May 28, 2019 © Leeham News: Embraer’s KC-390 multi-role tanker transport is nearing delivery of the first aircraft to the launch customer, the Brazilian Air Force.
In a briefing in advance of the Paris Air Show at Embraer’s Unidade Gavião Peixoto Airport 225 miles from its Sao Jose dos Campos headquarters, program VP Walter Pinto said that most of the required testing is complete.
Four major test areas must be completed, which can occur after delivery. Embraer is taking the air force’s first airplane to the Paris Air Show next month. After that, the airplane will be handed over.
The tests that will be run in conjunction with the air force are:
The KC-390 received certification last October from Brazil’s ANAC, the equivalent of the USA’s Federal Aviation Administration and Europe’s EASA. It is routine for governments to require civilian certification of major components and parts.
The original purpose for the KC-390 was to serve, in addition to its military roles, as a transport of goods to the far-flung reaches of Brazil to support local populations.
The airplane has primitive airfield performance capabilities. Payload is 26,000kg.
It falls between the venerable Lockheed C-130 and the Airbus A400M, both turboprops. The KC-390 is a twin jet using International Aero Engines V2500 power plants.
It is Embraer’s largest aircraft, about the size of a Boeing 737.
Production of aircraft No. 8 is underway at the Peixoto airport, which Embraer owns. This airport is principally a defense facility, although Embraer produces E-Jet wings and executive jet components here.
One KC-390 was damaged beyond repair in a runway accident at Peixoto.
It is well known that Boeing and Embraer created a joint venture for Embraer’s Commercial Aviation unit. Boeing will own 80% and Embraer 20% of the new JV, which will be named Boeing Brasil-Commercial and take over all the EMB facilities at Sao Jose dos Campos. The executive jets produced there will move to Peixoto. This business unit is not part of the Boeing-Embraer JV package.
But the KC-390 program is an offshoot of the commercial deal.
A new JV, which has yet to be named, will be 51% owned by Embraer and 49% owned by Boeing.
Embraer’s Pinto says Embraer will gain access to markets through Boeing it doesn’t have now. He said that only Boeing sales will be the benefit to Embraer.
The joint ventures are undergoing international government approvals before they become effective. Embraer hopes this process will be complete by year end.