Embraer Reveals More E2 Suppliers, Design Details

 - August 5, 2013, 12:25 PM
All three variants in Embraer’s E2 series will feature a new wing design, new engines, fly-by-wire flight controls, a new avionics layout and a more modern cabin. (Image: Embraer)

Austria’s FACC and Belgium’s Sonaca have each won contracts to supply parts of the all-new wings for the Embraer E2 jets, as the program continues to gain momentum since its launch at June’s Paris Air Show. Under the terms of the contracts, FACC will design and build composite ailerons and spoilers, while Sonaca takes responsibility for the airplanes’ carbon-fiber flaps and metallic slats.

Speaking with AIN last Monday, Embraer Commercial Aviation COO Luis Carlos Affonso revealed new detail on the design changes planned for the new line of E-Jets, including the dimensions of the two sets of new wings, one for the E175 E2 and the other common to the E2 versions of the E190 and E195. Already in flight-test, interim changes to the current E175’s wing now center on a new pair of wing tips that extend the span to 94 feet, 2 inches from 85 feet, 4 inches. Plans call for that modification to appear in current E175s with delivery to Republic Airways next year.

Later, wholesale changes in the design to the E175 E2 airfoils will see the wingspan extend to 101 feet, 8 inches. On the E190 and E195 E2s, plans call for a 16-foot, 4-inch stretch to increase wingspan to 110 feet, 7 inches. Overall, a higher aspect ratio will result in less induced drag and, of course, better fuel efficiency, said Affonso. Despite the wider wingspans, Class C gate standards now governing the current E-Jets will still apply to the E2s, Affonso emphasized.

Other changes include a fuselage stretch in the E175 and E195, full fly-by-wire flight controls, a new, more functional avionics layout, a new interior and, most famously, the powerplant switch from GE CF34s to two new versions of the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G “geared” turbofan.

Scheduled for entry into service in the first half of 2018, the 97- to 114-passenger E190 E2 will serve as the baseline model and retain its current seating capacity. However, the second model scheduled for EIS–the E195-E2–will carry three more rows of four-abreast passenger seats than the current E195 holds, giving it a maximum high-density capacity of 144 passengers once it enters service in 2019. Finally, the smallest of the three models, the E175-E2, will enter service in 2020 and carry one more row of seats, raising its capacity range to 80 to 90 seats. Embraer has opted to exclude the 70-seat E170 from the E2 project.

Embraer plans to achieve the capacity increases by stretching the E175 to 106 feet from 103 feet, 11 inches. The E195 E2 will be stretched to 136 feet, 2 inches from the E195’s 126 feet, 10 inches.

Affonso said the fuselage changes will involve more than simply adding plugs to accomplish the stretch. In fact, designs call for the removal of the plugs used in the E175 and E195–stretched versions of the E170 and E190, respectively–and incorporation of longer but fewer fuselage sections. Each fuselage will consist of five main pieces, namely the nose, three center fuselage sections and the aft section. Affonso explained that fewer joints spell less weight because of the need for fewer rivets and structural elements, for example.