Reported by Enrique Perrella in São Paulo, and James Field
SÃO PAULO — During the delivery week of the first E190-E2, Airways was given a product update on the E-Jet program, consisting of the E190-E2, E195-E2, and the E175-E2.
Embraer embarked on an intensive flight-testing program to meet its E190-E2 entry into service (EIS) goal for the first half of 2018.
The test program had accumulated over 650 flight hours, with the first E190-E2 scheduled to be delivered to Scandinavian Airlines’ (SAS) regional subsidiary, Wideroe (WF), as the launch customer. They are on-time at this point.
The Brazilian manufacturer started their briefing by noting their leadership in the 75-150-seat aircraft market. They currently have a 29% share in the market, compared to Bombardier’s 25%, Airbus’ 16%, ATR’s 13% and Boeing’s 12%, with other manufacturers accounting for 5% of the share in the market.
With the Airbus and Bombardier merger, it is interesting to see whether they overtake Embraer in that perspective, with a combined share of 41%.
Embraer also went on to the specifications of each model of the E2 family. Evolving from the four E1 models initially, being the E170, E175, E190, and E195 respectively, the manufacturer has now merged the E2 family into three variants.
Range Details Confirmed
The E175-E2 has a range of 2,060nm and can carry between 80 and 90 passengers (dependent on configuration).
There’s also E190-E2 that may travel up to 2,850nm and carry between 97-114 passengers, as well as the E195-E2 which can operate 2,600nm but carry 120-148 passengers; thus solidifying themselves in every aspect of the 150-seater market.
Evolution: From E1 to E2
The differences between the E2 and the E1 family were also showcased. The E2’s fuselage is formed through aerodynamic cleaning and smart use of specific materials, which features a new wing design that has a clean sheet design, higher aspect ratio, single-slotted flaps, as well as optimization for fuel burn and efficiency performance.
On exteriors matters, the E2 family aircraft now has a new engine, which offers a reduction in fuel burn; a new landing gear, which helps in improved maintenance; as well as a new stabilizer for lower area, further weight reduction, and with some of the other exterior mentioned, fuel burn reductions.
The optimization on the wings and engines for each model delivers what Embraer is mentioning to being the most fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft across the E195-E2 at 35.1 meters wide, the E190-E2 at 33.7 meters wide as well as the E175-E2 at 31.4 meters wide.
— James Field (@AvGeekJames) April 3, 2018
Which one is cheaper to operate?
Regarding the cash operating cost, the E2 is more cash-efficient than the likes of the Airbus A320neo and the Bombardier CS100/300. The E190-E1 is currently 18% more costly per seat than the current A320 but costs 23% less per trip.
For the E190-E2, the cash operating cost per trip is 30% less compared to the A320neo and 8% more in cost per seat.
For the E195-E2, it is 20% more efficient per trip than the A320neo but has no difference in cost per seat compared to the A320neo.
However, it should be noted that the E2 family competes head to head with the A319neo in the European market, whereas in the United States, it is more efficient.
Comparing the E2 family to the CS100, the E190-E2 is 1% less cash-efficient per seat and 7% cheaper per trip.
The E195-E2 features a 2% increase per trip and a 10% saving per seat. When put against the CS300, the E195-E2 saves 10% per trip and 3% per seat.
Commenting on the range and their wings for the E2 family was the Embraer Director for the E-Jets E2 Program, Fernando Oliveira:
If we were to do a plane just for European airlines, they would ask for 800nm of range—just enough to cover the entire region. With this requirement, our wing would be smaller. But that’s not the case. We need to do an aircraft that’s not over-designed. It doesn’t need to fly from London to the Moon. But it needs to have the proper range to adapt to any region in the world. Range and payload are critical in designing the wing. The E175-E2’s role is to be a feeder. The smallest wing possible and highest aspect ration we can make this plane a winner. The E190 and E195 share the same landing gear design.
GTF Engine woes? No
The Canadian engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney will furnish the new E2 program with its new geared turbofan (GTF) technology. The PW1700G will power the E175-E2, whereas the PW1900G will be fitted under the wings of the E190 and E195-E2 jets.
The GTF-technology engine has been a cause of concern around the world because of reliability issues. Affonso told Airways that, considering the engines are much smaller than the Airbus A320neo’s PW1127G, they have had the same problems but to a lesser extent.
These engines have been known more recently to have pulled up problems. However, Oliveira reassured that “they’re behaving well. The positive thing about us being the third in line after Airbus and Bombardier using this engine is that PW has learned from the issues these two have faced, and our engines are in much better condition”.
This was a definite hint to customers that they should consider Embraer first while they let Airbus and Bombardier experience such issues.
The new interiors give passengers the ability to have one item of baggage to themselves for storage and are keeping the “no middle seat winning concept” to which they believe has improved the benchmark for the E-Jet family.
In the cockpit, the avionics have new displays which account for 45% more surface area, hosting new flight management systems as well as a new CMC.
