* The Brazilian government formally established "Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica (EMBRAER)" as a state-owned corporation for aircraft development and manufacture in the 1960s, the firm later being privatized. Early on, EMBRAER achieved commercial success with the "EMB 110 Bandeirante" twin-turboprop light airliner, which led to the similar but larger "EMB-120 Brasilia". It was only a relatively short step from there to develop a small jetliner, the "ERJ-145", which would lead in turn to the larger "ERJ-170" and "ERJ-190". This document provides a history and description of the EMBRAER jetliner and business jet family, as well as the "KC-390" military cargolifter, now in development.
* In 1989, EMBRAER proposed a jet-powered derivative of the company's EMB-120 Brasilia, to be designated the "EMBRAER 145 (EMB-145)". The new small jetliner would leverage as much as possible off the Brasilia, only introducing new technology when it was cost-effective. As it turned out, in the course of development more changes were added, and eventually the new aircraft departed significantly from the Brasilia -- retaining much the same fuselage and tee tail, but with new swept wings, revised landing gear, and twin turbofans mounted alongside the tail.
Initial plans were for first deliveries in 1993, but funding cutbacks delayed the initial flight of the prototype of the "EMBRAER Regional Jet 145 (ERJ-145)", as it had been redesignated, to 11 August 1995. The single prototype was followed by three pre-series aircraft, leading to initial production deliveries in December 1996 to the US carrier Continental Express. The initial version of the ERJ-145 was the "ERJ-145ER", the "ER" standing for "extended range"; plans for production of the baseline "ERJ-145" AKA "ERJ-145STD" subvariant with shorter range were dropped, making the ERJ-145ER the effective baseline version.
The ERJ-145 is made primarily of aircraft aluminum alloy. All flight surfaces are swept, with the low-mounted wing featuring a sweep of about 23 degrees at quarter chord. Each wing is fitted with a hydraulically-actuated aileron, with inboard and outboard flaps, both of them double slotted and electrically actuated. There are two spoilers ahead of the inboard flap on top of the wing, one for an airbrake, both operating as ground spoilers. The swept tailfin features a two-section rudder, hydraulically actuated, and a forward fin fillet. The swept tailplane features mechanically controlled elevators, along with a pitch trim system. Flight surfaces and engine inlets are de-iced by engine bleed air -- the cockpit windscreen is de-iced electrically.
The ERJ-145 features tricycle landing gear, all gear assemblies with dual wheels, the steerable nose gear retracting forward, the main gear pivoting from the wings into the wing-fuselage fairing. There are no main gear doors. The jetliner is powered by twin Allison AE 3007A turbofans with 31.3 kN (3,190 kgp / 7,040 lbf) thrust each, clamshell thrust reversers being optional. There is an auxiliary power unit (APU) turbine engine in the tailcone for engine starting and ground power. The ERJ-145 is fitted with the Honeywell Primus 1000 glass cockpit system, linked to color weather radar.
The ERJ-145 has a crew of three, including pilot, copilot, and flight attendant; 50 passengers can be carried, sitting three abreast. There is a galley and a baggage compartment forward for carry-on baggage, plus a lavatory and main baggage compartment in the rear. The main door, in fold-down airstair configuration, is on the forward left side of the fuselage, with a service door on the right side; there is an emergency exit above each wing, plus a door on the left for the rear baggage compartment.
EMBRAER ERJ-145: _____________________ _________________ _______________________ spec metric english _____________________ _________________ _______________________ wingspan 20.04 meters 65 feet 9 inches wing area 51.18 sq_meters 551 sq_feet length 29.87 meters 98 feet height 6.75 meters 22 feet 2 inches empty weight 17,900 kilograms 39,460 pounds loaded weight 22,000 kilograms 48,500 pounds normal cruise speed 830 KPH 515 MPH / 445 KT service ceiling 11,300 meters 37,000 feet range 2,875 kilometers 1,350 MI / 1,550 NMI _____________________ _________________ _______________________
EMBRAER subsequently introduced a confusing set of subvariants -- including the LR, LU, MK, MR, MP, EP, and EU, with the baseline machine redesignated "ERJ-145STD" -- which were all but identical externally but offered options such as increased fuel, higher maximum takeoff weight, and engines with better "hot and high" performance. A more distinctive "ERJ-145XR" variant was introduced in 2003, featuring range increased by 25% relative to the baseline ERJ-145ER; aerodynamic improvements, most notably winglets; a reinforced airframe; and AE 3007A1E turbofans with better specific fuel consumption, plus enhanced "hot and high" performance.
