Embraer’s new E2 family of jets has successfully completed its maiden flight ahead of schedule at the company’s Sao Jose dos Campos facility.
The first E190-E2, powered by two Pratt & Whitney PurePower geared turbofan engines, took off at 1306 local time on Monday and flew for three hours and 20 minutes with Captain Mozart Louzada, First Officer Gerson de Oliveira Mendes and Flight Test Engineers Alexandre Figueiredo and Carlos Silveira on board.
“Today’s flight evaluated aircraft handling and performance characteristics with the crew analyzing a significant number of flight parameters, including speed, altitude and landing gear retraction,” Embraer said in a statement.
“This was made possible by the high level of maturity that the E2 reached during program development through the extensive use of digital modeling simulations and ground and static tests that employed rigs and an iron bird.”
Previously, Embraer had guided the market to the first flight taking place in the second half of 2016.
Captain Louzada the flight was “very smooth”.
“We were able to significantly open the flight envelope by flying at mach 0.82, climbing to 41,000 feet and retracting the landing gear and flaps, and engaging the fly-by-wire in normal mode. All of these demonstrate that the E190-E2 project is very mature and robust, and exceed all performance targets,” he said.
The E190-E2 is one of three models in the E2 family of jets and can seat between 97 and 114 passengers, depending on configuration. The first E190-E2 rolled out at the company’s Sao Jose dos Campos facility in February, with four prototypes to be used in the certification program. Entry-into-service was planned for 2018.
The E2 improves on the current generation E-jets with new aerodynamically advanced, high-aspect ratio, distinctively shaped wings, improved systems and avionics, including fourth generation full fly-by-wire flight controls.
This was expected to result in double-digit reductions in fuel and maintenance costs compared with the current E-jet family. From an environmental perspective, the new aircraft also produced less emissions and less noise. The aircraft will also have a new interior with larger overhead bins and a new first class concept, among other interior improvements.
The other two E2 models were the E175-E2, which seats 80-90 passengers, and the E195-E2 (120-144 seats).
Embraer president and chief executive Frederico Fleury Curado said the first flight took place a “few months ahead of schedule”.
The company said the E2 family of aircraft had logged 267 firm orders and 373 options and purchase rights since the program was launched in June 2013.
The current E-jets are flown by about 70 customers in 50 countries, including Airnorth, Cobham, Jetgo and Virgin Australia in this part of the world.
A full scale mockup of the E2 cabin interior was recently on display at the 2016 Singapore Airshow, and also visited Australia in April 2015.