Pontifications: Embraer’s strategy for the TPNG

By Scott Hamilton

Oct. 18, 2021, © Leeham News: It was October 2015 when Bjorn Fehrm and I first went to Sao Jose de Campos to visit Embraer’s headquarters. Among the topics discussed then was the prospect of developing a new turboprop airliner. The E2 program was well underway and one day, Embraer’s engineers would need something else to do.

At the time, officials weren’t enthusiastic about a turboprop. The cost to develop one was estimated to be about $2.5bn, about the same as the E2, they said. But the market was much smaller, only about 2,000-2,400 airplanes over 20 years.

Much has changed in six years. The E2 program is all but finished, with only the E175-E2 left. Periodic performance improvement packages will be developed. The proposed joint venture with Boeing, in which Embraer’s engineers were going to play a big role in two new airplane programs, is dead.

EcoAviation demands have risen to the forefront. Bombardier exited the Q400 turboprop business and the buyer, Longview Aviation Capital, “suspended” production during the COVID pandemic. Few believe it will be restarted. Airbus, which owns 50% of ATR, made hydrogen power a top priority. ATR may be the vehicle through which initial development is sold as a turboprop.

Embraer’s shifting strategy

When Embraer began showing the turboprop concept, it was a traditional design: a low wing airplane with wing-mounted engines. The E2 fuselage would be used, bringing unparalleled passenger comfort far beyond anything in the ATR or Bombardier series.

Today, the engines would be mounted on the rear fuselage. Advanced engines will reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The airplane could later be converted to hydrogen power.

Adapting the E2 fuselage will lower the development cost, but the termination of the Boeing JV and the fall-out of the pandemic took a financial toll on Embraer. A partner providing money or industrial support or both is needed. Officials hope to launch the program next year with an entry into service in 2027—a timeline some greet with skepticism.

Developing the TPNG

Arjan Meijer, the president and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, outlined the development strategy of the Turboprop Next Generation (TPNG) in an interview during the IATA AGM Oct. 3-5 in Boston.

“We have the E2 in operation,” Meijer said. “I think it’s fair to say that the largest versions of any family are most of the time strongest unless there are some specifics like a Scope Clause in the US. The 190 and the 195 E2 are the bigger members of the family. We still plan to 175 E2, but we believe in above and below that, we have a gap in our product offering.”

This was one of the reasons why Embraer wanted to look into turboprop, he said.

“The second reason is we believe that today there is no really good aircraft in that segment that people like from an interior perspective, that people like from a noise perspective, or that airlines like from a cost perspective. From all those perspectives, we’ve been working on a TP for a long time. I think the development costs of a TP are not as high as the development cost of an E2 families, so it will be significantly lower,” Meijer said.

Meijer said Embraer can do a lot of “recycling” on this aircraft. The TPNG uses the E2 cabin. Advanced technology on the E2 can also be applied to the TPNG.

“The number we have in mind on the investment is significantly lower than $2.5bn,” Meijer said. But he declined to offer one.

Engines in the rear

One of the other changes that we made is we put the engines on the tail instead of under the wing. There were a couple of reasons driving that. First of all, the looks of the airplane, just to call it like that, it’s really different. It distinguishes itself from existing turboprops. The functional benefit is that by taking the engines further away from the cabin, it will positively affect the onboard noise, so for the noise profile, it’s a lot better for the passengers in the airplane,” he said.

Another reason is the ground handling of the aircraft. “The accessibility of the gate to the aircraft is easier. There were several reasons to go into the direction of this new design. Then there is environmental angle. That’s another driver.”

Meijer said the first TPNG will have a more traditional engine, but Embraer believes the platform can be used for future technology. Hydrogen fuel is a future possibility, “but it’s all very early on. This is not going to happen in the next 10 years. This technology probably will take more time. Embraer is very focused on the segment below the turboprop for the next couple of years, how to bring an aircraft to market there that has a much better CO2 footprint.”

Embraer is at electric and hybrid power as well. But electric and hybrid are going to be really difficult to apply for the technology, Meijer said.

This story will continue in a future post.

130 Comments on “Pontifications: Embraer’s strategy for the TPNG

  1. It strikes me Embraer as well as ATR take a careful position towards electric and H2. Not suprising.

    Some people think the engine position in the tail also keeps options open for a high BPR geared ducted fan. But I’ve not seen RR or Pratt ideas recently.

    • With RISE schedule of 2035, as well as PW and RR have not agreed the GORe works. Shrug.

      PW has a range of TP engines that fit or can be adjusted to fit the Embraer project if it sees the light of day.

      I don’t know if GE or RR has the right sizes.

      But its all Turpo Prop on what Embraer is proposing. Tail mounted, but a TP

  2. Where they will find the cash to finance a new program? It’s not like the E2 was a huge success. And half of their commercial backlog is the E175-E1, which the TPNG is supposed to compete against…

    • There is always money for good projects. However, there are still unanswered questions:
      1. Are there engines that meet a similar level of power and economy?
      2. Will the market that currently demand regional jets be receptive to these aircraft, whose price will not be low?

    • Nicolas:

      Right or Wrong on the Turbo Prop, its not an E172-E2 or a an E1 competitor.

      Its segment (if it exists anymore) is the 800 mile and under area.

      • Does a turboprop fall inside scope clause rules? Is it possible that airlines in the US could fly it, replacing their older regional jets and staying within the bounds of their agreements? Could be a boon for Embraer, if so…

        • Nothing I have read says they are not part of Scope.

          Its 76 pax and MTOW of 86,000 pounds.

          Keep in mind there are subsets to it, American has no limits at 50 seats and lower.

          But none of the Scope Clause airlines (US Big 3) flies ATR or DH.