EMBRAER also developed two "shortened" derivatives of the ERJ-145, the "ERJ-135" and "ERJ-140":
EMBRAER, finding the ERJ popular, decided to develop an executive / VIP derivative of the ERJ-135, originally the "EMB-135BJ" but introduced as the "Legacy 600", with initial deliveries in 2002. It altered the ERJ-135 airframe with an extended wing-body fairing for more fuel tankage, and had winglets. It was followed by the "Legacy 650", much the same but with more range, initial deliveries being in 2011. EMBRAER also sells a "Legacy Shuttle", which by descriptions appears to be more or less a standard ERJ-135LR configured for the corporate shuttle role, with options for 16 to 19 passengers in first-class seating, or 37 with a more conventional airliner interior.
In 2002, EMBRAER announced a co-production deal with the Harbin Aircraft company of China for manufacture of the ERJ-145 series. The first Chinese aircraft was delivered in late 2003 -- but sales of Harbin-built machines were very sluggish, and the joint venture was abandoned in 2016. Overall, however, the ERJ-145 family has proven highly successful, with over 1,100 machines sold to date.BACK_TO_TOP
* A few more or less stock ERJ-145-series airliners are operated by military forces as personnel or VIP transports; the Brazilian Air Force (FAB in its Portuguese acronym) operates a number of different configurations as the "C-99" or VIP "VC-99". EMBRAER has also promoted the ERJ-145 as a specialized military platform under the designation of "EMB-145", and has achieved moderate sales of such machines, in three general configurations:
The FAB designations are employed here for simplicity, though not all operators use them. The E-99 AEW machine is is fitted with the Swedish PS-890 Ericsson Erieye AEW radar. The FAB was the launch customer, buying five aircraft. Initial flight of a modified airframe was in 1999; systems integration was performed by Raytheon in the USA, with deliveries of the five FAB machines in 2002:2003. Greece has also obtained four, with service entry in 2008; Mexico one, from 2004; and India three "EMP-145I" machines, introduced into service in 2014.
The Erieye features a long "active array" antenna carried on the back of the aircraft, with the antenna consisting of 192 "transmit-receive" modules. The Erieye is capable of tracking hundreds of targets at once at a maximum radius of about 460 kilometers (286 miles), and can deal with both airborne and water-borne targets, using four different waveform modes. It is capable of wide-area search or close examination of targets with a high-power narrow beam.
The E-99 carries a suite of signals intelligence (SIGINT) gear and an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder as well. The E-99 is also equipped with GPS navigation and secure comlinks. There are four operator consoles in total, plus seats for five relief crew, along with the flight crew of two. The E-99 features winglets, plus twin ventral fins under the tail and swept "finlets" on the tailplane to compensate for the aerodynamic clutter of the Erieye antenna; it has a reinforced airframe, a more powerful APU, a more capable electric system, and additional fuel tanks to extend endurance to eight hours.
The Mexican E-99 machine has an imaging turret under the nose, a feature not seen in the FAB or Greek machines; the Mexican aircraft has been heavily used in interdiction of drug trafficking. Indian machines have some Indian-built kit, including an indigenously-built active-array radar; while the E-99 aircraft flown by the other operators tend are littered with a substantial number of antennas, the Indian machines are particularly "warty", with antenna fairings all over the aircraft. Indian machines also have a third "finlet", essentially an extension of the tailfin, and a fixed probe for hose-&-drogue inflight refueling protruding from above the right side of the cockpit. India has an option for buying seven more E-99 machines.
* The FAB is the only operator of the R-99 surveillance platform, ordering three, with initial aircraft delivery in 2001 and final delivery in the spring of 2002. The primary sensor of the R-99 is the Canadian-built MacDonald-Dettwiler "IRIS (Integrated Radar Imaging System)" SAR with three-dimensional imaging capabilities -- the antenna being installed in a fairing under the belly, with auxiliary "cheek" fairings alongside the fuselage forward of the wings; a Daedelus multispectral scanner; a "Skyball" EO/IR turret; and the same SIGINT suite as used on the E-99. The airframe has ventral fins and presumably additional fuel tankage; it does not have finlets on the tailplane, nor does it have winglets.
