Embraer increases Japanese manufacturer's area of responsibility for production of components for regional jet

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) is broadening its relationship with Embraer by establishing a wing final assembly facility in Brazil and taking an expanded role in the development of the ERJ-190-100/200 growth derivatives. Embraer, meanwhile, is readying the ERJ-170 for roll-out on 29 October and first flight by the end of the year.

Embraer has given the Japanese manufacturer responsibility for producing the wing for both versions of the stretched ERJ-190, including winglet, centre wing box, skins, ribs and final assembly. KHI is already a partner on the baseline ERJ-170, the first prototype of which is structurally complete, but its contribution is limited to the wing leading and trailing edge sections, with Embraer responsible for the remainder and assembly.

"Kawasaki has shown a very good performance on this programme so we have increased their share of the ERJ-190 wing to the full package," says Luis Affonso, ERJ-170/190 programme director. KHI will establish a local assembly facility, with Embraer's new facility at Gaviao Peixoto the most likely choice rather than the busier main plant at Sïo Jose.

This follows a pattern established by other partners, such as ERJ-170 fuselage barrel manufacturer Sonaca creating a local subsidiary Sobraex and interior supplier C&D opening a local plant.


Both versions of the ERJ-190 will incorporate a larger 28.6m- (93.7ft) span wing, new main landing gear and more powerful, wider fan-diameter General Electric CF34-10E engines - but the aim is to maintain overall 89% commonality with the ERJ-170.

Embraer and its partners are in the middle of the ERJ-190 joint definition phase, due to end by January. The critical design review is scheduled for the second half of next year, followed by first flight in the second quarter of 2003. Initial delivery of the larger 110-seatERJ-190-200 version is planned for mid-2004. The company will produce four flight test aircraft, including two 98-seat -100s.

Meanwhile, Embraer plans to power up the first ERJ-170 soon and begin ground testing. "We plan to fly this aircraft in the last two months of the year depending on how the ground testing goes," says Affonso.

Another five flight test aircraft and a static load airframe will follow at roughly monthly intervals until April.

Source: Flight International