Embraer celebrated the first takeoff of the E195-E2, the largest version of the company’s new commercial jet family. The aircraft had been presented earlier this month and the manufacturer itself acknowledged that the first flight should occur earlier than previously thought. But perhaps no one expected this just three weeks after the roll-out.
The commercial jet is also the largest airplane ever developed in Brazil. Larger than the first E195, the new aircraft is 136 feet long (41.5 meters) and 115 feet wide (35.1 meters). According to Embraer, it can carry up to 146 passengers, depending on the configuration chosen by the customer. In practice, there are three extra rows of seats compared to the predecessor.
“The E195-E2 offers our customers the opportunity to develop new markets with greater profitability without compromising unit cost competitiveness. It’s a result generation machine,” said John Slattery, President of Embraer’s Commercial Aviation Division.
The aircraft took off from São José dos Campos, headquarters of the company, at 11 am and 22 minutes and flew for about two hours. The crew was formed by the pilots Márcio Brizola Jordão and José Willi Pirk, and the flight engineers Celso Braga de Mendonça and Mario Ito. Already on this first flight, they evaluated aircraft performance, flight quality and the behavior of systems such as autopilot, fly-by-wire and landing gear retraction.
Demonstrating advances in its projects is a way for Embraer to differentiate itself from its competitors, almost all facing problems with the development of its airplanes. Bombardier, for example, just last year was able to put the CSeries family into operation.
As for the new rivals of the E-Jets, many problems ahead: Mitsubishi has already postponed the delivery of the first MRJ90 to 2018 and Sukhoi, although it has already delivered a good number of Superjet 100 relies too much on the Russian market to guarantee a minimum sales .
The E195-E2 version is due to enter into service in 2019 with the airline Azul, from Brazil. To date, 90 of the 275 aircraft ordered were from the larger version of the jet.