In 2004, the US Army awarded EMBRAER a development contract for what amounted to an R-99 with US-supplied kit under the "Airborne Common Sensor (ACS)" program. That was a significant win for EMBRAER, with 34 ACS aircraft planned -- but the ACS program was cancelled in 2006, and it came to nothing.
* Mexico is the only user of the P-99 maritime patrol variant, obtaining two. It's along the lines of the R-99, with a belly radome (for Raytheon SeaVue surface search radar) but no cheek fairings; a retractable infrared imaging turret; a SIGINT suite; and two stores pylons inboard under each wing, for a total of four, munitions including homing torpedoes and antiship missiles. It has ventral fins but no winglets, and presumably additional fuel tankage. Delivery appears to have been in 2003, with the machine being heavily used in interdiction of drug trafficking . EMBRAER promotes this configuration for antisubmarine warfare as well, presumably with the addition of a sonar buoy dispenser and magnetic anomaly detector tailboom.
* The E-99 and R-99 are central elements of Brazil's System for Vigilance of the Amazon (SIVAM)" program, run by the Brazilian Air Force. Brazilian authorities have an immense problem in monitoring activities in the huge Amazon region, which covers about 5.2 million square kilometers (2 million square miles), about the size of the US to the west of the Mississippi River.
They believe with good reason that much of what is going on there unknown to the authorities isn't good -- illegal logging and mining, smuggling, drug manufacture, plus insurgent training and support. The SIVAM network integrates ground stations, air platforms, and satellite data linked through an extensive communications network to ground centers to observe what is going on in the jungle region. Incidentally, satellite data is now being provided by the "China Brazil Earth Resource Satellite (CBERS)" series of spacecraft, which as the designation states are being developed in collaboration with China, and are launched by Chinese boosters.
The E-99 monitors air and water traffic, while the R-99 observes what is going on down on the ground, with both platforms performing SIGINT operations to observe what's going on over the airwaves. The systems of the two types of machines were built so they could operate simultaneously without interfering with each other, while they stay on station for six-hour shifts. The R-99's SAR system is particularly useful, since the Amazon is very rainy much of the year, and many illegal activities are carried out during the rainy season when they are harder to detect.
If the aircraft spot targets that need to be dealt with, such as clandestine jungle airstrips, they can call on paramilitary forces and EMBRAER Super Tucano light strike aircraft to take them out. SIVAM is directed from a large "campus" at Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon region; surveillance data from the aircraft, ground SIGINT stations, and CBERS satellites are analyzed and integrated at this site, and used to plan responses. The R-99s have proven so effective that drug dealers have assigned "eyes" to keep track of their comings and goings at Anapolis AFB, near Brasilia. The eyes report in with cellphones, which are ironically often picked up by the SIGINT gear on board the aircraft. SIVAM elements like the E-99 and R-99 have been involved in cooperative operations with Brazil's neighbors, such as locating bases set up by Peruvian Shining Path guerrillas.
The R-99 also performs resource mapping and pollution monitoring, and can help in fire-fighting by locating infrared "hot spots" on the ground through the smoke. These sorts of tasks are often used in support of the "System for the Protection of the Amazon (SIPAM)", a civilian-run organization that complements SIVAM. SIPAM is referred to as a "green" organization, with an environmental focus, while SIVAM is a "blue" organization, with an air power / intelligence focus. The E-99s and R-99s have been receiving upgrades, such as AE 3007 A1P engines with 20% more thrust and thrust reversers, as well as system upgrades to improve their effectiveness.BACK_TO_TOP
* Encouraged by customer enthusiasm for the ERJ 145, in 1998, EMBRAER began studies on a larger regional jet with a capacity of 70 or 90 seats. In early 1999, EMBRAER announced an intent to develop an "ERJ-170" with 70 seats and an "ERJ-190" with 90 seats, which were later formally renamed the "EMBRAER 170 (E170)" and "EMBRAER 190 (E190)", though it appears the "ERJ" designations were retained for paperwork purposes. EMBRAER would label the series the "E-Jets". The first prototype of the E170 was rolled out in October 2001 and performed its first flight in February 2002. Deliveries were delayed to 2004.
