Embraer Launches NextGen E-Jets With Strong Support

 - June 24, 2013, 1:03 PM

The second generation of Embraer’s E-Jet series of narrowbody airliners was officially launched and named E2 during last week’s Paris Air Show. Seven launch customers rallied for the christening party, supporting the Brazilian airframer with approximately $17.8 billion worth of orders and commitments for up to 365 of the twinjets.

The main foundation for the upgraded 97- to 114-passenger E190-E2, the 144-seat E195-E2 and the 90-seat E175-E2 is the replacement of the General Electric CF34 engines with Pratt & Whitney’s new PW1000G geared turbofan. Other improvements include a new wing with higher aspect ratio; improved avionics; full fly-by-wire flight controls; a new interior; and improved connectivity technology in the cabin.

First to enter service in 2018 will be the E190-E2. This will be followed in 2019 by the E195-E2, which will have three more rows of four-abreast seats than the existing E195. Finally, the E175-E2, with one more row of seats than the existing version, will reach the market in 2020. Embraer has opted not to include the 70-seat E170 in the E2 mix.

Another key program partner will be Honeywell, which is to equip the E2 with its Primus Epic 2 avionics suite. Embraer’s decision to retain Honeywell in the cockpit put an end to speculation that the airframer might switch to another supplier in the wake of “teething” troubles it experienced in service with the existing E-Jets. In February, Embraer Commercial Aviation COO Luis Carlos Affonso acknowledged that the company had seriously considered a switch to Rockwell Collins or Garmin, but ultimately opted not to make the change on the grounds that it wanted to retain the technical commonality with the existing E-Jet cockpits.

Epic 2 borrows much of its architecture from the existing Epic suite, including the configuration of system boxes and data buses. The E2 E-Jets will benefit from a new flight management system that Embraer plans to integrate into production of the current E-Jets by 2015.

Embraer CEO Frederico Curado told a Paris press conference that the extra capacity for the E175-E2 and E195-E2 will come from a fuselage stretch rather than simply reconfiguring the interiors. The E190-E2 will retain its existing airframe dimensions. All three types will get new wings, with the E190-E2 and the E195-E2 having the same design. Anticipated fuel-burn improvements over the current models include a 16-percent advantage for the E175-E2 and the E190-E2, while the E195-E2 should consume 23 percent less jet-A. Embraer claims the E195-E2 will deliver better seat-mile costs than the substantially larger Airbus A320neo.