The prototype ERJ-135 is being created by the conversion of an ERJ-145

Embraer has begun modification of an RJ-145 prototype at its Sao Jose dos Campos plant to create the first ERJ-135 37-seater.

The first ERJ-145 prototype (PT-ZJA), which originally launched flight testing of the regional jet in August 1995, will be rolled out as the prototype ERJ-135 on 13 May. The maiden flight is scheduled for July.

To create the 37-seat prototype, which is 3.5m shorter, Embraer has removed a 4.86m plug forward of the fuselage, and a 3.07m plug aft. These will be replaced by a 2.85m and 1.53m plug, respectively. The new model will be equipped with the Allison AE3007A3, a derivative of the engine which powers the larger model.

Priced at $11.8 million, Embraer holds 48 firm orders and 72 options for the new model, which was launched in September 1997. Deliveries are scheduled to start in the second half of 1999.

Source: Flight International