The E170, AKA "ERJ-170-100", is a twin-jet aircraft of mostly aluminum alloy construction along with some composite assemblies, with a General Electric CF34-8E turbofan engine with 41.9 kN (4,270 kgp / 14,000 lbf) thrust on a pylon under each wing, the engines featuring thrust reversers. An APU is fitted in the tailcone. All landing gear assemblies have twin wheels, the nose gear retracting forward, the main gear pivoting from the wings in towards the fuselage; as with the ERJ-145, there are no doors over the main gear wheels. Wings and the engine cowlings are de-iced by bleed air; the windscreen is electrically de-iced.
All flight surfaces are swept, with wings featuring winglets, two-section double slotted flaps, ailerons, full-span leading-edge slats in four segments, and five spoilers -- three ahead of the outboard flap for multipurpose use, two ahead of the inboard flap for ground braking. The tailfin has a leading-edge fillet, the tailplane has elevators plus all-moving trim. The rudder and elevators are electronically actuated, though the ailerons are still manually controlled.
The E170 has a crew of two; it is fitted with the Honeywell Primus Epic glass cockpit avionics suite and has color weather radar. It has a capacious "double-bubble" fuselage that typically seats 70 to 76 passengers in a four-abreast configuration. There is a lavatory and a galley fore and aft. There are passenger doors fore and aft on the left side of the fuselage, with roughly parallel service doors on the right side of the fuselage. The cockpit side windows can be used for crew escape. Baggage is stowed in forward and aft holds under the floor, with matching doors set low on the right side of the aircraft.
EMBRAER 170: _____________________ _________________ _______________________ spec metric english _____________________ _________________ _______________________ wingspan 26 meters 84 feet 4 inches length 29.9 meters 98 feet 1 inch height 9.67 meters 32 feet 4 inches empty weight 21,140 kilograms 46,600 pounds max takeoff weight 35,990 kilograms 79,300 pounds takeoff field length 1,675 meters 5,500 feet cruise speed 870 KPH 540 MPH / 470 KT service ceiling 12,500 meters 41,000 feet range 3,335 kilometers 1,565 MI / 1,800 NMI _____________________ _________________ _______________________
The E170 is also offered in "E170LR" and "E170AR" subvariants, with longer range and increased gross weight respectively.
The E170 was followed by a slightly stretched variant, the "EMBRAER 175" AKA "ERJ-170-200", extended by 1.78 meters (5 feet 10 inches), to 31.68 meters (103 feet 11 inches), with empty weight increased by 3% and passenger capacity raised from 78 to 86 seats. First flight of the E175 was in 2003, with introduction to service in 2005; it is offered in "E175LR" and "E175AR" subvariants as well.
The EMBRAER 190 AKA "ERJ-190-100" is similar to the E170, except for obvious differences such as:
Initial flight of the E190 was on 7 December 2004, with deliveries from September 2006. It is also offered in "E190LR" and "E190IGW" subvariants, with increased range and increased gross weight respectively. An executive / VIP version of the E190LR, the "EMBRAER Lineage 1000", is also offered.
An "EMBRAER 195" AKA "ERJ-190-200" was introduced in parallel with the E190, the E195 featuring a fuselage stretch of 2.41 meters (7 feet 11 inches), to 38.65 meters (126 feet 10 inches), providing a typical capacity of from 108 to 110 passengers. "E195LR" and "E195IGW" subvariants are on offer as well.
At least a thousand E-Jets machines have been sold to date. It is unclear if there have been any military buyers; certainly there's been no mention of special-mission aircraft. EMBRAER is now working on a second generation of "E-Jets", the "E2 Series", with the initial "E190-E2" rolled out in early 2016, and initial customer delivery in 2018. It is to be followed by the "E195-E2" and "E175-E2". The E170 will be dropped, reflecting a bias against smaller-capacity regional jetliners.
The primary change in the E2 series is replacement of the GE CF34 engine by the Pratt & Whitney PW1900G geared turbofan. The updated engines will provide about 11% better fuel economy; flight efficiency is also being enhanced by a wing with greater span and aerodynamic refinements -- yielding a further 3.5% reduction in fuel burn -- and a new new fly-by-wire flight control system developed with Moog -- to provide another 1.5% improvement in efficiency. Other changes were introduced to make the E2 series easier to maintain, notably a new air data system named "SmartProbe", replacing the traditional pitot tube.
