Embraer plans to introduce gradual improvements to its E-Jets over the next three years, including a fuel-burn-improvement package by the end of this year, before the planned 2018 service entry of re-engined versions of the E175, E190 and E195, newly designated as the “G2” series. New winglets and some aerodynamic clean-up will achieve the near-term fuel-burn improvement, according to Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, Embraer president of commercial aviation.
Not all models will enjoy the same efficiency gain, however. The E175's fuel burn will drop by 5 percent, while the E190’s consumption will fall by 3 percent. Embraer plans to introduce the improvements incrementally on new-build E-Jets, at a rate of “one percent next year and more in 2014,” Silva said. The company does expect to offer a retrofit.
Further improvements planned for next year include increased maintenance intervals, as well as structural and prognostics health management. Next, in 2015, Embraer plans unspecified “advanced avionics features” and a new cabin interior, the latter available as a retrofit.
With the G2, “we want to maintain our competitive advantage over [six-abreast single-aisle airliners],” Silva explained. Embraer claims today's E-Jets hold an edge in some segments over the current Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 series. To gain a similar advantage against the re-engined A320neo and 737 Max, the E-Jets need less thirsty engines. Embraer is thus talking to Rolls-Royce and GE, Silva said, and seeks at least a 10-percent fuel burn improvement.
Other changes remain undefined. Embraer's executives want to select an engine first and go from there. A larger fan, for example, might call for taller landing gear. The company must also design a new wing, or perhaps two, depending on whether or not a common airfoil could meet the needs of the entire line.
“The G2 will be an evolution of the E175, E190 and E195,” Silva said, conspicuously excluding the slow-selling 70-seat E170. Therefore, the three G2 E-Jets will cover capacities from 78 to 122 seats.
Embraer plans to start offering the G2 E-Jets to airlines early next year and execute a full program launch in the second half of next year.