Embraer's E-Jets E2 program took an important step forward with the recent completion of the maiden flight of the E190-E2 from its facility in São José dos Campos. The flight occurred just three months after the E190-E2 made its public début at a rollout ceremony at the factory in late February. The flight was originally scheduled not to take place until the second half of this year, though program development of the E2 was expedited by the extensive use of digital modeling simulations and ground and static tests that employed rigs and an iron bird.
The inaugural flight marked the beginning of the certification campaign for the E190-E2, the first of three new second-generation E-Jet models. The E190-E2 is scheduled to enter commercial service in 2018.
The flight entailed the evaluation of aircraft handling and performance characteristics with the crew analyzing a significant number of flight parameters, including speed, altitude, and landing gear retraction. The crew took the aircraft to Mach 0.82 and climbed to 41,000 ft.
The aircraft that flew is the first of four prototypes that will be used in the E190-E2 certification program. Two additional aircraft will be assigned for the E195-E2 certification process that will lead to entry into service in 2019. Three more aircraft will be used to certify the E175-E2, which is scheduled to enter service in 2020.
E-Jets E2s are based on the proven platform of the current-generation E190, but with more advanced technologies applied such as new aerodynamically advanced high-aspect ratio wings, improved systems and avionics, fourth-generation full fly-by-wire flight controls from Moog, and Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower GTF engines (PW1700G on the E175-E2, PW1900G on the E190-E2 and E195-E2). Embraer says those technologies combine to generate double-digit reductions in fuel consumption, emissions, noise, and maintenance costs, as well greater productivity though less scheduled maintenance downtime. What they will share is a common cockpit with Honeywell's Primus Epic 2 avionics system, which will allow for a smooth transition to the new aircraft. E-Jets E2s are expected to achieve similar costs per seat as larger re-engined narrow-body aircraft but with lower costs per trip.
The E190-E2 has the same number of seats as the E190 and can be configured with 97 seats in dual class or 106 seats in a single-class layout. However, it has 400 nmi more range than the E190 and gives operators the ability to fly the aircraft up to 2800 nmi.
Since the E-Jets E2s were launched in June 2013, the program has logged 640 commitments from airlines and leasing companies: 267 are firm orders and 373 are options and purchase rights. The E-Jets family of aircraft is the leader in the up-to-130-seat aircraft category with more than 50% worldwide market share. Embraer E-Jets are currently in service with some 70 customers from 50 countries.