Customer interest in the E2 series is very strong and promises to maintain ERJ sales momentum. In the interim before deliveries, EMBRAER is offering a software update for current E175s, at least those with the more recent wing profile, to improve range performance when operating out of "hot and high" airports.BACK_TO_TOP
* Following up the development of regional jetliners and their executive aircraft derivatives, EMBRAER has introduced or is working on light and medium business jets, in the form of the "Phenom 100 & 300" and the "Legacy 500 & 450" respectively.
The Phenom 100 was announced in 2005, at a time when there was a craze for "very light jets (VLJ)", effectively small business jets, with a notion being floated around that VLJs would be the backbone of a burgeoning "air taxi" business, with swarms of small jets flying passengers from small airport to small airport on demand. How seriously EMBRAER brass took the VLJ concept is unclear, but in any case it went out to sea, and the Phenom 100 ended up being just a small business jet. The first of four Phenom 100 prototypes performed its initial flight in July 2007, with the first production machine being delivered in 2008.
The Phenom 100 is a tidy little jet, with some styling similarity to the earlier EMBRAER Xingu twin-turboprop business aircraft -- though the Phenom 100 is a largely or entirely new design. It is built of aircraft aluminum alloy with considerable use of composite assemblies; features low-mounted straight wing in a tapered wedge configuration, the leading-edge taper being steeper than the rear; a tee tail with all-swept flight surfaces and a leading-edge tailfin fillet; twin turbofans, mounted in pods high on the rear fuselage; and tricycle landing gear.
EMBRAER PHENOM 100: _____________________ _________________ _______________________ spec metric english _____________________ _________________ _______________________ wingspan 12.3 meters 40 feet 4 inches length 12.8 meters 42 feet 1 inch height 4.4 meters 14 feet 3 inches empty weight 3,235 kilograms 7,132 pounds MTO weight 4,750 kilograms 10,470 pounds max cruise speed 720 KPH 450 MPH / 390 KT service ceiling 12,500 meters 41,000 feet range 2,180 kilometers 1,025 MI / 1,180 NMI _____________________ _________________ _______________________
Flight surfaces are conventional and manually-actuated; each wing has two fences, and there is a fixed ventral fin under the tail. Wings and tailplane feature de-icing boots; engine inlets are de-iced by bleed air, while the windscreen is electrically de-iced. All landing gear assemblies have single wheels, the nosewheel retracting forward, the main gear pivoting from the wings in towards the fuselage. The main gear has no wheel covers. Powerplants are Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) PW617F-E turbofans with 7.2 kN (770 kgp / 1,695 lbf) thrust each and FADEC.
The cockpit features a Prodigy flight deck, based on the Garmin G1000, with three flat-panel displays, and the aircraft is fitted with Garmin weather radar. The Phenom 100 can be flown by one or two crew. Four passengers can be seated in a club arrangement; six is more efficient; accommodations for eight are available as well, but apparently the expectation in that case is that some of the passengers will be kids. A belted lavatory seat is optional. Of course, accommodations are pressurized and climate-conditioned. There is an airstair door on the forward left fuselage, and an emergency exit over the right wing. Baggage can be stowed in the nose, or in a rear baggage hold between the engines, with access doors for the holds on the left. Space for baggage in the passenger cabin of course varies with seating arrangement.
Over 200 Phenom 100 jets have been shipped to date; the aircraft is regarded as luxurious for its class and pleasant to fly. A modest update, the "Phenom 100E", replaced the original Phenom 100 in production from 2014, the Phenom 100E featuring ground spoiler / speed brakes to reduce landing roll, plus an updated Garmin cockpit, and new interior options.
A substantially improved "Phenom 100EV" -- for "EVolution" -- was introduced in 2017, featuring an enhanced Garmin 3000 cockpit and PW617F1-E turbofans with 79.4 kN (770 kgp / 1,730 lbf) thrust each, 2% more than the earlier engines. Along with executive aircraft use, a number of Phenom 100s are in service as government / military VIP / liaison transports and multi-engine flight trainers -- the British Royal Air Force having obtained an initial batch of five for the flight training role.