          Alaskan Airlines does (not a big three) and it has no scope clause.

          They could opt for the E-175 E2. They seem good with the E-175.

          You can get around it by limiting passengers or fuel and run a lower MTOW.

          But then you paid for more aircraft than you are using.

  3. Considering conventional fuel for starters, who’s going to develop a new turboprop engine for this plane? From the first link, it’s clear that most present-day turboprops give relatively poor fuel economy compared to neo/MAX turbofans, so re-hashing an old engine won’t be acceptable.


    Then, there’s the Chinese Xian MA700 turboprop (second link), which already has 185 orders. However, since this plane is slated to use engines from PW Canada, one can assume that its production is going to be impeded by the current US-Everyone trade war. Does Embraer expect to capture any/much of the Chinese market, seeing as the Chinese will soon have their own offering?


      • Not sure that your link contradicts mine: in your link, the best per-seat fuel economy from the ATR (2.53 l/100km.pax) is still worse than the best value achieved by the neo/MAX (2.18/2.28) — though better than what the A220 achieves. And the ATRs are better than all those older turboprops from Bombardier, Saab, etc.

        • congrats!
          my plot is the visualization of the wiki page. 🙂

          but the ATRs have less than half the seats the Jets have.
          i.e. you should go for understanding what i wrote.

          cue “scaling advantage”. The larger frames intrisically need less fuel per pax. An A320 size Turboprop would soundly beat the A320 in fuel per pax.

          • Which is purely academic, seeing as nobody is planning an A320-sized turboprop.
            Whether the effect is caused by “scaling” or by green goblins, the fact is that per-seat fuel consumption of best-in-class present-day turboprops is not able to compete with the same fuel consumption in best-in-class turbofans. This directly influences CASM.

          • “An A320 size Turboprop would soundly beat the A320 in fuel per pax.”

            Such a turboprop (with scaled-up present day prop tech) would beat an A320ceo, but would it beat an A320neo?

          • Yes Bryce, an A320 sized turboprop would soundly beat the A320NEO on efficiency as well. NASA’s ATP program proved that even at 737 cruising speeds, a turboprop (at the same technology level) will beat any turbofan by ~20% on fuel efficiency. This has been a known quantity for nearly 40 years.

          • @JG
            “a turboprop (at the same technology level) will beat any turbofan by ~20% on fuel efficiency. This has been a known quantity for nearly 40 years”

            Glad you stipulated “at the same technology level”…but that’s not the case here, is it, because no engine OEM has bothered to neo a turboprop up to now, and one can legitimately wonder whether that will ever happen in view of the poor ROE involved (see @William’s comment below).

        • Bryce — ” the best per-seat fuel economy from the ATR (2.53 l/100km.pax) is still worse than the best value achieved by the neo/MAX (2.18/2.28)…” Is Uwe’s point that having 150-seat economics is academic if the market requires/supports only 32 seats?

          • The market looks at CASM.
            There are situations in which an operator may have a choice between a prop and a fan for a particular segment. An E2-sized prop is in the same size class as an A319 (and a present-day E2).

          • @Frank

            “They even use Scott as a reference”

            Who uses us as a reference?

          • @ Frank
            I have no doubt it does…it is, after all, cutting edge.
            The tables in the Wiki link above were “spot examples” from operators on given routes with given seat counts — they shouldn’t be seen as being exhaustive. The quoted figures for the A220 were taken from relatively short routes (regional flights of 500-600 nm).

          • @Bryce

            Funny though, they give figures using spot references for the 737 Max 7, which hasn’t even been put into service yet.. The E2-175, as well. Probably best to take those tables with a grain of salt…

          • @ Frank
            I can imagine that, where real-world data isn’t available, the link uses “official” projections from OEMs. Of course, our good @Leon often posts on the reliability of such OEM data 😏
            But it at least allows some form of comparison.

      • Off the top of my head the latest GEnx and Trent XWB are exceeding 40% thermal efficiency (44% maybe) at producing shaft horsepower whereas a typical turboprop is down at around 32%. Many don’t even exceed the specific fuel consumption performance of the 45-50 year old Rolls Royce Tyne. The best is probably the TP400 of the A400M. Certainly a massive investment could bring turbo prop efficiency to that equal of a turbofan. I can’t see it being worthwhile because its not going to create LEP1, PW1100G or even CFM56 levels of demand.

        • In theory you could make a 25000-35000shp turboprop engine with a huge fan more fuel efficient than a PW1100G. If the core engine of both have the same thermal efficiency the bigger fan/prop of the turboprop gives a better propulsive efficiency and you don’t need the big and expensive nacelle. However the power gbx and the prop system costs and are pretty maintenance heavy and it is hard to reach the same cruise speed. The geared UDF is maybe the optimal combination giving similar bypass ratio, cruise speed and noise within cert limits at jet engine maintenance costs and intervals. One advantage with huge fans/props is the improved T-O/Climb performance that opens up new airports with shorter runways for the same MTOW.

          • The next generation of big twin aisle engines look like being geared turbofans (eg Rolls Royce Ultrafan combined with Advance Core) and I know GE is working in the area as well. PW1100G could increase its BPR from 12.5 to 14:1 or 16:1 and should gain 5% in addition they can increase the hot section to LEAP1B standards and probably obtain an0ther 5%. Either way another 10% seems within reach for conventional turbofans on narrow bodies and perhaps more on the wide bodies. A 35,000hp turbo prop would be impressive. Perhaps if fuel prices go high enough specialised freight aircraft would use such engines. The open rotor seems far away, perhaps because their airframe manufacturers couldn’t possibly afford a new airframe design and the new production lines needed for at least 10 years.

          • William:

            The issue with props has been the tip speed. You can only go so big and so wide and absorb the HP.

