PAUL LEWIS / WASHINGTON DC
Manufacturer still hopes to keep certification of the large regional jet on schedule
Embraer is working on a revised plan to recover lost time and keep certification and first delivery of the new 170 large regional jet to Swiss (formerly Crossair) on schedule for year-end, following a six-to-eight-week delay in the first flight of the new Brazilian aircraft.
Embraer 170 prototype 0001 completed a successful maiden flight on 19 February at the company's San Jos‚ plant. The aircraft had been due to fly late last year, but was delayed by software testing which required two more loads than originally planned. Another three software loads are planned to be installed as they become available, adding further system functionality.
"Our strategy is recover from the delay of the first flight, "says Luis Affonso, Embraer 170 programme director.
"As a function of the delay, aircraft number two and three will now fly by the end of March and our plan is to keep aircraft four, five and six on schedule for April, May and June, respectively," "We're now reviewing the schedule, but this is a small delay in terms of overall available flying hours. The objective is to gain certification within this year," he adds.
Embraer has sought to make a quick start to testing, cycling the landing gear four times, including once in freefall, and in combination with different flap settings during the maiden flight.
The aircraft attained a maximum altitude of 15,000ft (4,600m) and an indicated airspeed of 210kt (390km/h) during the 2h 50min-long flight. The aircraft executed a missed approach, with wings being rolled during a low-level fly before landing.
Source: Flight International