* EMBRAER also pursued development of a slightly larger small business jet, which emerged as the "Phenom 300", the first of three prototypes performing its initial flight on 29 April 2008. Certification was obtained in 2009, with customer shipments at the end of the year. Although it is unclear how much commonality there was between the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300, the Phenom 300 could be described as Phenom 100 stretched by 22% and roughly twice as heavy, with swept wings featuring winglets and more powerful engines.
Fuselage diameter of both aircraft is the same; both have the same engine placement, tail, landing gear, door, and cargo hold configurations, if not necessarily using the same hardware. As with the Phenom 100, the Phenom 300 features a Prodigy flight deck and dual controls, with manually actuated flight surfaces; there are six or seven passenger seats. The Phenom 300's wing features inboard and outboard slotted flaps, with a split spoiler in front of each outboard flap. Powerplants are PWC PW535E turbofans, with 14.23 kN (1,450 kgp / 3,200 lbf) thrust, almost twice as much as the Phenom 100's PW617 engines.
EMBRAER PHENOM 300: _____________________ _________________ _______________________ spec metric english _____________________ _________________ _______________________ wingspan 16.2 meters 53 feet 2 inches length 15.9 meters 52 feet 2 inches height 5 meters 16 feet 5 inches MTO weight 7,950 kilograms 17,530 pounds max cruise speed 835 KPH 520 MPH / 450 KT service ceiling 13,700 meters 45,000 feet range 3,650 kilometers 2,270 MI / 1,970 NMI _____________________ _________________ _______________________
* The Phenom series proving successful, EMBRAER then decided to develop the "Legacy 500" -- not a derivative of the EMBRAER 600/650, more along the lines of the Phenom 300 but larger. Development was announced in 2007, with first flight of the prototype on 27 November 2012, with certification and initial deliveries in 2014.
The general configuration of the Phenom 300 and Legacy 500 is the same -- same flight surface configuration, the wings featuring winglets; same engine placement; same door arrangement, with airstair door forward on the left and an emergency exit over the wing on the right. Visible external differences, aside from size, are that the Legacy 500's wing has a sharper sweep on the inboard third of the wing than outboard, and the main gear assemblies have dual wheels. Arrangement of control surfaces on the wing is unclear.
Powerplants are Honeywell HTF7500E turbofans with 29.7 kN (2,950 kgp / 6,500 lbf) thrust each. The flight deck is based on the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion system; controls are fly-by-wire. There are dual controls, with seating for from 8 to 12 passengers. Galley and lavatory are standard; there is no nose baggage compartment. The larger size of the Legacy 500 gives stand-up room in the cabin.
EMBRAER LEGACY 500: _____________________ _________________ _______________________ spec metric english _____________________ _________________ _______________________ wingspan 20.24 meters 66 feet 5 inches length 20.52 meters 67 feet 4 inches height 6.73 meters 22 feet 1 inch max cruise speed Mach 0.82 service ceiling 14,000 meters 46,000 feet range 5,555 kilometers 3,450 MI / 3,000 NMI _____________________ _________________ _______________________
In 2007, along with the Legacy 500 announcement, EMBRAER also announced development of the "Legacy 450", which is effectively the same as the Legacy 500 but reduced in length from 20.52 meters (67 feet 4 inches) to 19.15 meters (62 feet 10 inches), with passenger capacity accordingly reduced to from 7 to 9 passengers. EMBRAER was hoping to introduce both at the same time, but the Legacy 450 schedule has slipped about a year behind that of the Legacy 500. First flight of the Legacy 450 was on 28 December 2013, with with certification in 2015, and initial customer deliveries late in that year.
In 2011, EMBRAER began production of the Phenom 100 and 300 at a facility in Melbourne, Florida, that was set up to serve the North American market. The facility has since expanded, and is now also producing the Legacy 450 and 500.BACK_TO_TOP
* EMBRAER is now working on a next-generation twin-engine military cargolifter, the "KC-390". The aircraft was announced in 2007 as the "C-390", to be derived from the EMBRAER 190; as initially envisioned, it would use the wings, tail, engines and avionics of the E190 along with a new fuselage, providing a maximum payload of 19 tonnes (21 tons) -- placing the C-390 in the payload range of the popular Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules. The primary target customer was the FAB.
