Embraer’s Chief Executive for Commercial Aviation recently revealed that the manufacturer is looking to launch its new turboprop project sometime next year. Based on the E-jet family, Embraer hopes it will ‘bring new passenger appeal to the segment’ and says it could be in service by 2027.
‘Will stand apart from other products’
Last year, Brazilian planemaker Embraer announced that it would be building a new turboprop plane. Deviating somewhat from a more classic turboprop design, the new aircraft would instead be based on the manufacturer’s E-jet family, sharing the same fuselage cross-section.
Speaking at a webinar celebrating the delivery of the first E195-E2 aircraft to Helvetic Airways, Arjan Meijer, Chief Executive of Embraer Commercial Aviation, said the company was looking to launch the project sometime in the next year. Its entry into service is now projected to 2027 or 2028.
“Embraer is still very much focused on the segment. We are still working on a turboprop and hope to launch the program in 2022,” Mr Meijer was quoted by FlightGlobal. “It will really stand apart from the products out there today.”
The new project does not mean that Embraer is moving away from jets. Rather, it is honing in on the market segment for smaller capacity, short-haul, more environmentally friendly aircraft.
The planemaker has previously stated that the new plane would cater to the 70-100 seat market. It has plans for two variants, one for 70 and one for about 90 passengers. This could put it in competition with Embraer’s own E175 E2 jet, which has a capacity of 88 passengers. Its other potential competitors, such as the Dash 8 and ATR 72, seat 90 and 78 passengers at the high-end respectively.
The wings of the new aircraft are placed lower to the ground, similar to Embraer’s previous turboprop, the EMB 120 Brasilia. The current rendering of the propulsion system shows no signs of a hybrid variant. However, Embraer has previously confirmed that the conventional design will be capable of reducing fuel consumption by 20%, but that it will also be prepared to receive hybrid technology.
Twenty years since last EMB 120
If the project goes into production, it will be the first time since 2001 that Embraer has made turboprop planes, which is when it ceased production of its EMB 120 after close to 20 years. Embraer built 359 of the small 30-seater aircraft. According to data from ch-aviation, 104 are still flying, mostly with the Brazilian Air Force.
The new project is set to be something entirely different, and perhaps it is just the upgrade that the turboprop market needs? Talks are still ongoing with potential commercial partners, but as with all new aircraft development, it will be an exciting one to follow.
What do you think of Embraer’s new turboprop project? Who will its customers be, and how well will it do? Leave a comment below and let us know.