Embraer’s KC-390 wrapped its 40-day demonstration tour this week after stops in 18 countries throughout Europe, Africa and Asia.
The Brazilian transport tanker made its flight display debut at the Paris air show this June and went on to a series of flight demonstrations before returning to Brazil. The KC-390 covered 49,537nm during its trip, demonstrating high temperature and high altitude take-offs, low-level navigation and simulated operational conditions, such as paratroopers dropping, a 21 July Embraer release states.
Flight testing is on track for the KC-390’s primary mission, tactical transport, as Embraer prepares to deliver the first production aircraft to the Brazilian air force next year, FlightGlobal previously reported. The aircraft can transport a maximum of 26 metric tons of cargo at 470kt, according to the company. Embraer is taking on the KC-390’s air refuelling role, with dry contacting testing underway on Northrop F-5 fighters and wet contacts slated to start soon.
The Brazilian air force contracted Embraer to develop the KC-390 in 2009 and the programme is scheduled to reach initial operational capability at the beginning of 2018. The air force will receive the first two KC-390s of its 28 aircraft order that year, with two the following year and three each in subsequent years.