Embraer E2. Photo: Roberto Leiro.

Story by Carlos Lugo and Cody Diamond

MIAMI — On August 22, 2018, Airways was invited on the first demonstration flight of an Embraer 190 E2 from Embraer’s North American base at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL).

The E190 E2, the first of the “Embraer E2” series to fly, made history as the first aircraft in the world to achieve triple regulatory certification from the Brazilian ANAC, the United States FAA, and EASA on the same day.

The first aircraft was delivered from Sao Jose dos Campos in April 2018. The aircraft entered commercial service on April 24 with Wideroe, which presently operates three planes of that type.

The E195 E2 first flew in 2017 and certification is expected next year. The smaller E175 E2 is expected to be certified in 2021.

The E190 E2 is offered in three basic cabin arrangements. A three-class configuration, with 97 seats, could potentially feature nine first class seats with 36-inch pitch, 20 comfort class seats at 34-inch pitch, and 68 economy class seats at a 31-inch pitch.

This layout would be typical for a mainline North American type operator. Embraer hopes to sell the E190 E2 to United Airlines as a small narrowbody mainline aircraft, fit for hub and spoke operations and long, thin routes. 

Embraer hopes that the aircraft could replace some of the 50 and 70 seat regional jets in up-gauged markets. In a single class configuration, the aircraft can comfortably seat 114 passengers at 29 inch pitch, or 106 passengers at 31 inches.

The E190 E2 features a maximum takeoff weight of 124,341 lbs and can carry over 29,000 lbs of fuel.

With max cruise speed of Mach 0.82 similar to other E-Jets, the E190 E2 has a range of 2850 nm at long range cruise. 

The E195 E2 will have a 2600 nm range and the E175 E2 will have a 2,000 nm range. 

All aircraft have a maximum cruise altitude of 41,000 feet just as the E1 Generation of E-Jets does. 

The E195 E2 is expected to be certified by 2019 and one particular customer Embraer hopes to capture with this aircraft is Spirit Airlines as an A319 replacement, with a maximum capacity of 148 seats that compare to Spirit’s A319s with capacity for 145 passengers.

The last member of the E2 family, the E175-E2, has not been built as of yet but is scheduled to be certified by 2021.

As of now, the E175-E2 cannot be flown by any U.S. regional carrier due to scope clause limitations.

With a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 98,767 lbs, the E175-E2 has a significantly increased MTOW from its preceding variant—most first generation E175’s have a max takeoff of 85,517 lbs.

U.S. mainline carriers’ unions have scope limitations prohibiting regional airlines from operating jets with maximum takeoff weights above 86,000 lbs. If the aircraft exceeds this weight, it must be flown by the mainline carrier and mainline pilots.

The only exception in the U.S. is at Compass Airlines, which operates 36 E175s with a max takeoff weight of 89,000 lbs. There are no plans to relax any scope beyond these aircraft. 

“The nice thing is we can easily manufacture the E1 and E2 generation on the same line, so we will continue to fly and develop the E175 E1,” said Rodrigo Silva e Souza, Embraer’s Vice President of Marketing for Commercial Aviation.

Fun fact: The E175 E2 is actually an E190. In an effort to streamline the program, Embraer will now use E175 E2 as a marketing term. The aircraft is actually an E190-500. The E190 E2 is an E190-200 and the E195 E2 is an E190-400.

The E2 has some of the lowest trip cost of aircraft that are comparable to it, such as the A320 neo and Airbus A220. On a 600nm segment, the E190 E2 will have 10% less fuel burn than an A220.

The E2 has a 10% smaller wing and 20% smaller empennage with four abreast seating and an 8% increased wing aspect ratio. It also features main landing gear doors, which the E1 did not, improving fuel efficiency by decreasing drag.

Cabin wise, the E2 features larger window frames with the same size windows as the E1, but with a larger view field.

New passenger service units and mood lighting are standard. Further, the aircraft will have a local communication network for fault reporting. 

“New seats are integrated into the floor and sidewall, improving bag space and legroom. The E195 E2 first class cabin will feature new staggered seats, providing a wide cabin feel,” explained Rodrigo Silva e Souza.

The airplanes flying for Wideroe have achieved a 99% in service reliability rate since entry into service, averaging five flight cycles per day with six hours flight time.

Embraer attributes part of this reliability to the proven airframe and to its “Pioneer Airlines” program.

Embraer has been flying the E-Jet since 2001, and it is a reliable aircraft with many improvements since then. The manufacturer took an active role within the company by flying test aircraft on simulated scheduled routes with passengers within Brazil and as far as North America to simulate day to day passenger operations, all prior to entry into service in order to work out potential pre-delivery issues.

Testing the E2 To The Keys

Our flight, departing FLL at about 13:00 local time would last 51 minutes, flying down towards Key West prior to returning to FLL.

Cruising at 28,000 feet, the aircraft performed beautifully. It is incredibly quiet during all phases of flight.

Our airplane, PR-ZGQ, is the fourth E190 E2 built, having been completed on March 17, 2017. It is the “Profit Hunter” in shark colors. She has stunning ramp presence.

After takeoff, a light refreshments service was performed as everyone explored around the cabin and flight deck.   

In talking with the flight crew, they described that the aircraft is incredibly similar to the first generation of E-Jets, both handling wise (despite a new wing) and systems wise. The transition course is only a two day distance learning course with no checkride required for pilots.  

The E2 features four large display screens (The Honeywell Primus Epic II) in the cockpit versus five in the E1’s Honeywell Primus Epic I flight deck. 

Other improvements include “Route 2” capability in the MCDU, allowing pilots to seamlessly activate a secondary flight plan, better vertical navigation (VNAV) in terms of speed/altitude crossing restrictions, and a slightly different fuel system.

Personal Note: As a former E170/E175/E190 pilot with over 1,200 hours in type, being up front I felt right at home. All of the new software and updates seemed intuitive and pilot friendly. The E1 generation of E-Jets was a joy to fly, and I hope I get the chance to fly an E2 one day.

After a mostly smooth flight, we landed at FLL for some ramp pictures. Embraer hopes to demonstrate the E195 E2 in the United States next year.  

Airways wishes to thank Embraer for their great hospitality and flight!