            Your only out is to put in counter rotating and I supposed you could even do it at both ends (argh!)

        • @ William
          “Certainly a massive investment could bring turbo prop efficiency to that equal of a turbofan. I can’t see it being worthwhile because its not going to create LEAP1, PW1100G or even CFM56 levels of demand.”

          Thank you — that was/is precisely the point I was making above.
          So, whatever turboprop this new Embraer plane uses, it will almost certainly be “old tech”.

          • There is a chance they will use the GE C-53K Stallion 7500shp GE38 engine in turboprop configuration or the 9,620 lbf (4,360 kgf; 42.8 kN) takeoff thrust GE38-B5 UDF designed for the West German-Chinese MPC-75 regional airliner project. Still approx half the thrust of the PW1900G. Still if you reduce the MTOW alot only to fly short routes 2ea big fan 10 000lbf engines might be enough. Just look at the slow climbing ATR72 with its PW127M’s of 2,475 shp compared to the ATR42 engine of 2,160 shp. It sells well on low cost, enough seats and high durability. Can they develop the first 90-100 seater with less than 2liter/100km/pax cruising at +350kn it will sell if priced reasonably. Neither PWA nor GE is especially interesed in making an engine competing too well stealing sales from the A320neo, A220 or 737MAX. Would RR let Allison do it using the Advance2/Pearl core engine with US goverment support next to the B-52 new engine line building the old BR725’s?

          • @William The AE2100 is an old Engine design by now, especially its big core engine. Saab used it on the Saab2000 to chase top speed but got delayed by noise issue and stick forces at one engine out conditions before solving those and certify. The reliable ATR72-600 with 1/2 Engine Power and 40% more seats made it uncompetetive. So a 100seat ERJ195TP with 620nm range consuming only 63% fuel for the same trip compared to the ERJ195-E2 for 80% of its price has its customers. If it can be made profitable is another question.

          • @Bryce, another issue I see is the levels of advance possible operable in a regional turbo prop. The LEAP1 uses GEnx metallurgy but hot section temperatures are reduced to ease maintenance requirements and cope with the higher cycle life.

            The workshop facilities and instruments affordable are going to be less.

            No doubt this new Embraer will be be very fast turboprop with good fuel efficiency. I imagine a 6/7/8 scimitar bladed prop at the rear.

            Cruise speed 360 knots (same as a DASH 8 / Q400), perhaps a little more, say 10% more (ie 396 knots) which is still below the 453 knots of a jet. How much more fuel efficient will it be than a Jet?

            Does Embraer have a market case for a turboprop 15% slower than a jet but maybe 10% more efficient?

          • claes:

            The big engine high speed aspect is not as simple as 1/2 engine and more competitive (some of it is economics)

            BBD elected to focus on speed for the -8. The -8 is going to cost more due to those bigger engines.

            What they failed to do was emphasize you did not have to USE that high speed. The -8 has very close economics to the ATR-72 when flown at lower speeds (no not as good but close)

            Flip to that is you can make up time with the -8 that you can’t with the ATR. What that is worth? A lot with connecting flights and not so much if at all for one way trips.

            There are areas in Africa, US and Asia (think Himalayas) that the -8 has better ops as it can fly more direct (its one engine operating height is a lot higher than the ATR)

            Your flight routes have to take that into account. Ergo the ATR may have to fly further so it has escape lines.

            The SAAB 340 could have done the same, keeping in mind that its passenger numbers put it in a different category than the ATR or the DH.

      • Even if props are more efficient on shorter flights, there will be mixed operators who do short, medium and longer flights (e.g. as in Indonesia, which measures 5000km x 2000km, and has routes from 20 minutes up to 5 hours). One could have a mixed fleet of props and fans, or one could just use the versatility of fuel-efficient fans for all routes and accept the sub-optimal performance on shorter routes.

  4. Scott, can you elaborate a bit, how could the development of this “TPNG” cost less than the E2 programme? To my understanding, with the turbo reactors mounted on the back, the entire geometry of the plane has to be though newly … and then of course tested and certified.
    A good idea that they want to recycle the cabin but that is a small cost factor in comparison to the rest.
    Do we have any idea which size “TPNG” would be. Is it rather thought as a plane below the E175 or does it cover the same pax range as the E2, thus being an in-house competitor?
    If this “TPNG” becomes a reality, I expect this to trigger ATR to build a 90 or 100 pax version with the same new motor generation that Airbus blocked a few years ago.

    • GW & PW have been claiming 20 % improvement for a new engine for a decade. I think they call it the NGTP

    • @Chris: Embraer’s theory is lowering development costs is to (very, very simplistically) use the E2 fuselage and systems and adapt the airplane to a turboprop. The TPNG is a two-member family, 70 and 90 seats. Don’t have specs on the range, but I’m guessing no more than 1,500nm and perhaps considerably less.

      • Thanks for the quick answer!

        I am not sure if that will be so easy and of course if it is too much of ERJ it will be too much compromised. Then a 100% turboprop plane, even if its design is 40 years old, could remain better.

        • There was a recent output from Embraer that they were looking at the 800 mile segment as its target.

          Further tipped well over into Regional Jets.

          I think the current wisdom is 500 miles but operators are putting regional jets on those routes as well (AK is moving more to that and less Dash 8)

          • To do 800nm as the target, which is the average USA segment, they’d probably go with 1,200nm, which is just about what the Q400 does.

        • @Chris: Bjorn is the engineer in LHA, so he is better positioned to answer in detail. But that’s paywall stuff.

          • Scott:

            Direct quote from Silva via Av Week

            “While the aircraft is being designed for a maximum range of 800 nm, most sectors will be 250-300 nm, according to Silva e Souza.”

