Embraer 190 makes maiden flight

New Delhi: Embraer has announced the maiden flight of the Embraer 190, which is the third member of a family of new-generation commercial jets specifically designed for the untapped 70- to 110-seat market.

This first flight marks the beginning of the Embraer 190's flight test regime, and the company hopes to achieve type certification for the aircraft by the third quarter of 2005. The company also aims to follow up type certification with immediate deliveries to Jet Blue Airways of the US, who will be their launch customer. According to the company, the Embraer 190 has already secured 110 firm orders even before making its maiden flight.

The aircraft is powered by twin, under-wing, General Electric CF34-10E engines, controlled by a redundant Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). This computerised management system optimises engine operation during all phases of a flight, reducing fuel consumption and maintenance costs. Like other members of the Embraer 170/190 family, the Embraer 190 has four main cabin doors and offers airlines fast turn-around times and maximum cabin configuration flexibility for dual class, single class, or high-density seating arrangements.

Unlike other aircraft with similar seating capacity, the Embraer 170/190 has a double-bubble fuselage design. This design offers much more room for passengers with seats and aisles being the widest amongst airliners of the same class. The high degree of commonality amongst the four family airliners also results in operating and maintenance cost reduction for the carriers. Moreover, Cross Crew Qualification (CCQ) allows better utilisation of resources without the restrictions normally associated with mixed-fleet flying.

Another important feature of the Embraer 170/190 programme is the use of fly-by-wire technology for the flight control systems, similar to those deployed on advanced military aircraft and larger commercial jets.

According to the company, all four aircraft of the Embraer 170/190 family, more than meet the demanding noise and emission-related requirements, established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The Embraer 170/190 family of aircraft have secured 245 firm orders and 305 options from operators such as Air Cara´bes, Alitalia, Cirrus, GECAS, LOT Polish Airlines, SWISS, US Airways, and Jet Blue.