At exactly 1:06
PM local time, the first new-generation E-Jet, an E190-E2, lifted off from
runway 15 at São José dos Campos Airport on its maiden flight. The flight occurred just three
months after the airplane made its public début at a roll-out ceremony at the
factory in late February.
The inaugural flight was originally planned for the second half of this year but was
advanced several weeks owing to the high degree of maturity of the E-Jets
platform in the E2 development program.
That maturity was achieved through the extensive use of digital modeling
simulations and ground and static tests that employed rigs and an iron bird.
employees gathered under overcast skies to cheer as the jet flew by and climbed
for the three-hour and twenty-minute test flight.
carrying registration PR-ZEY, is the first of four E190-E2s that will be used
in the certification campaign that is expected to accumulate 2,000 hours of
testing. This first airplane is slated
to assess flying qualities as well as conduct low-speed envelope-expansion
tests. The second E190-E2 will examine
engine, takeoff and landing, flutter and high-speed performance while the third
will test aircraft systems. Finally, the
fourth E190-E2 will be configured with passenger seats in a working cabin.
Embraer Captain Mozart Louzada commanded the airplane
along with First Officer Gerson de Oliveira Mendes and Flight Test Engineers
Alexandre Figueiredo and Carlos Silveira.
The flight evaluated aircraft handling and performance characteristics
with the crew analyzing a range of flight envelope parameters, including speed,
altitude and landing gear retraction.
So, how did the first E2 perform?
Captain Louzada was particularly impressed with the
time to climb. The E190-E2 has PW1900G
high-bypass ratio geared turbofan engines that each produce up to 22,000 lb. of
thrust. “It took us less than
18 minutes to climb from 20,000 ft. to 41,000 ft., and that was without using
maximum available thrust.”
attained a maximum altitude of 41,000 ft. and airspeed of Mach 0.82, achieving
both MMO and VMO, a first for the maiden flight of any recent test airplane,
and flew with the control system in both normal and direct law modes. Captain Louzada also commented on the flying
characteristics. “The E190-E2 was even nicer to fly than predicted. Control harmony in rolls, pitch and using the
rudder was all very good and, most importantly, was very like the current
E-Jets, so we were able to verify that they fly about the same. As an E-Jet pilot, I certainly felt at home
in the E2, despite the differences in the flight deck displays and the changes
in technology and equipment. “
The E190-E2 is scheduled to enter commercial service in 2018.
to watch the first E2 take off.