            Agreed seems way short but part of it may be lower gross weight and better efficiency.

            Whether there is a market there of course is the $64 questions.

          • I don’t think a design range of 800nm is enough. But maybe that’s just me.

          • Scott:

            It strikes me as the same but that is the only basis we have is what Silva has released on the concept.

            Being a CEO he could be confused at targets stage lengths vs fuel.

            I saw all too many managers checked their brain into the deposit box when they got promoted (granted that they had not already or never did and Peter Principled their way up)

    • ChrisA,

      I understand that Embraer knows a lot about this cabin, the configuration options (ex.: CBA-123), turboprops (Brasilia, Tucano, Xingu), a lot about FBY and other complex projects (E1, E2, Preator, KC-390 ). If any company will succeed in this endeavor, it will probably be Embraer. Remember that the entire E1 family was developed for just $1 billion.

      • Risk sharing with its airframe partners was how Embraer did it for that money

        • Was Harry Stonecipher right? Why was this such a success at Embraer and a failure at Boeing. (possibly B787 was much higher risk).

          My wife who was a high end IT saleswoman back in the day was highly dismissive of SAP fashion of 15-20 years ago. She said it was there for one reason only: it made it easy to do what executives do a lot of: which was to produce reports. It certainly paralleled what I saw. It pretty much destroyed any functioning maintenance management and often damaged functioning manufacturing scheduling systems. When IT is good its very good but when its bad its really bad.

  5. A new generation turboprop needs a new generation engine. P&WC was developing one as a successor to the PW100 family but has yet to win a launch customer. The strength of the PW100 was that it was adopted by a large number of OEMs. The development and production cost of a new turboprop engine will be a major driver in the overall cost of a new aircraft, especially if the engine core doesn’t have a turbofan application as well. Embraer can’t proceed without a suitable engine at the right price.

    • So we just leave a 20 % improvement on the table? Fuel is too cheap for the airlines to care.

      • I have seen no publication that calls for 20% improvement.

        That is from previous jet Single/Wide aisle mfg.

        The presentation all revolves around replacing 50 seat jets (and why would we think a prop job will do that now when it did not back then?)

        All in a new better fuselage package that makes people just want to jump on board.

      • Airlines care very much about fuel price. (I know you’re probably wolf whistling for a carbon tax). Fuel price is between 22% to 36% of their costs and likely the biggest cause of loss making and bankruptcy.

        This September 2021 Ryan Air flew an astonishing 10.6 million passengers. Over its fleet of 468 aircraft and at 81% load factor it works out at 70,000 flights that month with about 5 flights per day per aircraft. (these are my calculations). Normal non COVID capacity factors are 96.55-98%.

        Replace that 460 knot B737 with a 40% slower 330 knot turbo prop and you might need 20%-40% more aircraft to fly the same passengers.

        100 B737 is worth maybe 2 billion or about 1000 3MW wind turbines. there are opportunity costs.

        Older less efficient aircraft are often scheduled on shorter less frequent routes so their inefficiency has less impact.

        • William:

          Not sure what your point is. Of course they care about fuel costs when they are high (right now they are higher)

          But they get less so when fuel is cheaper.

          Really has nothing to do with the Embraer TP proposal, it all is based on comfort and a new TP image.

          Costs? Well they will be lower supposedly but you have a larger fuselage as well, have yet to see even see rudimentary figures.

          Much like RISE, they claim as quiet as a Turbo Fan, but they don’t even have an engine prototype to test their theories which is all they are without that data set.

          • The point I’m making is that if for instance fuel price doubles from say $2.27/US gallon to say $4.54/US gallon then turboprops become attractive as their slight fuel burn advantage will outweigh their higher maintenance and lower speed. I think we are looking at a trebling of fuel costs to about $7.00/gallon.

            I’ve sat down in front of a spreadsheet for long periods over many I night studying alternative fuels. Alternative fuels like SAF whether e-fuels or biofuels or hydrogen are going to be significantly more expensive than the stuff that comes out of the ground.

            Manufacturing e-fuels (electro fuels) using the EIA electricity rate of $0.03/KWHr does actually produce an e-fuel comparable in price to fossil fuels. Some kind of breakthrough in thermochemical or photochemical water splitting might do the same for electro fuels derived from renewables.

    • We have a newest generation turbo prop .
      It’s Rolls Royce USA AE2100
      Overall pressure ratio 16:1 up to 6000 shp

      PW150 series may be around 5

      • Duke

        “The Rolls-Royce AE 2100 is a turboprop developed by Allison Engine Company, now part of Rolls-Royce North America. The engine was originally known as the GMA 2100, when Allison was a division of former corporate parent General Motors. ”

        Its a 1989 engine, not new (yes its been upgraded) and its heritage is the even older Allison that goes back to the 50s.

        • Its the internal efficiency numbers that count.
          Every jet engine traces its ancestry back to the first ones from Whittle and von Ohain.

          Probably the largest PT6 versions owe little to the original ones as often for branding reasons the names are carried through. We can see that all the time , the last CFM56 would have little in common with the first one, and even the version used for the late A340 was different again.
          Its a business product , the usefulness and price are what matter

          • Perfect logic, we don’t ever need anything new, just upgrade the old stuff.

            I can’t imagine what people are thinking.

            RR is wasting their time, just keep going with the Avon, get rid of that RB211 stuff let alone the Advanced/Ultra

          • Until the existing makers got disrupted.

            Dinosaurs would never see it comes.

      • AE2100 is the turboprop version of the T406 turboshaft. There was a propfan version of the T406 offered in the late 1980s for the MPC 75 (a 75-100 seat regional airliner, so slightly bigger than Embraer’s E3). It had an SFC in cruise (Mach 0.75 @35,000 feet) of 0.51 lb/h/lbf, which is about what the CFM LEAP and PW GTF consume right now.


