While Brazilian carrier Azul was getting ready to launch its first flight with the new Embraer 195-E2, the aircraft manufacturer continued its promotional tour to showcase its newest aircraft around the world. AirlineGeeks had the opportunity to have a much closer look at the biggest aircraft of the Embraer family, that in a high-density 28-inch seat pitch configuration can accommodate up to 146 passengers, only three less than an Airbus A319 in “easyJet format.”
The media event started at the Embraer Offices at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where members of the press were greeted in the Conference Center and treated to a few presentations on behalf of some senior executives. The Brazilian manufacturer, now in the process of being taken over by Boeing, is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a going concern and its 40th year of operations in North America.
“Our first aircraft, the Bandeirantes, an unpressurized 19 seater, was so popular with U.S. carriers that we needed a presence in the United States,” said Gary Spulak, President of Embraer North America.“Our location here in Fort Lauderdale dates back to the 80s.”
Spulak provided a quick overview of Embraer’s history, whose commercial aircraft went from the Bandeirantes to the Brasilia Embraer 120, a pressurized 30-seat turboprop, before moving on to jets.
Embraer’s Chief Commercial Officer Arjan Meijer then went on to illustrate the main features of the second generation of E-jets, the E2. The smaller E190-E2 is already in operation with Wideroe of Norway and Air Astana in Kazakhstan. The E195-E2 is going to be longer than the first-generation E195 with up to three more rows, increasing its current capacity of 120 seats in its two-class configuration to 146 seats in the high-density version.
Embraer already has a 39 percent market share of all aircraft up to 150 seats and they are hoping to grow this percentage with the E2-jets. The manufacturer is very confidently affirming how the E195-E2 is the most efficient aircraft on the market, with a 10 percent fuel burn advantage over the Airbus A220 and a 25.2 percent fuel burn reduction over the first-generation E195.
Each aircraft of the E2 series has a wing that has been specifically designed and optimized for each type, as opposed to the standardized wing used by both the A220-100 and A220-300.
“This has allowed maximizing the efficiency to obtain these amazing fuel burn reductions,” said Jorge Nasser, Regional Vice President for Sales North America. That is why the E195-E2 has been nicknamed the “Profit Hunter.”
The press had the opportunity to take pictures of the aircraft in a nearby hangar before being flown to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a guided tour of the facility in the company of astronaut Scott E. Winston, who took part to two missions of the Shuttle Space program. The prototype aircraft, callsign PR-ZIQ, was painted in a very unique brown and gold color scheme with the nose resembling the face of a lion. The main difference with the first generation E195 is the size of the engines, the Pratt&Whitney PW1900G, with a very noticeable 12:1 bypass ratio.
The interior of the cabin is configured with 12 first-class seats in a unique staggered configuration to provide 51 to 56-inch seat pitch, while the economy cabin has been configured with various seat pitches, from 35 to 29 inches, to showcase the multiple solutions allowed by the aircraft. The seats in the front were “premium” economy seats, with an adjustable headrest, while the ones in the back were more spartan but still comfortable in their all-leather upholstering.
The tray table was foldable and adjustable to fit multiple configurations and the more basic seats also had a meshed seat pocket that was not present in the premium seat. First-class seats are equipped with a foldable clip in the tray table that allows to fit a smartphone or a tablet in an ideal position to watch entertainment content from the device.
Embraer has decided to maintain the absence of middle seats as one of its most distinctive selling points. The 2-2 configuration, providing a full power socket for every seat, in its high-density configuration is able to offer almost the same capacity as a larger narrow-body but without any middle seat. The overhead lockers are comparable to those of a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320, able to hold four full-size carry-on bags in each.
The cockpit features screen areas that are 25 percent bigger than those in the first-generation E-jets.
Three lavatories are fitted on the aircraft, two in the back and a larger one in the front that would be reserved for the premium cabin if it is present.
The PW1900 engines give their best during take-off, when they are exceptionally quiet, resembling the take-off experience on the E195-E2 to that of the Airbus A380.
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