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Embraer announces design revamp of E195-E2

Story updated on 24 February to reflect new Embraer figures for range out of Denver

Embraer has announced a major design revamp for the E195-E2, adding up to 450nm range by increasing take-off weight by 2t and a 1.4m wingspan extension.

The longest version of the re-winged and re-engined E-Jet family now offers a maximum range of 2,450nm from a take-off at sea level, and up to 250nm additional range from high-altitude airports, such as Denver International, says Luis Carlos Affonso, chief operating officer of Embrear commercial aircraft.

"As we evolved the design we saw that the airplane had the capability to do that with a very, very limited impact," says Affonso, speaking on the eve of the roll-out of the second-generation E190 at Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

Embraer was already planning to introduce the E-Jet E2 family with two new wing designs, with a new aerofoil planned for the E190/195-E2 and another for the 75-seat-class E175-E2. The latest announcement means that Embraer is developing three different sets of wings, one for each model.

The design changes are not expected to change the entry-into-service schedule in 2019 for the E195-E2 or the budget for the overall programme, which remains fixed at the $1.7 billion estimate announced at programme launch in 2013.

But the changes could make the E195-E2 more attractive to carriers operating to and from high-altitude airports, where lower-density air dramatically reduces the power capability of the high-bypass ratio Pratt & Whitney PW1900 engines. In Denver, for example, the original design of the E195-E2 meant that maximum range declined by 15% compared with the sea-level performance, falling from 2,000nm to 1,700nm.

By adding to the lifting power of the wing with span extension, the E195-E2 can fly up to 1,950nm from Denver. While an aircraft taking off at sea level can fly up to 2,450nm instead of 2,000nm as originally designed, Affonso says.

The extended wingspan will feature raked wingtips, a feature that rules out the distinctive canted winglets found on the original E-Jet series.

"The aerodynamic design has evolved over time at Embraer and worldwide, and today we believe that the most efficient wings are the wings without the winglets," Affonso says. "If you can increase the span, that's the most efficient way to have an efficient wing."

The impact of the extension and the raked wingtip on the rest of the design of the wing should be "minimal", Affonso says. But the detailed design requirements will be confirmed as the E195-E2 design is finalised after further simulations and testing, he adds.

By improving the performance, the E195-E2 sales effort gets an extra boost, says John Slattery, chief commercial officer of Embraer commercial aviation.

"It’s certainly not going to hurt the sales of the 195," Slattery adds.

"I am very excited about that particular platform and it's employment particularly for the LCCs [low-cost carriers]," Slattery says. "As the LCCs need to grow outside of traditional trunk routes they are serving, as they focus on secondary and tertiary cost, they are still focused on seat-mile cost. But [the E195-E2 also offers] a trip cost that's at a huge discount to the larger equipment."

Adding range to the double-stretch model also makes it easier for E190-E2 customers to upgrade without a huge decrease in range performance, he notes.

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