|ERJ family |
ERJ135 / ERJ140 / ERJ145
|An American Eagle ERJ-145|
|First flight||August 11, 1995|
|Introduction||April 6, 1997|
|Developed from||Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia|
|Variants||R-99 and P-99 |
Embraer Legacy 600
The Embraer ERJ family (for Embraer Regional Jet, model names EMB-135, EMB-140 and EMB-145) are regional jets produced by Brazilian aerospace company Embraer. The EMB145 was launched in 1989 as a turbofan-powered stretch of the EMB 120 Brasilia turboprop. It first flew on August 11, 1995 and it received its type certificate on December 10, 1996. The ERJ145 was introduced on April 6, 1997 and the shortened ERJ135 and ERJ140 were introduced in 1999.
Keeping the three-abreast seating of the Brasilia, the twinjet has a new swept wing and is powered by two rear-fuselage-mounted AE3007 turbofans for a range up to 2,000 nmi (3,700 km). The series includes the ERJ135 (37 passengers), ERJ140 (44 passengers), and ERJ145 (50 passengers), as well as the Legacy 600 business jet and the R-99 family of military aircraft. The family's primary competition came from the similarly sized Bombardier CRJ100/200 regional jets. Production ended in 2020 after 1,231 were built.
The ERJ145 was designed for a perceived new market for regional jet aircraft, where the increased speed, comfort and passenger appeal would outweigh the inherent fuel economy of the turboprop aircraft which were in service and in development.
The 45–48 seat EMB145 was launched at the Paris Air Show in 1989 as an 18 ft (5.5 m) stretch of the EMB 120 Brasilia developed for $150M plus $50M for training and marketing, one third the cost of the cancelled Short Brothers FJX project. Its $11M unit cost would have been $3M less than the Canadair CRJ. The 400 kn (740 km/h) jet would be powered by GE/Garrett CFE738s, Lycoming ALF 502s or Rolls-Royce plc/Allison Engine AB580s turbofans, to be selected in the summer of 1989. It was targeted for a late 1992 introduction with six produced then ramping to 60 per year in 1995. It aimed for half of a market for 1000 with break-even after twelve years with 400 sold.
Keeping 75% of the Brasilia parts and systems, the EMB145 Amazon aimed for a 1991 first flight. The stretch resulted from two 11 ft (3.4 m) plugs of the 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) diameter fuselage in the front and behind the redesigned 538 sq ft (50.0 m2) wing. Its supercritical airfoil with a 14% root thickness had its chord extended at the leading edge with a slight sweepback, increased aspect ratio and winglets. The overwing podded engines generated 6,400 lbf (28 kN) of thrust. Designed for 500–600 nmi (930–1,110 km) stages, up to 1,400 nmi (2,600 km) with a reduced payload, it had a 36,375 lb (16,500 kg) maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) and a 21,045 lb (9,546 kg) operating empty weight.
In early 1990, no engine supplier willing to share the risk of the $250 million development was yet selected. The Allison GMA3007 was selected in March 1990, with a maximum 40 kN (7,100 lbf) take-off thrust and growth capability to 45 kN (10,000 lbf), first flight was then due in September 1991. Rolls-Royce could participate in the fan and low-pressure turbine, its original responsibility on the RB.580 joint development. By May, it had 296 commitments from 19 operators, and was seeking external finance. In June, maiden flight was expected by the end of 1990 before mid-1993 deliveries for $11.5 million each, cabin pressurisation was increased to 0.55 bar (8.0 psi) from the Brasilia 0.48 bar (7.0 psi).
Following the engine selection, design was revised: length decreased from 27.08 to 26.74 m (88.8 to 87.7 ft), span increased from 22.37 to 22.49 m (73.4 to 73.8 ft), aspect ratio to 9.3 from 9.2. MTOW rose from 16,500 to 18,500 kg (36,400 to 40,800 lb), basic operating weight from 9,560 to 10,940 kg (21,080 to 24,120 lb), maximum fuel from 3,900 to 4,210 kg (8,600 to 9,280 lb) and payload from 4,500 to 5,160 kg (9,920 to 11,380 lb). wing loading increased from 330 to 370 kg/m2 (68 to 76 lb/sq ft), time-to-climb to FL400 gained 5 min to 30 min and maximum cruise rose from 405 kn (750 km/h) to 428 kn (787 km/h) at FL360. First delivery in 1993 was slated to Comair, which ordered 60. In November 1990, a major reduction in Brazilian government spending, which held 61% of its voting share, resulted in Embraer sacking 32% of its 12,800 employees and suspending development of the EMB-145 for six months.
