Embraer cannot be accused of rolling out an incomplete test aircraft with the public unveiling of the E190-E2 on 25 February.
A private tour of the aircraft interior shortly after rollout ceremony revealed a structurally complete airframe with a full flight test interior already installed.
The window for first flight opens in four months in July, but the aircraft appears to only await safety of flight approvals for the power systems and the software that controls the onboard avionics. The Pratt & Whitney PW1900G engines also remain in certification testing, but clearing that milestone is not required prior to first flight.
Although pictures were not allowed, the private tour for two journalists offered an intriguing early glimpse of Embraer’s advanced preparations for an 18-month flight test campaign.
The tour began by ascending the airstairs to enter the forward cabin left door. The top of the airstairs afforded a clear view of the new engines and the contoured profile of the new and expanded wing.
Only minutes before the tour began, Embraer chief executive Frederico Curado had described the new wing design as possibly featuring the highest aspect ratio yet achieved by a metallic structure in industry history.
During a follow-on press conference, Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer’s chief operating officer for commercial aircraft, explained that the high aspect ratio – which is estimated above 11, including the raked wingtip – is achieved with a metallic structure due to the small size of the aircraft, compared to larger single-aisle and twin-aisle designs. If the aircraft family was any larger, it would be necessary to switch to a composite wing design, Affonso says.
Stepping into the cabin from the airstairs, Honeywell’s Primus Epic-based cockpit grabs a visitor’s attention. The aircraft achieved power-on in late November or early December, according to an Embraer official. The second flight test vehicle also has achieved power-on.
Although Embraer selected Honeywell’s avionics for the E-Jet E2 in part to maintain commonality with the original E-Jet family, the new system is “very, very improved”, Curado says, adding jokingly,: “I play with Honeywell. I say, ‘It’s very like a Garmin cockpit.’ They do not like that very much! It’s a very, very nice upgrade to the avionics.”
Compared to the original model, four large area multifunction displays offer 40% more viewing area for the E-Jet E2 cockpit. But the instruments are largely unchanged, except for minor layout tweaks to the navigation control panel.
Turning back through the cabin, a narrow aisle lies between a fully-installed flight test interior. Four test stations are already prepared to support a flight test campaign not scheduled to begin for four months. The test stations stand amidst a forward cabin cluttered with flight test instruments. Further aft, Embraer has installed 12 passenger seats near the rear of the cabin, with more instrumentation equipment filling the final one-third of the fuselage.
Source: Cirium Dashboard