        A single-propeller turboprop gives up almost 10% in efficiency compared to a propfan, so the 1980s-level AE2100 would be a little worse in cruise than the current narrowbody engines. Who knows if that’s good enough for Embraer. There’s space for the AE2100 to get better, but it was already considered to have too much thrust for the 75-passenger version, and improvements would probably make the engine even more optimized to the high end.

        I’d look to see if the GE Passport could be converted into a turboprop. It’s a turbofan rated to 14-20,000-pounds of thrust with a 5.6:1 bypass ratio. Since it’s a smaller derivative of the LEAP, it has a 45:1 pressure ratio – almost 3 times more than the AE2100, and probably supports much higher core temperatures. Though again it might be too much engine, especially since going from 5.6 BPR to maybe ten times that for a turboprop means it would convert the engine’s shaft power to thrust more efficiently.


  6. Although Embraer reported arguments for rear mounted engines make some sens, I have doubts about the economics and feasibility to adapt of E2 fuselage. Structural loading, wing position and key system arrangement (fuel especially) may be dramatically affected; even with keeping E2 wing-forward section, TPNG fuselage would be nearer to a new design than to an adaptation.
    Not to mention the additionnal modification in case of switch to hydrogen fuel…

    • It can’t be a straight swap wing position wise, they weight in the back with the engines alone precludes that (as does the different wing)

      I make an assumption that the shape and therefore the tooling can be used with modifications to all the needed bits and pieces as well as the systems on board (A/C, controls, electronics etc)

      As its current engine tech and mfg/type available, there is no fuel gain.

      Also its a wider fuselage so compared to an ATR or DH, its going to use more fuel.

      It will be better than a jet of the old 50 seat class (there are no 50 seat jets anymore being built) but………….

  7. Embrayer should have gained experience with CBA 123 Vector flight test. Nevertheless T tail configuration have primary disadvantages
    Deep stall: Does FBW progress (no more stick – shakers ) bring definitive solutions to this now well known phenomenom? Flight test with spin recouvery chute possible with such large aircraft?
    Longitudinal loading and lower flutter speed issues due to additional structural renforcement of the vertical tail and back fuselage ( torsional loads from yaw ).
    Engine weight might be also an issue in this area.
    A lot of engineering work for the next 6 years for a little market. Good Luck.

    • All business jets, some even quite sizable, employ rear-engine configurations and a T empennage. These are well-known issues. There are new aspects, since for E3 the fuel volume will be small and the load transported will be more relevant.

      • Yes. The Gulfstream G800 MTOW 105,600 pounds. A range limited TP wouldnt need so much fuel
        The biggest current Dash8 is about 68,000 lbs while the previous biggest turbo prop ( western )was the Vickers Vanguard with around 135 seats ?

    • FBW with flight envelop protection very efficiently prevent (and manage) against T tail deep stall behavior.
      Just look at Airbus A400M acrobatic capabilities despite its huge T tail.

      • I did not know the A400 was Acrobatic rated. Cool.

        Haul your cargo and do Barrel rolls and loops. Great PR, win win.

        Dem Blue Angles got nothing on a looping A400!

          • That was amazing. A stripped (100J), empty C130 with test pilots though 🙂

            I guess FEP is aimed at helping regular, in service pilots using the full flight envelope. In A400M loops etc are blocked (120 degrees) because of limited operational value & crew situational awareness considerations. https://youtu.be/JYovsMlXYhI

            On the TP400 for civil use, it could theoretically power a A320 sized aircraft (https://flic.kr/p/VckrUk), but it’s made to eat sand and withstand bullits, making it heavy for normal use.

          • Aerobatic is a type rating with G forces and maneuvers

            The A400 is NOT aerobatic. Its not rated to fly upside down.

            Neither was the 707 though it did a slow roll. You can do some of those maneuvers with careful G management. Its not advised – we have a C-17 crash site 3 miles to the North of us that was a result of mucking around at the edge and then going over it of the flight envelope.

    • Deep stall issues lead to two tragic accidents during development (not service) of the British Aerospace BAC 1-11 and Hawker Siddeley Trident in what were early 1960s aircraft.

      It’s important to note that fully aerodynamic solutions were introduced to solve the deep stall issue and stick shakers and stick pushers were an additional safeguard.

      Basically the phenomena was that in a deep stall not only did the wing block of the airflow to the horizontal tail plane thus preventing nose down pitch but that it also stalled the engines so that airspeed couldn’t be regained to recover.

      The solution was the following
      -wing fences, wing vortilons, dog tooth leading edges, leading edge notches prevented premature tip stall and used the wing tips to pitch the nose forward. Of course slats would have done this and as well as protect from icing but some makers avoided the cost of slats and thus also their benefits.
      I believe modern T-tails use aerodynamic twist where the outer wing has a different section that delays stall.
      -auto relight was added to the BAC 1-11 and trident. First sign of a stall was often the auto light indicators showing.
      -wing fences also channelled airflow to the engines thus preventing compressor VC10 and Illushyn IL-62 never had a deep stall issue. On the VC10 the highly swept horizontal tail never was completely blanketed, there were fences and leading edge notches and dog teeth and the stub wing effect of the engines all prevented it. IL-62 had dog teeth.

      Stick pushers, stick nudgers and stick shakers were mandated by the UK CAA
      even on FAA certified aircraft.

      The size of the stub wing pylon to mount the open rotor or turboprop would be so large I think it would eliminate deep stall anyway.