In March 1991, a revised configuration started wind tunnel testing: the quarter chord wing sweep increased to 22.3° with underslung engines for lower aerodynamic drag. This reduced the span by almost 2 to 20.5 m (6 ft 7 in to 67 ft 3 in), reducing its aspect ratio from 9.3 to 8.4 and wing area from 50 to 47 m2 (540 to 510 sq ft). The semi-monocoque wing has two main and one auxiliary spar and holds 4,500 kg (9,900 lb) of fuel, it has double-slotted fowler flaps and spoilers. To accommodate the underwing engines, the landing gear is longer, allowing using jetways, and the fuselage was lengthened from 25.8 to 26 m (85 to 85 ft).
In June 1991, the Brazilian Government loaned $600 million to Embraer and in July the programme was re-evaluated while tooling was 80% complete. By November 1991, Embraer was still looking for partners to share the risk of the $350 million project, hoping to obtain Government approval by the end of the year. Sold at $12 million with an all-digital cockpit and 31.8 kN (7,100 lbf) engines, it had letters of intent for 337 units. First flight slipped to 1992 and certification for late 1993.
After re-evaluation late in 1991, the layout was again revised with two rear-fuselage-mounted engines, and a Mach 0.8 cruise speed would be tested in the wind tunnel. Seat pitch is 79 cm (31 in). A further stretch to 50–55 passengers is limited by a 12° rotation angle. Embraer continued to look for partners to share the $350 million development as first flight was expected for late 1994. In December 1994, Embraer was privatised for 80% to Brazilian and US investors while 20% was kept by the Brazilian Government.
The definitive ERJ145 first flew on August 11, 1995 with 18 firm orders, 16 options and 127 letters of intent. A 1,300h flight-test programme for the prototype and three pre-series aircraft (excluding two ground-test airframes) was planned within 13 months for certification in the third quarter of 1996, before deliveries in the fourth quarter of 1996 to launch customer Flight West. The $14.5 million aircraft is developed with risk-sharing partners including Spain's Gamesa producing the wing; Chile's Enaer for the tail; and the USA's C&D Interiors equipping the cabin. The standard maximum ramp weight is 19,300 and 20,300 kg (42,500 and 44,800 lb) for the extended-range, it is fitted with Honeywell Primus 1000 integrated avionics.
The estimated $300 million development cost is divided between Embraer for 34%, risksharing partners for 33% (including Belgium's SONACA supplying centre and rear fuselage sections, doors, engine pylons and wing leading-edges), long-term loans from Brazilian development-funding institutions for 23% and participating suppliers for 10%. On both 370 km (200 nm) hubfeeder and 1,100 km hub-bypass sectors, the EMB145 was expected to offer lower operating costs than the similarly priced Saab 2000 high-speed turboprop and the CRJ. Its $15 million price was $4 million lower than the CRJ.
The Flight Test campaign took four aircraft: S/N 801, PT-ZJA, S/N 001, PT-ZJB, S/N 002, PT-ZJC and S/N 003, PT-ZJD. Only S/N 003 was fitted with passenger seats and had no FTI (flight test instrumentation) and was used for functional and reliability tests.
In July 1996, its certification was targeted for October, unit cost was then US$15 million. First delivery was planned for late November, 29 aircraft were to be produced in 1997, 38 in 1998 and at least 48 a year thereafter. Its MTOW could be raised from the standard 19,200 to 20,600 kg (42,300 to 45,400 lb) for an Enhanced Range version. Flight tests allowed to increase its cruise speed to Mach 0.78 from 0.74, and showed fuel economy was 7% better than predicted. Before the Summer 1996 Farnborough Airshow, Embraer held 62 firm orders and 218 options. Continental Express then purchased 25 EMB145s and took 175 options. More than 50 seats would need a wider fuselage for four-abreast seating, an enlarged wing and a more powerful turbofan.
