Under the colossal domination of Airbus and Boeing, sometimes, we tend to forget the smaller yet influential aircraft manufacturers of the likes of Embraer and Bombardier that play a paramount role in driving the regional aviation industry. The Embraer E-Jet family of aircraft has recently been creating quite some ripples with the E195-E2 recently taking to the skies with Widerøe, the Norwegian regional airline, and the E175-E2 completing its first test flight on December 12, 2019.
The E175-E2 aircraft is the third member of Embraer’s E-jets E2 family, following E195-E2 and E190-E2. The test flight was conducted from the company’s facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil.
‘This flight of the E175-E2 marks the completion of our vision to produce a family of new-generation commercial aircraft that bring unparalleled cost savings to our customers, exceptional comfort for their passengers, and fewer emissions for the planet’, said John Slattery, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation.
The E175-E2 departed on 1107hrs and flew for two hours and eighteen minutes. Accordingly to Embraer’s reports, the aircraft took and landed with fly-by-wire controls in normal mode. The crew evaluated the aircraft for systems behaviour, performance, and flight quality. Embraer shall use three E175-E2 aircraft for the certification campaign, of the which the second and third aircraft shall be used for aerodynamics testing, performance and systems testing, validating maintenance tasks and interior furnishings.
Compared to its predecessor, the E175-E2 has an additional row of seats and can be configured with 80 seats in a two class configuration, or upto 90 seats in single class configuration. The aircraft shall supposedly save upto 16% in fuel and a staggering 25% in maintenance costs per seat, as compared to the E175.
The E175-E2 shall be powered by new Pratt & Whitney GTF PW1700G ultra-high bypass ratio engines. Unlike the traditional E175, it shall feature full fly-by-wire controls and a brand new landing gear. In fact, Embraer claims that almost 75% systems are new in the E2 series aircraft, as compared to the E175 (Looks like a revolutionary development than superficial-looking evolutionary one!).
Now, we know what you are thinking, how does all this hype fare in the regional market after all? And here is the answer, folks! Boeing owns 80% of Embraer, and is looking forward to challenge Airbus in the regional market with the newest E2 series aircraft family. With Airbus having acquired Bombardier’s C Series program, and has the A220 (Or the CS300, for the old school aviation enthusiasts out there) as the chieftain in regional market, the E175-E2 accompanied by the E190-E2 and the E195-E2 aircraft indeed spices up the game!