Embraer began testing the C-390 Millennium military freighter on unpaved runways. To carry out the evaluations with a twin-engine jet, the Brazilian manufacturer built a new runway parallel to the existing one at the Gavião Peixoto unit.
With 5,905 ft (1,800 m), the unpaved runway has already been used by the multi-mission aircraft, according to images released by Embraer.
The C-390 Millennium is a competitor of the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules that offers as its main advantages a higher cruise speed thanks to the V2500 turbofan engines and a payload that is also higher than the famous turboprop.
However, Embraer aircraft is often faced with supposed limitations in relation to its performance, such as in low-speed flight or operating on unprepared runways due to the ingestion of debris in the engines.
For reasons like these, demonstrating capacity in any environment is essential to convince potential C-390 Millennium customers to close agreements with Embraer, in addition, of course, to complying with certification requirements.
The C-390 program is undergoing a very significant setback with the announcement that the Brazilian Air Force will reduce its order to 28 aircraft.
The country’s government has not yet revealed how many planes will remain under contract, but it is considered that the order will be cut in half.
Besides Brazil, only Portugal (5 aircraft) and Hungary (2 aircraft) have ordered the C-390 so far.