It was approved by the FAA on December 10, 1996.
Embraer delivered 892 units of all variants through 2006, and predicted that another 102 units would be delivered in the 2007–2016 time period.
In 2003, Embraer entered a partnership with the Harbin Aircraft Industry Group of Harbin, China. The resulting joint-venture company Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry began producing the ERJ145 for the Chinese market by assembling complete knock down kits prepared by other worldwide Embraer operations. After 13 years, its last delivery was in March 2016; more than 40 ERJ145 and 5 Embraer Legacy 650 were assembled.
Embraer has introduced two shortened versions of the ERJ145. All three aircraft share the same crew type rating, allowing pilots to fly any of the three aircraft without the need for further training.
The ERJ140 is 1.42 metres (4.7 ft) shorter, seating 44 passengers, and has 96% parts commonality with the ERJ145. The only significant changes are a shorter fuselage, a slightly derated engine and an increased range. The ERJ140 was designed with fewer seats in order to meet the needs of some major United States airlines, which have an agreement with the pilots' union to limit the number of 50-seat aircraft that can be flown by their affiliates. At launch, Embraer estimated the cost of an ERJ140 to be approximately US $15.2 million. The estimated cost of development of the ERJ140 was US $45 million.
The ERJ135 is 3.54 metres (11.6 ft) shorter, seating 37 passengers, and has 95% parts commonality with the ERJ145. The first ERJ135 entered service in 1999.
The airframe is mainly stretched, machined and chemically milled aluminium, with CFRP for moving parts, GFRP for fairings and sidewalls, kevlar for leading edges and Nomex honeycomb-CFRP/GFRP sandwiches for floors.
The EMB145 family of aircraft generally comes equipped with two Rolls-Royce AE 3007 series turbofan engines. The engines have a bypass ratio of 5:1. The engines are controlled by two FADECs (Full Authority Digital Engine Controls). The FADECs control virtually all aspects of the engine and send engine data to be displayed on the EICAS for the pilot.
The Embraer ERJ145 family of aircraft typically comes equipped with the Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics suite. The suite normally consists of five CRT display units (DUs) or screens. From left to right, the system consists of a Primary Flight Display (PFD), Multi-Function Display (MFD), Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (EICAS), Multi-Function Display (MFD) (Co-pilot) and Primary Flight Display (PFD) (Co-pilot). The DUs are normally CRTs but can be upgraded to lighter LCD displays. These upgraded DUs also have added functionality.
The first delivery was in December 1996 to ExpressJet Airlines (then the regional division of Continental Airlines flying as Continental Express). The largest operator today, as of August 2021, is CommutAir which serves as United Express under United Airlines, with 165 ERJ145 aircraft.
The ERJ140 was introduced in September 1999, first flew on June 27, 2000 and entered commercial service in July 2001. Envoy Air, the regional jet subsidiary of American Airlines flying as American Eagle, operated the majority of the ERJ140s built, including the first to be delivered (N800AE) but have since retired their ERJ140 fleet in mid-2020. As of early 2005, 74 ERJ 140s had been delivered. This version is marketed as ERJ140, but on the company's internal documents and on Federal Aviation Administration certification, the version is designated EMB 135KL. In March 2007 ExpressJet entered into a short-term agreement to operate some regional routes for JetBlue Airways using its ERJ145 aircraft.
In May 2017, the ERJ135 was leased $33,000 to $43,000 per month ($396,000 to $516,000 per year) and the ERJ145 $38,000 to $55,000 per month ($456,000 to $660,000 per year).
The physical engines are the same (Rolls-Royce AE 3007), however, the FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine/Electronic Control) logic is what differs between the various models in regards to total thrust capability.
The extended range version, the ERJ 145ER, has Rolls Royce AE 3007A engines rated at 31.3 kN(7,036 lb) thrust, with the option of more powerful AE 3007A1 engines. A, A1, A1P models are mechanically identical but differ in thrust due to variations in FADEC software. The A1E engine, however, has not only new software, but significantly upgraded mechanical components.
The long-range ERJ 145LR aircraft is equipped with Rolls Royce AE 3007A1 engines which provide 15% more power. The engines are flat rated at 33.1 kN (7,440 lb) thrust to provide improved climb characteristics and improved cruise performance in high ambient temperatures.
