The fourth prototype of the Embraer E190-E2 completed its first flight last Friday afternoon. Its serial number is 20.004. The first plane will go into service part way into 2018. It will be delivered to Widerøe Airlines, Norway’s largest regional airline. In the meantime, the aircraft still needs to go through internal tests like cabin evacuation, environmental comfort, and internal noise tests; it will also need to go through high-speed flying tests, flutter tests, natural ice tests, and cold soak tests. With more tests to go, however, Embraer CEO John Slattery says that the program is “slightly ahead of schedule”, despite apparent engine production problems.
“The technology and development of knowledge have given our program and engineering teams the confidence on the the E2 entering into service on time, and on specifications,” says Slattery.
The E190-E2 is the newest member of the Embraer ‘E-Jet E2’ family, preceded by the E175-E2 and the E-195-E2. It is about the same size as the first E-190, and can seat up to 114 passengers. It uses a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines. E2 aircraft also have a new wing design and new landing gear. The first test flight of the E190-E2’s first prototype was on May 23, 2016.
Embraer says that the E-Jet is set to be a competitor with the Bombardier CSeries. Airlines such as Widerøe seem to agree with this. (Widerøe is replacing its Bombardier aircraft with comparable Embraer planes, as it believes that the Embraer aircraft have a smaller size that is more suitable for its routes.) There are currently a total of 68 orders of the E190-E2.