High Performance Capable
Another feature on the E190-E2, in particular, is the Design Smart program, which exceeds targets given during its flight test campaign. The aircraft is suited to hot and high environments like Denver, Colorado where it adds range by 200 nautical miles from 2,300 to 2,500. Short field takeoffs have also improved.
From airports such as London City, 100 miles can be added to its range from 1,650nm to 1,750nm respectively. On the E190-E2, there has been an MTOW increase from 58,700kg to 61,500kg on top of the 600-mile increase in range compared to the E1.
In the United States, the E175-E2 could still cover any destination from Dallas with a full passenger load if each passenger weighs 100kg. The E190-E2 can reach as far as the top of Canada from Dallas, and the E195-E2 can also fly to the southern areas of Mexico.
From Paris, the E175-E2 can fly up to Iceland or central parts of Africa. The E190-E2 can fly as far as Greenland and also to central parts of Africa with the E195-E2 being able to fly as far as Riyadh.
Embraer emphasized their development stages from the E1 family. With over 20 million flight hours and accommodating to over 500 requirements, they have been able to develop the E2 further based on the feedback given by 70 airlines across 60 different countries.
Back in 2017, CEO John Slattery told Airways details about the progression of the E2 and how the airlines like the type. “When you look at the trajectory of our sales process in only three years, it’s quite astonishing. I’m confident that Embraer will comfortably break through 300 orders this year for the E2 and I think that will begin five years ahead of Bombardier.”
The CEO also considers that the integrity Embraer has in its order books is sound and much stronger than its competitors. “The airlines that are committed to the E2 program continue with their commitment,” he said. “We don’t have airlines that are looking to cancel the orders they’ve already made.”
Quick Transition Between E1, E2
One development within this is the commonality between the E1 and the E2. It only takes 2.5 days for an E1 validated pilot to transition onto the E2, which will save costs in pilot training.
The E2 has been built to last also with the E2 family, having longer maintenance intervals than their competitors as well as hosting no calendar limitations.
The E2 will have intermediate checks every 1,000 flight hours with necessary checks every 10,000 hours. This is comparable to the A320neo that has 750 flight hours for a medium examination and 7,500 flight hours for basic tests.
The 737 MAX has intermediate checks every 120 days and basic checks every 12,000 flight hours.
Oliveira also said that “we designed the plane to have the lowest maintenance cost and highest maintenance intervals. That’s a good thing for the airlines’ cash flow. Our planes will fly longer and spend less time in the maintenance hangars”.
The sole customer for the E175-E2 is Skywest Airlines (OO), while the customers for the E190-E2 and E-195 E2 include Widerøe (WF), Tianjin Airlines (GS), Kalstar Aviation (KD), Air Costa (LB), and Azul Brazilian Airlines (AD), which has been revealed as the E195-E2 launch operator during the rollout of the jetliner on March 7, 2017.
The E175-E2 is designed to seat 85-90 passengers and has an MTOW of 98,767lb. The current limits in most US scope clauses are 76 seats and 86,000lb.
The seat-capacity restriction can be circumvented by reconfiguring the E175-E2 in a premium heavy configuration at 76 seats. But the weight restriction is impossible to sidestep, so Embraer has been banking on a relaxation of scope clauses for a while.
The aircraft type holds more than a third of the firm orders for the E2 program to date. But, as currently planned, the variant would run afoul of the scope clauses at major US airlines.
Most scope clauses, which govern what aircraft can be flown on behalf of the mainline carrier by regional partners, contain restrictions on seat capacity and maximum takeoff weight (MTOW).
— James Field (@AvGeekJames) April 3, 2018
A Successful Testing Campaign
The E2 family has achieved over 2,000 flight-test hours and 45,600 hours of ground tests and has been on schedule, on budget and on target. They have also gained the triple certification approval from the FAA, EASA, and ANAC on the same day.
The E190-E2, in particular, achieved and even exceeded in meeting its targets during the testing process. The goal for noise reduction was 15 EPNdB. They managed to reach 20 EPNdB which is 5 EPNdB better than expected. They also wanted to achieve 16% in fuel burn reductions and achieved 17.3% in reduction. Maintenance target was supposed to be 850-8,500 flight hours and increased it to 1,000-10,000.
In terms of the landing gears, they wanted to achieve a life cycle of at least 20,000 cycles. They reached 22,000 instead, which is equivalent to 12 years lifetime. Finally, the target for transitioning from the E1 to the E2 was supposed to be three days but brought it down to 2.5 days.
— James Field (@AvGeekJames) April 3, 2018
Oliveira said that the test program has “been the most prolific testing campaign we have ever done. We not only accomplished but went a lot further each goal”.
Embraer then went on to discuss the timeline for the E195-E2 program, which the airline introduced in May 2015, to go into service by 2019.
They have achieved certification status for the Static, Ground Vibration and Load Calibration tests, but now need to look at the Aerodynamics Test, Winter Ops Test as well as the Fatigue Tests before it enters commercial service.