The extra-long-range ERJ 145XR aircraft is equipped with Rolls-Royce AE 3007A1E engines. The high performance engines provide lower specific fuel consumption (SFC) and improved performance in hot and high conditions. The engines also yield a higher altitude for one-engine-inoperable conditions." CommutAir is the only operator of the ERJ 145XR. February 2011 Embraer presented its new EMB-145 AEW&C for India.
Despite the multiple variants, pilots need only one type rating to fly any variant of the ERJ aircraft. Companies like American Eagle utilizes this benefit with its mixed fleet of ERJ135ER/LR and ERJ145EP/LR/XR. Shared type-ratings allow operators to utilize a single pilot pool for any ERJ aircraft.
As of October 2020, the main civilian operators are:
EMB 145 MP maritime patrol version of the Fuerza Aérea Mexicana, without the R-99B side radar
|11 Feb 1998||ERJ-135||ExpressJet for Continental Express||0||United States, Beaumont-Jefferson County Airport||Crashed on takeoff during a training flight: the left wing stalled after the incorrect application of rudder during a V1 cut maneuver.|
|28 Dec 1998||ERJ-145ER||Rio Sul Serviços Aéreos Regionais||0||Brazil, Curitiba-Afonso Pena Airport||Too high descent rate and too fast landing, the tail cracked and was dragged along the runway.|
|18 Jan 2003||ERJ-135LR||American Eagle Airlines||0||USA, Columbus-Port Columbus International Airport|
|7 Dec 2009||ERJ-135LR||SA Airlink||0||South Africa, George Airport||When landing in wet weather, the aircraft slid past the aerodrome's fence; the landing gear tyres had evidence of aquaplaning.|
|5 May 2010||ERJ-145LR||SATENA||0||Colombia, Mitú-Fabio Alberto León Bentley Airport|
|25 Aug 2010||ERJ-145LU||Passaredo Linhas Aéreas||0||Brazil, Vitória da Conquista Airport||Crash-landed on approach: touched-down short of the runway and stopped away from the runway.|
|28 Apr 2011||ERJ-145EP||Dniproavia||0||Russia, Moscow-Sheremetyevo Airport|
|4 Sep 2011||ERJ-145LR||Trans States Airlines for United Express||0||Canada, Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International Airport||Slid off the runway upon landing.|
|11 Nov 2019||ERJ-145LR||Envoy Air for American Eagle||0||United States, Chicago O’Hare International Airport||Slid off the runway upon landing in icy conditions.|
|Crew||3 (2 pilots + flight attendant)|
|Length||26.34 m (86 ft 5 in)||28.45 m (93 ft 4 in)||29.87 m (98 ft 0 in)|
|Wing span||20.04 m (65 ft 9 in)|
|Wing||51.18 m2 (550.9 sq ft) area, aspect ratio 7.9, supercritical airfoil|
|Height||6.76 m (22 ft 2 in)|
|MTOW||20,000 kg (44,092 lb)||21,100 kg (46,517 lb)||24,100 kg (53,131 lb)|
|BOW||11,501 kg / 25,355 lb||11,808 kg / 26,032 lb||12,591 kg / 27,758 lb|
|Max payload||4,499 kg (9,918 lb)||5,292 kg (11,666 lb)||5,909 kg (13,027 lb)|
|Fuel capacity||LR: 4,499 kg (9,919 lb), XR: 5,973 kg (13,168 lb)|
|Engines (2x)||AE 3007-A1/3||AE 3007-A1/3||AE 3007-A1E|
|Takeoff Thrust||A1/3 : 33.71 kN / 7580 lbf; A1E: 39.67 kN / 8917 lbf|
|Maximum cruise||Mach 0.78 (450 kn; 833 km/h) / 145XR: Mach 0.8 (461 kn; 854 km/h)|
|Service ceiling||37,000 ft / 11,278m[a]|
|Range||1,750 nmi (3,240 km)||1,650 nmi (3,060 km)||2,000 nmi (3,700 km)|
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
The EMB-145 is not an innovative aircraft, but Embraer's attention to basics makes it pleasant to fly.
The Embraer EMB-145's Farnborough debut will help to focus attention on regional airliners.
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