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  • ​Third KC-390 transport conducts maiden flight

​Third KC-390 transport conducts maiden flight

The first series production Embraer KC-390 tactical transport has conducted its maiden flight, and will join the first two examples in the programme’s flight test campaign.

“As agreed with the Brazilian Air Force, the aircraft will now join the flight test campaign, in which more than 1,900 flight hours have already been logged,” says Embraer.

“Civil certification of the basic aircraft will be granted by Brazilian aviation authority ANAC (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil) and is expected to be achieved very soon.”

The company did not give details of the flight’s duration and any work undertaken during the sortie.

Embraer has previously said that the first production example will be delivered to the Brazilian air force in the first half 2019, six months later than previously planned.

The nine-year-old development programme for the twin-engined tanker-transport had been on track until an “operational issue” in May caused the first of two flight test aircraft to overrun a runway in Brazil, heavily damaging the landing gear and fuselage.

The months-long delay triggered by the runway overrun in May also caused Embraer to report a R$459 million ($127 million) special charge in the second quarter. The cause of the incident is being investigated.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the Brazilian air force has 28 firm orders for KC-390, while there are 38 letters of intent from international customers. Countries with LOIs for the type are Argentina (six aircraft), Chile (six), Colombia (12), Czech Republic (two), and Portugal (six).

In addition, aviation services firm SkyTech signed an LOI for six examples at this year’s Singapore air show.

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