Embraer has scrapped the proposed 195X version of its twinjet family, after concerns from potential operators over its range.
The Brazilian manufacturer had been studying the project as part of its analysis of new aircraft options. The E-195X would have been a straight stretch of the General Electric CF34-powered 195, but Embraer has ruled out the proposed aircraft after feedback from potential customers indicated the range would degrade to an unacceptable level.
"What we found out is that the aircraft really becomes too much of an underperformer," says chief executive Frederico Curado.
"Basically you are trading payload to the detriment of range and performance. The airplane would probably be low acceptance because of the performance."
Embraer continues to evaluate a clean-sheet design but Curado emphasises that this aircraft would be in another category above the E-195.
A re-engined E-195, however, could potentially provide enough power to stretch the aircraft without compromising range. Curado says "a couple of rows more makes sense", which could increase the capacity of the E-195 - in maximum-density configuration - from 122 seats to 130 seats.
Embraer expects a new engine would provide a 12-15% improvement in fuel burn. GE, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney all have indicated they would be ready to launch a re-engining project, says Curado.
Embraer is also looking at introducing other improvements to the aircraft that would result in a fuel-burn reduction of "a few more points", on top of the greater efficiency derived from a new engine.
Curado explains that Embraer has been working on several new technologies that could be incorporated into a refreshed E-Jet. It could also tweak the aircraft's design to improve its aerodynamics.
Embraer could also decide to re-engine its E-170/175 but not the E-190/195, or vice versa, as the manufacturer will not be able to use the same engine variant for the entire family. Curado expects Embraer will continue to manufacture E-Jets for at least another couple of decades.
But he says Embraer has excluded a large turboprop from its new aircraft options, concluding the market is too small to support a third manufacturer, after ATR and Bombardier.