Engine, structures and systems technologies will be key to any new airliner design from Embraer if it is to successfully take on the Bombardier CSeries and later new-generation offerings from Airbus and Boeing.
Executive vice-president airline market Mauro Kern confirms talks have been held with all the main engine suppliers about their new technology programmes. "We don't see enough maturity to make a decision at this point," he says. "Maybe in 18 to 24 months we'll have a better, clearer view about that."
Embraer executive vice-president airline Mauro Kern
Although Kern says "GE is a very close partner" because it supplies the E-Jet's CF34 powerplant, industry sources say the thrust requirement for any new 130-seater is likely to mean a GE offering would come through its CFM International joint venture with Snecma.
Airframe technology is another big consideration, says Kern. "In terms of airplane platforms, before we launch anything new, there is also the decision on what new technology will have to be incorporated," he adds.
Composites are an important part of Embraer's research and development, says Kern, but he thinks it is too early to determine whether a new aircraft would have a carbonfibre wing (like the CSeries) or fuselage (like the A350 and 787).