Embraer has cut the first metal component for its E-Jet E2 family of regional jets at its new factory in Evora, Portugal. The wing stub forward pressure bulkhead is for the prototype of the E-190 E2, which is scheduled to fly in 2016.

The part will be sent to São José dos Campos in Brazil to start the first aircraft assembly.The airframer established Evora as a centre of excellence for both metalic and composite parts manufacturing in 2008 and opened the factory in 2012.

Embraer launched the regional jet range in November 2011 and announced a series of orders at the Paris air show last year. The family comprises re-engined and re-winged variants of its existing E-175, E-190 and E-195 regional jets, powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1700G and PW1900G engines. The second-generation models of the E-175 and E-195 also will be stretched to carry more passengers.

Paulo Cesar Silva, president and chief executive of Embraer Commercial Aviation, says the design of the E-190 E2 will be frozen “before the end of the year or very early in 2015” ahead of first flight by the end of 2016 and targeted entry into service in the first half of 2018. The E-195 E2 will follow a year later and the E-175 in 2020.

The programme has 270 commitments which, says Cesar Silva, is “where we want to be at this stage”. He adds: “We also have some [letters of intent] that we are working on and hope to confirm by the end of the year. We are very bullish. For a programme that has just been launched, our number of orders with some very good names is impressive.”

The final design will also include the fly-by-wire technology pioneered by Embraer’s Legacy 500 business jet and KC-390 tanker-transport, elements of which are built in Evora and Embraer’s majority owned subsidiary OGMA in Lisbon.

Source: Flight International