Two Aircraft to be Delivered Before Year-end
Embraer showcased its first production aircraft from the KC-390 programme to the assembled multitude at LAAD 2019 in Rio this week.
The aircraft, the first with all features of the series production models, is now being used to finish the test programme alongside the second prototype, as part of the process to declare the type ready for induction by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). The main difference from the prototypes is the inclusion of all the operational systems, including the consoles for the loadmaster, and the complete cargo cabin interior, which is self-evidently wider than its competitors.
Walter Pinto, head of the KC-390 programme, explained that the company is working on the final assembly of planes 02 and 03 for the FAB, which will be the first to be delivered, one before mid-year and the other by the end of 2019. Two other examples are in the structural assembly and the programme is on schedule, according to the company.
While the KC-390 has already received civil certification, the last military tests are currently being conducted, including low-altitude and low-speed cargo drop, and aerial refuelling as both tanker (for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft) and receiver. The cargo loading system is also under test.
The company also expects to boost its international sales once the type is operational with the FAB, with the agreement with Boeing helping in this regard. Currently, negotiations with the Portuguese Air Force are well advanced, while there are Letters of Intent for over 60 aircraft and ongoing negotiations with a number of air forces.