bed and shower. The zones can feature a large galley, several lavatories, a private dining room, a lounge and segregated passenger compartments. The cabin dimensions are generous compared with those of a stock large bizjet: nearly nine feet wide; six feet, seven inches tall; and more than 84 feet long. The baggage compartment is a cavernous 443 cubic feet, 615 if you skip the shower. So bring the clothes and the horse and have a party. There’s definitely space for it.
Just how many buyers are coming to the party remains to be seen. The Lineage 1000 occupies a very narrow market niche between a large-cabin bizjet and an executive airliner. It’s built for comfort, not for speed, but it’s a lot of airplane for the money. If this value proposition intrigues you, take a closer look. 

Mark Huber ( is a private pilot with experience in more than 50 aircraft models.