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Emboldened Embraer

As Embraer continues to put the E2 through its paces, Stephanie Taylor reports that the aircraft programme is performing as planned

Launched in June 2013 with a $1.7 billion investment behind it, the Embraer E-Jets E2 programme has been in the spotlight ever since, with a flurry of updates and orders which are no doubt the envy of its competitors. 


While the Mitsubishi Regional Jet remains beleaguered by delays and the Comac C919 only took to the skies in May 2017 – after initially promising entry into service the previous year, Embraer’s E2 programme remains, for the most part, on schedule. 


Perhaps one reason for this is Embraer’s track record – the OEM says it has applied experience from over 17 million hours of flight and 100 jet airline customers to make the E2s the best they can be. Its current E-Jets are spread across 70 airlines in 50 countries. 


This also means we are starting to get a picture of what the passenger experience will be like onboard the E-Jets E2. At the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this year, Embraer announced it had chosen Panasonic Avionics to provide inflight entertainment and connectivity services for the E2s, building on its eight-year relationship with the supplier. 


The E-Jets E2 aircraft will leverage Panasonic’s eXW platform – a lightweight, low cost option consisting of five line replaceable units, giving passengers access to pre-packaged media bundles including films, music, news and in-cabin services, on their own personal electronic devices via onboard wifi.


“The first glimpse customers will have of this service will be during the Paris Airshow this June, where we will have a demonstrator for the Panasonic IFEC connectivity capabilities within our E2 cabin mock-up,” says Rodrigo Silva e Souza, Vice President Marketing, Embraer Commercial Aviation. 


The Paris Airshow will also see Embraer showcase the E195-E2 for the very first time (although it will not be equipped with wifi – that is one of its four E190-E2 pre-series aircraft). 


It is impressive how quickly the largest aircraft in the E2 family has followed behind its middle-sized sister, the first prototype of which was debuted at the Farnborough Airshow in July 2016 after completing a ferry flight over the Atlantic Ocean just 45 days on from the maiden flight. 


On 20 March 2017, the fourth prototype of the E190-E2 completed its own maiden flight at the OEM’s São José dos Campos facility in Brazil. It is now being used for specific interior tests including cabin evacuation, environmental comfort and internal noise. 


“In terms of the certification campaign, Embraer has already frozen the aerodynamic configuration and concluded many tests such as flying qualities assessment, short field take off and landing, climb performance, inflight thrust determination, landing gear stability and other systems tests,” says Luís Carlos Affonso, Chief Operating Officer at Embraer. >>

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