The design evolved into an effectively all-new aircraft with a maximum payload of 23 tonnes (25.3 tons), comfortably exceeding the 21.8 tonnes (24 tons) of the state-of-the-art C-130J. The KC-390 has a typical jet cargolifter configuration, with high swept wings, a high-bypass turbofan engine under each wing, a boxy fuselage with landing gear in sponsons, and a high tee tail with a tail loading ramp.
The aircraft will be powered by International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500-E5 turbofans, with thrust in the range of 100 kN (10,200 kgp / 22,500 lbf); IAE is a consortium of Pratt & Whitney of the USA, Rolls-Royce of the UK, MTU of Germany, and Japan Aero Engine Corporation, with the V2500 series currently powering the Airbus A320 midsize jetliner family. The V2500-E5 engine will be ruggedized, with a modified control system and an improved thrust reverser for short-field landing capability.
A Rockwell-Collins Pro Line Fusion system, with five large-screen displays and twin HUDs, has been selected for cockpit avionics. The cockpit is compatible with night vision goggles, and the aircraft is fitted with a defensive countermeasures suite. The KC-390 will feature a fly-by-wire flight control system implemented by BAE Systems of the UK.
The KC-390's cargo compartment is 17.75 meters (58 feet 2 inches) long, 3.45 meters (11 feet 4 inches) wide, 2.9 meters (9 feet 6 inches) high forward of the wing, and 3.2 meters (10 feet 6 inches) high aft of the wing. Maximum payload will be 26 tonnes (28.6 tons). One unusual feature is a movable pressure bulkhead that retracts garage door-style into the roof, and descends to seal the cargo cabin. When lowered, this sloping bulkhead reduces compartment length to 12.78 meters (41 feet 11 inches) at the ceiling.
Baseline configuration features an inflight refueling probe above the cockpit and a hose-drogue refueling pod under each wingtip. The refueling pods will be supplied by Cobham Mission Equipment of the UK, being slightly altered from a standard Cobham product. Some potential customers have asked for a boom refueling unit; EMBRAER is examining the issue. In response to customer requests, the wingspan was extended during the design phase to 35.06 meters (115 feet) to support midair refueling of helicopters, requiring the ability to refuel at speeds down to 220 KPH (140 MPH / 120 KT) and altitudes below 3,050 meters (10,000 feet).
EMBRAER KC-390 (PROJECTED SPECIFICATIONS): _____________________ _________________ _______________________ spec metric english _____________________ _________________ _______________________ wingspan 35.06 meters 115 feet length 33.91 meters 111 feet 4 inches height 10.26 meters 33 feet 8 inches loaded weight 74,000 kilograms 163,140 pounds max takeoff weight 81,000 kilograms 178,575 pounds max cruise speed Mach 0.8 cruise altitude 10,975 meters 36,000 feet range (half load) 4,815 kilometers 2,990 MI / 2,600 NMI range (full load) 2,590 kilometers 1,610 MI / 1,400 NMI _____________________ _________________ _______________________
The FAB has already placed an initial order for the KC-390, and there is considerable interest internationally, with a total of at least 60 orders on the books. In 2011 EMBRAER announced work on a stretched commercial derivative, with fuselage plugs fore and aft of the wing as well as a side cargo door. Nothing has been said about special mission derivatives of the KC-390, such as AEW or SIGINT platforms, but obviously they are options over the long run.
The first of two KC-390 prototypes was rolled out in October 2014, with initial flight on 3 February 2015. The second prototype performed its first flight on 28 April 2016. The aircraft is to enter service with the FAB in 2018, with at least 28 to be obtained.BACK_TO_TOP
* As concerns copyrights and permissions for this document, all illustrations and images credited to me are public domain. I reserve all rights to my writings. However, if anyone does want to make use of my writings, just contact me, and we can chat about it. I'm lenient in giving permissions, usually on the basis of being properly credited.
* This document was mostly constructed from volumes of JANE'S ALL THE WORLD'S AIRCRAFT, along with EMBRAER documentation and articles from the online Wikipedia.
* Revision history:
v1.0.0 / 01 jul 13 v1.0.1 / 01 may 15 / Review & update. v1.0.2 / 01 apr 17 / Review & update.
The KC-390 material was previously written for a document on the Alenia G222 / C-27.BACK_TO_TOP