FARNBOROUGH – Starting the 2022 Farnborough Airshow by savagely biting its competitors, the latest of the ‘Profit Hunter’ demonstrator aircraft showed its performance to journalists and invited guests during a demo flight today.
Briefing the press before the departure, Francisco Gomes Neto, CEO of Embraer, welcomed the attendees to the event, commenting on the challenges the company has faced in the last four years. In 2019, Embraer and Boeing agreed to establish a commercial joint venture, which failed to come to fruition after Boeing terminated the deal in April 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For us at Embraer, it has been years of reinvention. We reintegrated our commercial aviation business and put in place a new strategy. We are more efficient and fit for growth,” Gomes Neto said. “We are very confident about the future, as we do believe that the combination of innovation, enterprise efficiency, and our fantastic people is very powerful, and it will make us grow sustainably,” the CEO concluded.
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Luis Carlos Affonso, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Embraer, revealed the company’s future product lineup roadmap. In addition, the Executive hinted that its long-rumored NG Turboprop regional airline, intended to compete in the 70-90 seat market, would enter into service by 2026.
The aircraft would be the first of the company to operate on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Last June, The airframer and Pratt & Whitney successfully carried out in Florida a brief test program on 100% SAF on one of the PW GTF engines of an Embraer E195-E2.
According to Embraer, the test confirmed using up to 100% SAF blends without performance limitations or safety issues. However, a Pratt & Whitney officer commented that the certification of such blends would not be immediate.
The efforts of Embraer in developing a SAF ecosystem were also under the spotlight after signing a Letter of Intent with Brazilian bioenergy Raízen in which both companies set forth the basis to use Raízen SAF on Embraer aircraft.
.“As the largest sugarcane ethanol producer in the world, it is only natural that we are looking at a possible supply of SAF. This partnership with Embraer, a global reference, reinforces the sustainability agenda and expansion of the company’s portfolio,” said Antonio Cardoso, Vice President of Marketing and Services, Raízen.
Flying the ‘Tech Shark’ Profit Hunter
Since the launch of the EJets-E2 program, Embraer has released a series of aircraft depicting nature predators adorning the nose of its aircraft. Earlier this year, the company revealed the latest iteration of this series, an Embraer E190-E2 (2-RLET · LN 19020015) that premiered earlier this year at the Singapore Airshow. In addition, a second aircraft, an E195-E2 featuring the ‘Tech Lion’ Profit Hunter (PR-ZIQ · LN 19020041), has also been brought to the show for static display.
The demo aircraft had a single class cabin configuration, with 110 Collins Aerospace Pinnacle Economy seats upholstered in red and blue leather, arranged at 32 inches of seat pitch. Also, among the improvements made to the cabin compared to the previous generation is the redesign of the overhead bins, which now offer more headroom for passengers while creating more capacity for carry-on baggage.
The flight, commanded by Captain Rafael Aguiar, pushed back from its stand at 10:22 local time. After a rather lengthy taxi, due to incoming traffic, the flight departed from runway 24 at 10:48. After a steep climb, the aircraft reached a cruise altitude of 15,000ft, offering stunning views of a sunny day over the southwest of England. After passing abeam Southampton and crossing over the Isle of Wight, it began a soft, gradual descent for landing back in Farnborough 56 minutes after takeoff.
The consensus among journalists was the quietness of the cabin. Audio levels ranged from 63 to 75 dB during the cruise phase as per the measurements we took in different sections of the cabin.
The manufacturer has come to the 2022 Farnborough Airshow to mark its territory, and the demonstration flight proved that it has the proper metal to do it. In its most recent Market Outlook, Embraer foresees demand for 8,600 aircraft in the segment of up to 150 seats for the next 20 years. Hopefully, the coming days will be fruitful for the company in terms of new orders.