Three pre-series and one production aircraft will participate in the Embraer 190 flight-test programme at the company's Gaviao Peixoto test centre. The first aircraft is due to fly within a month and will be joined by the other three at a rate of one each quarter. Two ground- test airframes, one for static and the other for fatigue trials, are also involved. Certification is scheduled for the third quarter of 2005, followed immediately by deliveries to launch customer JetBlue Airways.

"The three pre-series aircraft will be built with production tooling, and will be equipped with flight-test equipment," says Embraer senior vice-president engineering and new product development Luis Carlos Affonso. "The fourth aircraft will be a full production 190 with a furnished cabin, and will undertake flutter and performance tests as well as internal noise evaluation."

Compared with the 70-seat 170, the 98-seat 190 features a 6.3m (20.8ft) longer fuselage, a larger wing, more powerful General Electric CF34-10E engines, taller main landing gear and larger horizontal stabiliser. Flight testing of the larger 108-seat 195 will involve just one aircraft, which is due to fly in the third quarter, and certification is expected in the second quarter of 2006. Swiss International Air Lines is the only customer, with deliveries due to start in the third quarter.

Source: Flight International