Embraer is so proud of its fuel-efficient E-Jet E2 family that it is showing off two of the airframes at this year’s Farnborough Airshow, which kicks off on Monday.
With the global aviation community now gathered in Hampshire, journalists were given a head-start on the week-long event with the chance to fly on the E190-E2 – a 114 seat aircraft that offers superior capacity and range, opening up new opportunities in the regional market.
FINN was invited to sit on the jump-seat, and, after a short air traffic control delay, 2-RLET was cleared for takeoff on runway 24 for a 30-minute flight along the south coast of England.
The views out towards the French coast were impressive, but Embraer has a serious reason for flying the E190-E2 more then 5,000 miles from its base in Brazil.
Regional airliners and eVTOLs
Embraer is in Farnborough to showcase its entire portfolio of current, near future and concept aircraft – with the hope of stealing a march on what is becoming a crowded sector not just for regional airliners but eVTOLs.
With its unique ‘Profit Hunter’ livery, complete with ‘shark’ nose, Embraer is keen to promote the E190-E2’s fuel efficient regional airliner, which first entered service with Widerøe in 2018.
By the middle of the century, Embraer hopes it could have a hydrogen-powered version of the aircraft.
But much is planned before then. First, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) are to be adopted in ever greater quantities.
Role for SAF
Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer’s Senior Vice President Engineering, Technology Development and Corporate Strategy, said SAF was a “big part” of the company’s sustainability roadmap, not least because it is a drop-in fuel that can be used without modification to existing aircraft and engine infrastructure.
The E190-E2 flight from Farnborough was powered by a 39.06 per cent SAF blend, and the OEM recently flew a 100 per cent SAF flight.
With the goal to become net carbon neutral by 2050, the Embraer leadership is committed to SAF (although supply of the fuel will be a limiting factor).
On Sunday, Embraer signed a Letter of Intent with Raízen, a global leader in bioenergy, to drive the development of SAF.
“SAF plays a key role in reducing aviation emissions in the short and medium term. Therefore, this agreement aims to stimulate the growth and sustainability of the value chain as a whole,” said Carlos Alberto Griner, Vice President of People, ESG and Communications at Embraer.
The expectation is that Raízen will help Embraer reach the goal of having SAF blends representing 100 per cent of its fuel consumption in Brazil by 2030.
In the decades that follow, Embraer has plans to launch a new fleet of Energia aircraft powered by hybrid, full electric and later hydrogen.
The Energia initiative will explore a range of sustainable concepts to carry up to 50 passengers, taking a number of energy sources, propulsion architectures and airframe layouts into consideration to reduce carbon emissions.
Embraer is also building a new generation of turboprop aircraft, designed to fly in the short-haul up-to-150-seat segment, vastly reducing this sector’s carbon emissions.
And the E190-E2 could become hydrogen-powered before 2050, under Embraer’s plans.
Back on the ground in Farnborough after Sunday’s E190-E2 flight, the temperature was rising ahead of what is forecast to be a sweltering week – climatic conditions which will at least make the Brazilian crew feel at home.
The company will be hoping that the international gathering of industry executives will renew the focus on its aircraft – both in the E-Jet E2 family and Embraer’s eVTOL subsidiary Eve – in Europe and beyond as it seeks to grab market share from its rivals, while pursuing an ambitious sustainability strategy that looks could change how we fly in the future.