Embraer successfully completed a test of troop unloading and evacuation via the front and rear doors of its KC-390 at Brasília Air Force Base, in Brazil on 21 November.
The tests are required for the aircraft to achieve Final Operational Capability, which is part of the final military certification of the aircraft, expected to occur in the last quarter of 2019, Embraer says. The KC-390 is a medium-sized military transport aircraft powered by two International Aero Engines V2500 turbofans. The transport can carry 80 passengers or 64 paratroopers.
Brazilian Air Force Embraer KC-390
Brazilian Air Force
The aircraft received a type certification from the Brazilian aviation authority, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil, in October. Embraer has said that the first production aircraft will be delivered to the Brazilian air force in the first half 2019. FlightGlobal’s Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the service has 27 firm orders.
The KC-390 is designed to perform missions such as cargo and troop transport, troop and cargo air delivery, aerial refueling, search and rescue and forest fire fighting. Embraer is attempting to push the aircraft into a military transport market dominated for decades by the Lockheed Martin C-130, by pitching what it claims is the lowest life-cycle cost in the market as well as top speeds that surpass its turboprop rival.
There are 38 letters of intent to order the aircraft from international customers, including six LOIs from Argentina, six from Chile, 12 from Colombia, two from Czech Republic, six from Portugal, and six from Lisbon-based aviation services firm SkyTech, according to Flight Fleets Analyzer.