  8. There is also the Deutsche Aircaft D328eco, a 43 seat stretch of the Dornier Do 328 with powerful new SAF PW127 engines and SAF compatible fuel system. A variant with Universal Hydrogens Fuel Cell Engines also planned. Gaseous compressed hydrogen with fuel cells may beat cryogenic hydrogen by a decade or two. ATR also using this.

    It makes me wonder whether the compressed hydrogen system will develop to the point we may never see conventional engines on a cryogenic H2 aircraft, they’ll just go straight to fuel cells. Eventually the modular compressed hydrogen tanks will be replaced with a hydrogen tank system.

    Embraer will need to consider this new tech very well because in 10 years it will be quite a different world.

    • Embraer stated she a no work so good with electric and fule cells in the size they are looking at.

      ergo, Hydrogen down the road (right)

      • Companies such as Universal Hydrogen (who have non other than John Leahy and Tom Enders on the advisory board) and H2FLY (a competitor) seem to be showing that taking an existing turboprop such as the DASH 8, ATR 42/72 and D328eco then fitting modular compressed hydrogen polymer tanks in the rear and finally replacing the turboprop with fuel cells and electric motors will make a practical airliner. (more practical than battery that’s for sure)

        An electric prop needs less electrical power than a electric ducted fan jet. The poor energy density of the compressed hydrogen is compensated by the 60% efficiency of the PEM fuel cell.

        What I am suggesting is that if these aircraft enter service in 2025 then by 2035 fuel cell propulsion will be highly developed. The compressed hydrogen tanks can be replaced by cryogenic storage for a trebling in range.

        Larger aircraft may this follow the fuel cell electric route rather than using heat engines. An aviation fuel cell industry will surely produce advances. So Embraer turboprop would be in this market.

        Hopefully in 10 years if we’re both still alive I’ll come to Alaska and you can take me up in your fuel cell or electric eSTOL charged by your own photovoltaic supply.

    • I am a former wrestler but I am sure not going to be wrestling now

  9. Just a little clarification, please;

    The new Embraer will have open rotor engines, such as what has been discussed here before?


    • Frank:

      No. There are no GORe available. Won’t be for many years (15 if ever)

      Its a standard Turbo Prop though installed in the tail area.

      timeline listed is a couple of years. It if even makes it, PW most likely, I have not see power needs yet though. Go hot for speed (DH Dash 8) or barely enough (ATR and more economy) though you can slow down a -8 and come close to an ATR.

      Also not mentioned is fuselage being larger, more drag and comparable fuel use to the ATR or DH.

      It makes not sense.

      • Yah, I thought so. I wonder if they can make a go of it?

        That whole Boeing tie up fiasco really threw them for a bit of a loop. didn’t it?

        • Frank:

          I don’t begin to get what Silva thinks he is doing.

          In surveying we called it a forced fit. That means you have your data mucked up and rather than correct it, you adjust it to make the perimeter close on itself (aka via polar coordinates mathematically if its done right it does)

          All that means is the next surveyor in finds its hosed up, and it won’t work and you wind up with major property disputes.

          There are so many leaps of faith in Embraerss proposal that any single one of them makes it implausible and all of them make it impossible.

          Like the RISE engine you see a lot of fluff, but no solid basis of data like weight, drag, engine choice to make it run.

          It has the hallmarks of a Statue of Liberty Play. Lots of motion and no forward progress.

  10. This is the kind of pedantic, non value-added comment lively to come from an engineer, but the home city of Embraer is actually “Sau Jose dos Campos”, but I believe it is pronounced as “San Jose dos Campos”. Only reason I know is cause I visited a Brazilian engineer buddy there about 15 years ago.
    San Jose de Campos sounds Spanish, but it’s Portuguese there so everything is little sideways.

      • Yeah, I was having a beer when I wrote that and I didn’t know how to make the stress symbols on my cell.

        • Cut and paste usually carries over those special characters

    • …and as someone who has spent considerable time in the country and can muddle threw Portuguese – I can confirm to you that Jose is not pronounced hoe-say, but joe-say.

      • Ever been down south? Santa Catarina? Balneario Camboriu? Nice!

        • Sant Catarina, yes. Florianopolis. Some smaller places – Joinville, Blumenau… Funny, you go to these towns expecting to hear Portuguese and everyone is speaking German. Or Italian.

          Spent most of my time in the northeast. Bahia. Porto Seguro. Beautiful places, beautiful people…

  11. I’m confused by the rational behind this proposed prop jet. Is it to placate the hoards of airline executives hammering on their door desperate for such a machine with which they can meet the demands of their passengers or the hoards of ESG “green shirts” making their own demands?

    I have the suspicion that it is yet another miss-allocation of capital reminiscent of fin-de-bubble economics, or something far more sinister.

    Last week, Bank of America published one of its massive “Thematic Research” tomes covering the “Transwarming World” in which it quantified the cost of “net-zero”.

    The bottom line: no less than $150 trillion in new capital investment would be required to reach a “net zero” world over 30 years, the lifetime of this proposed aircraft – equating to some $5 trillion in annual investments amounting to twice current global GDP.

    Where, says BoA will this money come from? They tell us; since the private sector does not and cannot have this amount it will simply be “printed” on a scale that dwarfs all the QE programmes globally since the GFC of 2008. An additional $150 trillion in fact.

    For the less financially literate QE is debt monetisation, debts have to be repaid and it is from the passengers of this prop-jet that it will be extracted. But there’s more. As we know (and are finding) money printing is inflationary and BoA have done the sums there too: it will add a compounding 3% over and above current rates of inflation. So the passengers of this prop-jet will find their cash can no longer pay the ticket price and each year gets worse. Moreover, interests rates are currently the lowest for 5000 years and yet so is the growth in GDP. Should rates return to mean, as this amount of debt imply they must it will at the very least depress GDP ( the driver of air travel remember) but there’s more; inflation (a phenomenon that can only be caused by the State and is theft pure & simple) at these levels implies interest rates at 1970’s levels of not today’s 0.25% but 18%. That would collapse the entire financial system and Embraer along with it.

