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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

A Look At Embraer’s Commercial Aircraft Lineup

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Embraer has dominated the small plane industry, with its 150-seater commercial aircraft leading the market with over 100 operators. But what aircraft does Embraer build? Let’s explore the world of Embraer commercial aircraft.

The Embraer family has a range of diverse small commercial aircraft. Photo: Embraer

Embraer EMB family

The Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante, or pioneer in English, is one of the smallest Embraer commercial aircraft on the market. It is also one of the first civil aircraft to be built (Embraer has many military contracts) in 1973.

This is a tiny plane with a maximum capacity of 18 passengers. It is hardly considered a ‘commercial’ aircraft, but can still fly a decent 1,964 km (1,220 mi, 1,060 nautical miles).

The Embraer EMB 110. Photo: Shawn via Flickr

The bigger Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia was next introduced in 1985. It doesn’t fly as far as the EMB 110, but it can carry double the passengers.

It can carry up to thirty passengers to a range of 1,750 km (1,090 mi, 940 nautical miles). This aircraft doesn’t have any competitors when you look at Airbus or Bombardier but still fills a vital role in the Embraer lineup. It was picked up by airlines for use in regions like the Caribbean (island hopping) and regional, remote Australia.

The Embraer EMB 120. Photo: Eric Salad via Wikipedia

Embraer ERJ Family

Next up, we have the more prominent ERJ family of aircraft. There are three ERJ planes of note:

    • Embraer ERJ 135 – 37 passengers to a range of 1,750 nautical miles (3,240 km)
    • Embraer ERJ 140 – 44 passengers to a range of 1,650 nautical miles (3,060 km)
    • Embraer ERJ 145 – 50 passengers to a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km)

This group of aircraft takes the Bombardier CRJ regional jets head-on in the market place and has been incredibly popular for regional routes like American Eagle and United Express. The different range and passenger capacity of the aircraft series make them perfect for multi-daily flights between local centers and hub airports, acting as feeder routes for bigger aircraft.

Plus, because of the short landing requirements of the aircraft, the planes can operate to island destinations (like in the Bahamas) and also to remote locations.

An Embraer ERJ 135 flying alongside an ERJ 145. Photo: Anthony Noble via Wikimedia

Embraer/FMA CBA 123 Vector

This next aircraft on the list, the Embraer/FMA CBA 123 Vector (its actual name as it was a joint project between Brazil and Argentina), never made it to production.

It was a turboprop with its propellers facing rearwards. This gave the plane a better ride for passengers, shorter wings, and faster cruise speed. While it was a better all-round aircraft and was fully certified, it was too expensive. Carrying only 19 passengers to a range of 1,852 km (1,151 mi, 1,000 nautical miles) for $5 million was too steep for airlines, and the product never took off (pun intended).

Turbo prop
The special turboprop aircraft. Photo: Tim Rees via Wikimedia

Embraer E-Jet family

Now we get to the real meat of the Embraer jet lineup, the E-Jet series. Satisfied with the below 50 passenger market, Embraer decided to target all the way up to 100 passengers onboard its aircraft. Originally Embraer wanted to build a derivative of its ERJ 145 design stretched to carry 70 passengers but decided to go with a white-paper solution.

Arguable this range has been the most successful so far, selling over 1,566 airframes since the first flight in 2002.

    • Embraer E170 – 66–78 passengers to a range of 2,150 nautical miles (3,982 km)
    • Embraer E175 – 76–88 passengers to a range of 2,200 nautical miles (4,074 km)
    • Embraer E190 – 96–114 passengers to a range of 2,450 nautical miles (4,537 km)
    • Embraer E195 – 100–124 passengers to a range of 2,300 nautical miles (4,260 km)

The aircraft has been heavily used around the world by many flag carrier airlines. Delta Connection, American Eagle and United Express all feature the Embraer E-Jet family in their regional fleets, and outside of the US, it can be found in the Aeromexico fleet, JetBlue and Azul Airlines.

American Eagle
SkyWest flies E175s for American Airlines. Photo: Embraer

Embraer E-Jet E2 family

While the Embraer E-Jet family above has been very successful, Embraer has decided that it is time to upgrade the aircraft with a new design and new engines. Enter in the E2 family, which features several improvements in cabin design as well as avionics for better fuel economy.

Embraer has listed three different varients that improve on each of the more successful E-Jet aircraft.

    • Embraer E175-E2 – 80–90 passengers to a range of 2,017 nautical miles (3,735 km)
    • Embraer E190-E2 – 97–114 passengers to a range of 2,850 nautical miles (5,280 km)
    • Embraer E195-E2 – 120–146 passengers to a range of 2,600 nautical miles (4,800 km)

One hundred seventy-three of these new aircraft have been ordered so far, with the most prominent orders going to leasing firms and Azul in Brazil.

The E2 improves on the popular E-Jet series. Photo: Embraer

What do you think? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

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