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CHAN-ELLING A LEGEND - Jackie Chan & his Legacy 650

There is nowhere that Chinese film star Jackie Chan is unknown. Such is his fame that people make kung fu movements at him wherever he goes – even in the middle of the desert in Morocco! According to the actor- he was filming in a remote location there when he was approached by locals who wanted his autograph.

Liz Moscrop   |   1st May 2012
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Liz Moscrop Liz Moscrop

Liz Moscrop has written extensively about Business Aviation for several years and specializes in...
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Jackie Chan plans to enjoy his new Legacy 650

Embraer is hoping its world-famous new brand ambassador will help sell its products all over the globe- while Jackie Chan expects his new jet to maximize his impact around the world.

There is nowhere that Chinese film star Jackie Chan is unknown. Such is his fame that people make kung fu movements at him wherever he goes – even in the middle of the desert in Morocco! According to the actor- he was filming in a remote location there when he was approached by locals who wanted his autograph.

Chan takes his celebrity status seriously and wants to use it for good. He told BizJet Advisor- “Last year I wanted to go to Afghanistan to see the children there. Sadly there was a bomb incident in a nearby country- so my management team advised me against it. Even though I don’t think people would do anything to harm me- I did not go for safety reasons.”

Embraer’s new brand ambassador also owns a Legacy 650. Famous for his death-defying stunts as much as his acting- he became the first owner of the aircraft type in Asia. He designed the vibrant red and yellow livery on the aircraft himself. The paint scheme displays his logo- a dragon image and his son’s initials.

China’s most famous citizen is a multi-talented actor- action choreographer- comedian- director- producer- martial artist- screenwriter- entrepreneur- singer- and stunt performer. In his movies- he is known for his acrobatic fighting style- comic timing- use of improvised weapons- and innovative stunts. He has been acting since the 1960s and has appeared in over 100 films.

Famous both in China and the West- Chan has received stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is also an operatically trained vocalist- and a Cantopop and Mandopop star- having released a number of albums and sung many of the theme songs for the films in which he has starred.

A keen philanthropist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador- he works tirelessly to champion charitable works and causes. He has campaigned for conservation- against animal abuse and has promoted disaster relief efforts all over the world. In June 2006- he announced the donation of half his assets to charity upon his death- citing his admiration of the effort made by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to help those in need.

Furthering his reach
Chan is therefore an extremely busy man. Although private aviation is considered a luxury by the uninformed- for many entrepreneurs a business jet is an essential tool of their trade.

As an international celebrity- a philanthropist and entrepreneur- Chan straddles many worlds. The actor had weighed the possibilities of buying a business jet for many years- but decided against it because for a long time the support was simply not there to make his investment worthwhile in Southeast Asia.

That changed last year. Chan explained- “I met Mr. Guan (Embraer’s country president for China) and asked him many questions about maintenance- about customer support- training and spare parts- and he gave me all the details.” Jackie explained that this gave him confidence. He could see that safety had become a key issue- so he was convinced that now was the right time for his acquisition.

In fact- Chan was so impressed with the Brazilian manufacturer that he was happy to take on the role of brand ambassador for Embraer’s line of business jets. He took delivery of the aircraft in February this year- and the jet subsequently was displayed in Singapore at the recent air show (the first time the type had been seen in Asia).

Embraer is equally delighted with Chan’s endorsement. Ernest Edwards- president- Embraer Executive Jets said- “I have spent some time with Jackie recently and five minutes in his presence are uplifting. Jackie’s ebullient personality- spirit of relentless innovation and commitment to society echo the core values of Embraer. His worldwide prestige makes him an ideal brand ambassador.”

Chan is incredibly careful about the kind of brands he endorses. He takes his charity work seriously- and will not do anything that would compromise his good reputation in the world.

“I have to be very careful to choose the products I promote-” he says. Chan has been offered money to promote medicine- but refuses to do so. A loyal ambassador- he has promoted Mitsubishi cars for 30 years.

“How can it be that suddenly- one day you give me some money to promote another car-” he asks. “People wouldn’t trust me any more- so I have to be very careful. Money is important- but for me it's not that important. It is more important to me that I can do something for my country- my family- and my future. I want to do something for the world. That’s very important.”

Jackie Chan is involved with numerous charities and anticipates that the Legacy 650 will help him assist others. He was distressed that two years ago when there were three earthquakes in China he was only able to charter one Boeing 737. Even though the aircraft brought in 130 tonnes of food to support relief efforts- he felt it was not enough. “I wanted to do more- but the airplane had to stop- and I couldn’t do anything more to help.”

As an ambassador for UNICEF he used to feel that his work was curtailed somewhat by the fact it could take up to three days to travel from point to point. With a private jet he will be able to get up and go as required.

Chan has made his name famous worldwide for death-defying stunts. Insurance companies in the US refuse to insure him- so dangerous are his actions. He has literally broken every single bone in his body- and there are Internet compilations of his accidents. Indeed- all his movies contain out-takes of where things went (sometimes horribly) wrong.

He refuses to use computer-generated images (CGI) in his movies as he feels audiences would not accept this from him. “I bought a special-effect machine that generated CGI- but I realized my audience didn’t like it. It wasn’t what they wanted to see- so I went back to my old- traditional ways and risked my life.”

He has- in fact- created a team of young protégés who are training to do stunts- and says this could be the potential future of the Chinese film industry. However- he cautions- “After my generation has gone we won’t have these kind of people any more. Safety is very important- and insurance is very expensive. Nobody will let actors perform these kinds of stunts.”

His latest offering is called 12 Zodiacs and will be released on 12 December 2012 at midnight in Beijing. He will use his Legacy 650 to help him tour around promoting the movie.

However- for such a major star- Chan is a humble man in the very best sense of the word. He is modest and grateful for all the gifts people have given him. “I want to say thank you to your readers for all those years of support.

“People still ask me ‘Jackie- why are you still doing these kinds of crazy things?’ I do it because every day- every month- and every week I receive so many letters and money from around the world. I cannot say thank you to each individual. The only thing I can do is make a good movie for everyone to see. That’s the way I say thank you.”

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