Posted on: 16 June 2010
Embraer believes that the technology required to develop a completely new aircraft to replace its E-Jets will not emerge in the next decade.
The company’s VP market intelligence–airline market, Luiz Sergio Chiessi, told those gathered for the manufacturer’s pre-Farnborough briefings that wingtip devices, advanced structures, better avionics functionalities, electric taxi capability and geared and advanced turbofan engines scheduled to arrive in the 2015-16 timeframe would not be enough to create a new type.
Even technologies expected in 2017-19 are unlikely to bring the right benefits, Chiessi added. Only in the 2020-25 are there likely to be enough advances to create something completely new. “So in the 2015-16 timeframe, we believe re-engining makes sense,” he remarked, alluding to the plans announced by Airbus and Boeing.
When questioned, Chiessi admitted that this scenario could make the 2020 carbon neutral growth target set by IATA too ambitious for the industry to meet.
Chiessi elaborated on the new opportunities Embraer has been studying in the market currently covered by E-Jets and slightly larger. “We’ve looked at turboprops, but we are not concentrating in this area,” he acknowledged. “We’ve been looking mainly at development of E-Jets, including “growing the capacity slightly”. We have looked at a 195X, but we know we need to do more because although the size was fine for our airline customers the predicted performance was not. We’re looking to make a decision by the end of this year regarding which path to take. One thing we will do is stick to the double-bubble for the fuselage.”
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net