MIAMI — A third Embraer E190-E2 has joined the jetliner’s flight test program on August 27, 2016, just three months after the first flight ahead of schedule.

According to the airframer, the third prototype will be used to assess the flying qualities of the model, as well as to evaluate how the aircraft flies in icing conditions.

Embraer has also completed about 21,000 hours of tests in ground-based rigs, including an “iron bird” which simulates the E2’s hydraulic, avionics and flight control systems.

The E2 family aircraft is a major upgrade to the original EJet series launched over a decade ago. Embraer has redesigned the wing of the EJet and installed the Pratt & Whitney PW1900G in the next generation of the airliner.

The new family will comprise the E175-E2, the smallest member of the family, the E190-E2 and the stretched E195-E2. The first two E190-E2 flight test aircraft have logged 150 flight hours so far, including its first appearance at the 2016 Farnborough Airshow.

The fourth aircraft, fitted with a cabin interior, will join the flight test campaign “by early next year,” and it will be used to evaluate the passenger comfort and internal noise levels.

The E190-E2 is scheduled to enter service in 2018, followed a year later by the stretched E195-E2. The stretched E175-E2 would enter service in 2020.

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