Brazilian aerospace group Embraer, the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial jets with up to 150 seats, has announced that flight tests have confirmed that its new E190-E2 airliner is the most efficient single-aisle airliner in the world.
The E190-E2 is the first member of the group’s new-generation E-Jet E2 family, which is a radically revamped development of the original E-Jet family. While the original E-Jet family numbered four, namely – from smallest to largest – the E170, the E175, the E190 and the E195, the E2 family has three members: the E175-E2, the E190-E2 and the E195-E2.
Not only are the E2s fitted with new-generation engines (Pratt & Whitney PW1900G geared turbofans for the E190-E2 and E195E-2 and the PW1700G geared turbofan for the E175-E2), they also have new wings (a different wing for each version to maximise efficiency) and a new fly-by-wire (FBW) control system (although the aircraft retain traditional control yokes instead of switching to side sticks) in place of the partial FBW system of the original E-Jets. There are also other aerodynamic and systems improvements. The aim was to make the aircraft more efficient, reducing fuel costs, and making them easier (and so cheaper) to maintain.
With 98% of its flight test programme completed, Embraer stated that the E190-E2’s fuel burn was 1.3% better than expected and 17.3% better than that of the current E190. The company affirmed that the new aircraft’s fuel consumption was almost 10% better than its “direct competitor” (probably the Bombardier CS100). The E190-E2 has also shown that it has the lowest level of external noise. Further, the Brazilian design now becomes the single-aisle airliner with the longest maintenance intervals. These will be 10 000 hours for basic checks and there will be no calendar limit in their typical use. Compared with the current-generation E-Jets, this means 15 days more operation over a period of ten years.
“[T]his means that, when our first operator, [Norway’s] Widerøe, operates its inaugural E190-E2 flight on April 24 from Bergen to Tromsø, it will be the first in-service flight of the world’s most efficient and eco- friendly narrow-body jet,” enthused Embraer commercial aviation marketing VP Rodrigo Silva e Souza. “This is an immense achievement for our team and means additional value delivered to our customers.”
The E190-E2 has also demonstrated better-than-specified takeoff performance. As a result, when operating from hot-and-high airports like Mexico City and Denver, it has a 600-nautical-mile (nm) greater range than today’s aircraft. And, when flying from short runway airports like London City, it has a 1 000 nm greater range, meaning that it could fly from London to Moscow or North Africa.
Yet another area in which the new airliner has proved better than expected is in type conversion training from the current-generation E-Jets. A current E-Jet pilot will need only two-and-a-half days’ training, and not need to use a full flight simulator, to fly the E2. “Decreasing the training burden for pilots transitioning from E1 is another huge reduction in both time and cost for our operators,” highlighted Silva e Souza. “This, coupled with the E2 family’s world leading fuel efficiency and lowest noise footprint, makes the E2 the most cost effective in its segment by every measure.”
To date, Embraer has logged about 419 firm orders for the E2 family, plus 269 options. The complete E-Jet programme, both the original and new generations together, has won more than 1 800 orders, of which 1 400 have so far been delivered. Embraer was founded in 1969 and has delivered more than 8 000 aircraft, with some 145-million people a year flying as passengers on its aeroplanes.