At another table is a group from Honeywell. Another has Garmin employees. Garmin makes the Phenom’s G1000-based avionics. And–interesting, this–on yesterday’s corporate shuttle to Embraer’s Gavaiao Peixoto facility were several Boeing executives. Boeing? At Embraer? Makes you wonder what might be up. But let there be no doubt. No matter the nation, American vendors will continue to play major roles in general aviation.
Protectionist sentiment sets many against foreign aerospace manufacturers. But a stroll through the bar in my hotel lobby at the Novotel in Embraer’s Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil hometown puts the test to those prejudices. A group of 12 Eaton Aerospace employees is in town, they’re staying here, and have the contract for the Phenom- and Legacy-series airplanes’ landing gear, switches, and center pedestal controls at Embraer. An Eaton executive pronounces “that’s a hell of a pedestal, isn’t it?”