According to Defense-aerospace.com, the first prototype of the new Embraer KC-390 jet transport aircraft has logged more than 100 flight hours since resumed its flight test program in October 2015. A second prototype will fly in the first half of this year.
The Brazilian manufacturer says it is on the path to certification in the second half of 2017, with first deliveries to the Brazilian Air Force in 2018, two years later than originally planned due to an interruption of flight testing because of pressures on government budgets in the wake of Brazil’s economic crisis.
«We are happy with the aircraft, which had good availability for the tests, sometimes making two flights a day», said vice president Paul Gaston Silva. «The plane is behaving very well and we were able to cover the entire flight envelope. We tested speed limits, Mach number and altitude, and tested all positions of slats, flaps and landing gear. We also made an on-board shutdown, with engine and APU restart. We can confirm all our predictions for the flying qualities and performance».
The Brazilian Air Force plans to purchase 28 units. He declined to comment on Embraer’s ongoing campaign to interest other countries, but said that the statements of intention of five foreign partners (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic for 32 additional aircraft remain intact. Embraer also recently joined the bidding in Canada.
According to Silva, there are good prospects for the KC-390 in the Asia-Pacific market. «It is a multi-mission aircraft and so is suitable for many missions, including transport and aerial refueling. It can carry all kinds of cargo, including vehicles and helicopters, and is very competitive in terms of life cycle costs».
|Length||115.5 feet/35.20 m|
|Wingspan||115 feet/35.05 m|
|Height||38.8 feet/11.84 m|
|Powerplant||2 × International Aero Engines V2535-E5 turbofan; 31,330 lbs/14,211 kgf/139.4 kN|
|Maximum concentrated payload||26 metric ton|
|Maximum distributed payload||23 metric ton|
|Maximum cruise speed||470 knots/541 mph/870 km/h/0.80 M|
|Maximum operational altitude||36,000 feet/10,973 m|
|Cabin altitude||8,000 feet/2,438 m|
|Ferry range with internal tank||4,640 NM/8,593 km (flight time = 11.50 h)|
|Range reference w/o wind||3,350 NM/6,204 km (flight time = 08.50 h)|
|Range with 28,660 lbs/13,000 kg||2,780 NM/5,149 km (flight time = 07.05 h)|
|Range with 50,706 lbs/23,000 kg||1,380 NM/2,556 km (flight time = 03.40 h)|
|Cargo configurations||80 soldiers|
|7 463L type pallets|
|1 Black Hawk helicopter|