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SINGAPORE: Initial E-Jet E2s to require engine update

Embraer has confirmed that several of the first E-Jet E2s to be delivered will require an upgrade due to durability issues with their Pratt & Whitney PW1900G engines.

Speaking at a pre-Singapore air show briefing, Rodrigo Silva e Souza, marketing vice-president Embraer commercial aviation, said that a number of the E190-E2s due to be handed over in 2018 will have the "combustor configuration B" which "has a shorter life".

The airframer has not specified the total number of E2s it will deliver this year, but has said that 10% of the around 90 commercial aircraft it will produce in 2018 will be the re-engined variant.

When asked whether as many as seven or eight aircraft were affected, Souza says that "maybe less" will have PW1900Gs that require a later upgrade to the package C standard to address combustor liner longevity issues. Embraer stresses that a minority of E2 deliveries in 2018 will be affected.

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However, Souza says that any aircraft delivered with the problematic engines will be retrofitted by year-end.

Embraer is not alone in struggling with the durability of P&W's GTF line: Airbus and Bombardier having already seen production disrupted by the issue on the PW1100G and PW1500G engines powering their respective A320neo and CSeries twinjets.

The Brazilian airframer will hand over the initial E190-E2 to launch operator Widerøe in April, ahead of a first commercial flight scheduled for the 24th of that month. Type certification from Brazil's regulator ANAC is "very close", says Souza.

Two further examples of the re-engined twinjet, configured in a 114-seat single-class layout, will delivered to the Norwegian carrier in May and June. Additional customers receiving aircraft this year include Air Astana and China's GX Airlines.

Embraer is also developing a business-class layout for the E2 which features a unique 2+2 staggered seat layout offering a seat pitch of up to 54in (137in).

Souza says that the in-house built configuration will be available from mid-2019. Although no customer has committed to the layout, he says airlines are showing considerable interest in the product.

Embraer's E2 family comprises three models spanning 90-146 seats. The E190-E2 and E195-E2 are both in flight testing, with service entry planned for 2018 and 2019, respectively.

The third and smallest variant, the E175-E2, is on track to make its first flight in 2019, says Souza, ahead of service entry in 2021. Its PW1700G engines are currently being tested by P&W, he adds.

This article has been updated to the clarify proportion of aircraft with affected engines.

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