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PICTURE: First KC-390 gets wings on assembly line

Embraer has moved the wing and sponsons of the first KC-390 into place on the assembly line, the Brazilian manufacturer has revealed.

The company's third photo update of the tanker-transport posted online shows the programme continues to make progress, but it still has much work to do before a scheduled first flight by year-end.

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Embraer

The latest picture, released on 23 September, is framed in such a way that it obscures any view of the aft fuselage, so it is not clear whether the aircraft's vertical and horizontal stabilisers have been integrated.

Although International Aero Engines delivered the V2500-E5 turbofans for the aircraft in August, the picture shows that they have not yet been installed under the wings. Embraer also has yet to install the radome, the windows for the flightdeck and panel coverings over the forward avionics component.

The release of the photo on 23 September follows an emerging pattern. Embraer released its first picture of an unpainted, wingless fuselage on the assembly line on 22 May. This was followed two months later with a new photo showing a painted fuselage with landing gear attached, but still wingless and tailless.

Embraer has revealed a 25 October target to conduct the roll-out of the KC-390, which is scheduled to achieve first flight by year-end and certification in the first half of 2016.

The Brazilian air force has ordered 28 of the type, and the project has also attracted commitments from five more countries to potentially order another 32.

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