Story updated to include more details about the new "ram air" door in paragraph six.

Embraer has filled in further details of the planned aerodynamic enhancements for its current-generation E-Jets which it says will generate fuel-burn savings of up to 5%.

Speaking at its Sao Jose dos Campos plant on 12 September, Luis Carlos Affonso, chief operating officer of Embraer's commercial aviation division, outlined the proposed changes to the wing-tips of its E-175.

The modification will be longer than the winglets installed on the current iteration of E-Jets and will additionally extend from the wing at a shallower angle, resembling the outer wing of Boeing's 787. "It is almost a continuation of the wing," says Affonso.

The E-175 is the only member of the E-Jet family that will feature the new winglet design, but Embraer says it plans to make further changes across the range.

All four E-Jet models will see the gap between the horizontal stabiliser and the tail reduced, alongside additional modifications to the tail cone, cabin door "rain deflector" and the nose-wheel fairing, says Affonso.

Embraer has also changed the "ram air" door, which feeds the air conditioning system. The position of the new door can be controlled depending on flight conditions, which will reduce drag, the company says.

Embraer will begin manufacturing aircraft with the changes in the first half of 2014.

The Brazilian airframer says the package of enhancements will boost the E-175's fuel efficiency by 5%, making the twinjet around 4% more fuel efficient than Bombardier's competing CRJ900, he says.

Efficiency gains on the other three family members - the E-170, E-190 and E-195 - will be smaller at around 1% to 2%, Affonso adds.

Embraer has chosen the E-175 to receive the full package of modifications as it believes the performance improvements will be most pronounced on that variant. Additional pressure imposed by the manufacturing timeline of its second-generation E-Jet E2 were also a factor, says Affonso.

The first of the re-engined aircraft to enter service will be the E-190-E2 in 2018, followed by the E-195-E2 in 2019 and, finally, the E-175-E2 in 2020, Embraer says. It is not producing a re-engined version of the E-170, however.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news