Embraer has started steep approach trials with its Embraer 170 at London City airport, but has dropped plans for a ventral air-brake option on the type.
Certification of the E-170 for London City has always been planned as it was a requirement of the aircraft's original launch customer Crossair (now Swiss International Air Lines), although the airline has deferred its deliveries of the type.
London City airport requires a 5.5° glide path – compared with the more conventional 3° – and aircraft must demonstrate capability up to 7.5°. Following tests in Brazil, Embraer says that the aircraft is undergoing test flights at London City with a view to certification by year-end.
The E-170 is in service with three European operators – LOT, Alitalia and Cirrus Airlines – while Luxair recently indicated that it could place an order for the type if it obtains London City clearance. Embraer says that the trials are being done with "no specific customer" in mind.
Embraer had planned to offer a version of the E-170 with a ventral airbrake to increase drag and enable it to maintain 119kt (220km/h) approach speed for the steep descent.
The company has tested the device – which has a weight penalty of around 100kg (220lb) and has to be incorporated during production – on a development aircraft but has now had a rethink. "We plan to reach that certification without that additional equipment," says Embraer.
Source: Flight International