    If ESG doctrine, the “Net Zero” world, whatever one wants to call it is the motivation behind this aircraft, one wrapped in the “noble” veneer of fighting for the most important cause in the history of civilisation, but in reality it’s just the biggest wealth transfer scheme in history then Embraer would be better off ploughing their resources not into utilitarian aircraft for cheap air travel for the masses but into ultra high end biz jets for .01%.

    Shareholders meanwhile, should sell – and buy gold.

    • US$150 trillion divided by 30 years divided by 8 billion population works out at $625 per capita per year. Maybe more like $1800 per working person.

      • …$625 of every man, woman & child on the planet and those yet to be born paying their dues to the 0.1%. Nice trick. A truly astonishing feat of engineered consent. I take my hat off to them.

      • In attempting to put 150 trillion into some perspective, 150 trillion seconds is ~ five million years. Five million years ago North & South America were separate continents. There was no gulf stream. Ironically, the planet was so warm there was no polar ice cap. Sea levels were significantly higher. The terrain of the northern hemisphere was very different as it had yet to be eroded by the coming Ice Age. Flora & Forna was exploding everywhere. Hominids were just coming into existence. Some of them, a tiny number were wondering “how can we make all these others make our lives easier?” Another, particularly un-evolved primitive grunting from the darkest, deepest recesses at the back of the cave grunted a sound that sounded very much like “SOCIALISM”…

        • The airports we use are prime examples of socialism. Indeed many new aviation programs rely on state aid too.
          In contrast the worldwide supply chain chaos and shortages is capitalism failure

  12. I think one of the biggest risk for Embraers E3 is ATR. If they upgauge their TP to be a little bigger faster and more efficient, I wonder who will be willing to pay for the E3’s much better comfort & space. Regional passengers are use to be locked up in narrow CRJs, ERJs, Q400s, ATR’s etc..

    Maybe ALPA will give in on the E175-E2’s, if things start hurting their own bodies..

    • I think the biggest risk is Embraer to itself and they buy into this and actually try to build it.

      On the tech level its a reach not to mention it looses fuel efficient compared to ATR or DH (that bigger fuselage and current mfg engines)

      Another leap is thinking they can fool the public (bait and switch)

      As well as Airlines that would risk it all as well.

    • ATR and its variants should maintain a CASM and acquisition cost advantage. I understand that the E3 proposal stands out for markets where there is competition and with greater demand for comfort, such as the regional market in the USA.

      • Well that is one understated idea but it is just another one of those speculative aspects that have all the hallmarks of fooling yourself.

        What is proven is people like Jets

        • TW – I don’t recall too many successful 19-seat jets, but there were many hundreds of examples of myriad TPs competing in the commuter/regional market.

  13. Yeah, I was having a beer when I wrote that and I didn’t know how to make the stress symbols on my cell.

  14. @ Scott
    As a generic (and well-intended) comment on your Tweat regarding China’s need for new aircraft (particularly the MAX), various reports on CNBC for the past few weeks have been discussing a worsening economic situation in China, and — in particular — a likely blow to consumer confidence as a result of the deteriorating real estate situation in the country (Evergrande et al.). Commentators have explicitly referenced a likely decrease in travel appetite, and an associated stagnation of aviation growth. Refer to the disappointing Chinese GDP figures published 2 days ago.

      • @Bryce

        With respect—- reports in US MSM about weaknesses in China constitute a propoganda campaign to reassure domestic audiences at at a time of warmongering chit chat – to soften up the masses for cannon fodder

        There is a pandemic of such articles at the moment, ‘peak’ China and so forth

        Here is a report from a ultra mainstream US site about a much more relevant aspect of this scenario


        And another


        In the context of the potential demand for new aircraft in China it would be safer to say that it is unlikely that Boeing regain anything like the market share they once had, nor any significant share of the glorious boom in aircraft demand they so recently predicted

        • Over here China is what is known as a Pyramid scheme.

          You know a country has gone off the rails when they spend 1.7 billion on a Ski resort in a rock quarry in a Sub Tropical climate.

          Not quite as bad as the Gulf states.

          • A bit like building a water-guzzling city like Vegas or Phoenix in the middle of a desert.

          • Actually no. Las Vegas happened, it was not planned. Ditto Phoenix.

            Not to mention they started in a entirely different era (you know, like way in the past?)

            And there are not buildings with Ski Slopes inside of them in LA or Phoenix (isn’t that what mountains are for? China has some real dingers, granted they invaded to get them)

            The viability of LV and Phoenix is certainly a topic for a discussion but nothing related to China, economy or the Pyramid schemes going on over there.

          • TW — “Not quite as bad as the Gulf states…” OTT I know, but I must say, isn’t that a little judgmental: who can you be thinking of?
            Nevertheless, I ‘like’ you subsequent enquiry.

          • -> “You know a country has gone off the rails when they spend …”

            … spend the last decade and wasted billions after billions building bad ships: LCS/DDG-1000/Ford carrier.

        • The Asia times article blaming Donald Trumps Tariffs for an increase in Chinese exports and a drop in capital investment in the US is misleading. Correlation is not causation. The US has been on a long slide towards de-industrialisation under both previous Democrat and Republican administrations and Trumps presence as POTUS has little to do with that overall trend. Famously he was trying to put an end to that with the threat of tariffs and bilateral trade ‘deals’. We can argue as the the effectiveness of that but it did upset the open border, open trade, outsource everything crowd. The point I’m making is blaming trump causes us to miss the problem.

