Oct 15, 2014
KC-390 enters production phase of development
With the roll-out of the first of two prototype aircraft in the coming days marking the end of the first phase of the development programme, the company has begun to allocate USD1.9 billion of funding for the purchase of materials for the manufacture of the series aircraft.
The maiden flight of the first prototype is set to take place before the end of 2014, with certification of the 'green' aircraft expected at the end of 2015. Final operational clearance is set for mid-2016, with Embraer commencing delivery of production aircraft to the FAB launch customer from that date.
With a payload of 23 tonnes (or 19 tonnes to a range of 2,000 n miles) and a 36,000 ft service ceiling, the KC-390 is being billed as a competitor to the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules (22 tonnes). It could also be pitted against the Airbus Military C295 (7 tonnes), Antonov An-72/74 'Coaler' (10 tonnes), Alenia Aermacchi C-27J Spartan (11.5 tonnes), and even the Airbus Military A400M Atlas (37 tonnes).
Embraer currently has a potential order book numbering 60 KC-390 aircraft, covering 28 for Brazil, 12 for Colombia, 6 each for Argentina, Chile, and Portugal, and 2 for the Czech Republic. Embraer expects that the KC-390 will secure a large portion of a fixed-wing medium-lift market that amounts to approximately 700 aircraft in 77