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The King Of Action

Embraer’s new brand ambassador will be able to leave rush hour behind him at airports around the world now that he has taken delivery of his new Legacy 650. Famous for his death-defying stunts as much as his acting- Jackie Chan will become the first owner of the aircraft type in China.

Liz Moscrop   |   1st March 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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The first Chinese Embraer Legacy 650 belongs to Jackie Chan

Embraer’s new brand ambassador will be able to leave rush hour behind him at airports around the world now that he has taken delivery of his new Legacy 650. Famous for his death-defying stunts as much as his acting- Jackie Chan will become the first owner of the aircraft type in China.

China’s most famous son- Jackie Chan (born Chan Kong-sang) is a multi-talented actor- action choreographer- comedian- director- producer- martial artist- screenwriter- entrepreneur- singer- stunt performer and- most recently- aircraft livery designer: he created the vibrant red and yellow paint scheme- which displays his logo- a dragon image and his son’s initials himself.

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 in both China and the Western world- Jackie 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- Jackie Chan works tirelessly to champion charitable works and causes. He has campaigned for conservation- against animal abuse and has promoted disaster relief efforts for floods in Mainland China and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. 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.

He is also a supporter of the Save China's Tigers project- which aims at saving the endangered South China Tiger through breeding and releasing them into the wild- and is currently an ambassador for this conservation project.

Naturally- then- Mr. Chan is an extremely busy man. Although Business Aviation is considered a luxury by the uninitiated- for many entrepreneurs a business jet is an essential tool of their trade. As an international celebrity- a philanthropist- and entrepreneur- Jackie Chan straddles many worlds. The actor has weighed up the possibility of buying a business jet for many years but decided against it for a long time- having found that the support network was simply not available to make his investment worthwhile.

That changed last year. “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 told BizJet Advisor- adding 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.

Jackie 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. Having placed his order for his Legacy 650- Jackie took delivery of the aircraft in February this year- and the jet subsequently flew to Singapore to the recent airshow – the first time the airplane type had been seen in Asia.

Embraer is equally delighted with Jackie Chan’s endorsement. Ernest Edwards- president- Embraer Executive Jets said- “I have spent some time with Jackie recently and five minutes in his presence is uplifting.

“Jackie’s ebullient personality- his spirit of relentless innovation and commitment to society echo the core values of Embraer. His worldwide prestige makes him an ideal brand ambassador.”

Jackie Chan is incredibly careful about the types 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 remarked.

For example- he has been offered money to promote medicine- but refuses to do so. He is also a loyal ambassador and 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 anticipates that his new aircraft will be able to help him assist others through his charitable works. He was distressed that two years ago when there were three earthquakes in China he was only able to charter one Boeing 737 by way of contribution to the relief efforts. Even though the aircraft flew 130 tons of food to support those affected by the disaster- he believes it was not enough.

“I wanted to do more- but the airplane had to stop and I couldn’t do anything more to help.” In his UNICEF ambassadorial capacity he feels that his work has been curtailed somewhat by the fact it can take up to three days to travel from point to point. Now- with a business aircraft he will be able to reduce that travel time.

Jackie Chan has made his name 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 many accidents. Indeed- all his movies contain out-takes of moments when things went horribly wrong.

He refuses to use computer-generated images (CGI) in his movies as he feels audiences expect better 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- risking my life.”

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

His latest film offering is called 12 Zodiacs and will be released at midnight in Beijing on 12 December- 2012. He plans to use his new Legacy 650 to help him tour around and promote the movie this year.

For such a major star- Jackie is a humble man in the very best sense of the word. Modest and grateful for all the gifts people have given him- he says- “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 enjoy. That’s the way I say thank you.”

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