          The question for the US, and other Western Counties, is how to maintain a vital manufacturing base. It seems much of the elite in the US don’t care that much and that may be the core of Boeings problems.

          Cutting corporate tax rates while also cutting depreciation rates for new investment probably wasn’t the best idea. I don’t know what the reasoning behind it was but it tends to ensure your industry uses out of date automation equipment and your machinery builders fall behind.

          The problems of the US Navy and the failures of its overly ambitious high tech fleet truly are tragic because they were predictable. Rumsfeld was old enough to know better.

          • @William

            ‘blaming’ is not quite the word

            In politics correlation is unmistakably causation – this tariff put a name a place and a time on a number of de ind processess, signed it, then tied a ribbon on it and flashed it on tv

            Tariffs may work -strangle the target- if the tariffer has overwhelming economic superiority and other factors align (no easy alternative for the exporter etc, politics, alternative supply for the tariffer local or otherwise) – although there will always be a cost

            In this case the intent was mere sound and fury, a feeble/futile attempt at menace, a spectacle for the benefit of the gawking natives

            Result: a heavy price for an additional policy failure : increased reliance on the target, increased off shoring, a death spiral

            Ditto sanctions – same feeble intent same result same process – Ditto warmongering of course including dudsub deals

            Please lets not try and argue these are not all part of the same process : Decline and Fall

            Boeing has done exactly the same

            PS Not just the navy, the F-35, and was there not a Boeing combat cart they tried to get to….

          • No matter how you dice and slice, low paying jobs are moving away, like water flows to the ocean/lake/sea. The problem is the CEO/bod refuse to invest for high paying jobs and divert the fund for share buybacks to enrich themselves.

      • @Bryce

        Heavily indebted property co. paid interest due, averted default

  15. Let’s get back to the topic of the post and drop the geopolitical stuff.


    • @Scott Hamilton

      Is there any sort of potential market for a new plane from Embraer (or Boeing) ? If the geopolitical geoeconomical situation is as confused and as desperate as it seems to and will be, if the climate change fuel cost hikes bite x2 x3 – the business plan of all OEMs and airlines will be upended (not to mention the unmentionable)

      Are the techies not whistling up all’s well expansive projects to fiddle their fingers, while the market shrinks, investment capital shrivels, the (western) economies burn ?

  16. I think the way to look at this will be the cost of SAF fuel.

    The current price of Jet Fuel is US$2.27/US gallon.

    At the moment bioethanol made from maize in the US costs about $1.04-$1.42/US gallon. It can be converted to jet fuel via dehydration to ethylene and the polymerisation of the ethylene to a drop in Jet fuel. Assuming its 80% efficiency and accounting for the higher density of ethanol 2 gallons of bioethanol will produce 1 gallon of jet fuel whose costs would be $2.08-$2.84 plus about 25% for processing, distribution costs.

    So bioethanol derived SAF will be about $2.60 to $3.55 per US gallon compared to $2.27 for mineral based jet fuel.

    Electro fuels, so called PtL will be even more. There is about 35kWHr in a gallon of jet fuel and assuming wind power at the US EIA recorded standard $0.07kW.Hr, 50% conversion efficiency and 75% for the operating cost of the plant comes out at $7.35/gallon.

    So Aviation is facing a doubling to trebling in fuel costs. Looking at slower moving turboprops over jets starts becoming attractive but likely essential.

    The electro-fuels derived from direct air capture of CO2

  17. Reuters:
    Exclusive: FAA employees report industry pressure, question agency safety push in survey

    FAA employees said they can be “overpowered in meetings with industry,” with one unnamed employee saying: “It feels like we are showing up to a knife fight with Nerf weapons. It is a challenge to be an equal match with Boeing in the meetings/conversations”

    FAA demanding more transparency from U.S. airplane manufacturers

    -> American has “proactively” removed ~11 787s from its winter schedule amid delivery delays from Boeing, says CFO Derek Kerr.

    These aircraft were due in 2021 but have been delayed to 2022. Delivery timeline still TBD

    • Weren’t we told a few months ago that 787 deliveries would be resuming in October? Well, it’s now October. Maybe we’ll be told on the 31st that October 2022 was what was actually meant 😏

  18. Nikkei: Container shipping rate to U.S. “plunges”: “dropped nearly half”

    • Yah, I don’t understand why Airlines are altering fleet plans. Prior to COVID it was about $1500 to ship a 40′ container transpacific. Over the past year the cost spiked to over $15,000 but the reason give is that congestion in ports is tying up containers.

      Surely that is a short term issue and not something you can base aircraft purchases on. Aircraft you will have in your fleet for 15 years or more.

      • @jbeeko

        Container shipping prices have recently dropped signific…..but port congestion at least in the US is getting worse due to….any number of issues starting with trucker employment contracts

        But the new normal is so bizarre, the supply chains so fragile, economies so enfeebled inflation everywhere rising – no one knows nothing – prices could spike again – look at all the China is dead major recession articles MSMing

        One problem with containers which is not ready to go away is that the US now exports so little to China that the containers have to go back empty: same problem – only China makes containers so….

        But this is off topic – only to say that if Embraer thinks they’re going to raise any money for a new airplane they are miss taken

        Ditto any new green tech, fuels whatever, seat pitch etc

        Plus the bug that does not dare say it’s name looks like he’s settling in for a good long stay all expenses paid

      • @jbeeko
        e-commerce is a large part of the increasing air freight demand, and that will only increase in the future. The pandemic saw a huge increase in online shopping, and visits to physical stores have been declining for years. Somebody who got used to online shopping in the past few months will probably not be in a hurry to change habit going forward.

  19. Once again, readers are going off topic repeatedly. This post isn’t about shipping containers, China, volcanos, etc.

    Comments are closed.