The Embraer E-Jet E2 programme reached an important milestone on May 23 when the prototype E190-E2 performed its maiden flight. The aircraft had originally been scheduled to fly during the second half of this year and this first flight took place less than three months after the airframe debuted at a rollout ceremony in late February.
The aircraft (PR-ZEY) took to the skies at 1.06pm from Embraer’s facility in São José dos Campos and flew for 3 hours and 20 minutes. The inaugural flight marks the beginning of the certification campaign for the new version the E190-E2, the first of three new second-generation E-Jet models. A total of four prototypes will be used in the E190-E2 certification programme and these will later be joined by two aircraft assigned to the E195-E2 certification process and three E175-E2 aircraft.
The E190-E2 is scheduled to enter commercial service in 2018, and the E195-E2 is due to follow suit in 2019, and the E175-E2 a year later.
“A first flight is always an emotional occasion, no matter how many you witness over the years,” said Embraer President and CEO Frederico Fleury Curado after the airliner’s safe landing. “In this particular case, we are not only keeping our promises to the market, we are going beyond by being a few months ahead of schedule.”
Since the E-Jet E2s were launched in June 2013, the programme has logged 640 commitments from airlines and leasing companies, including 267 firm orders.