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Other flight-test roles are: MSN103 — aircraft platform and function-
ality, and undercarriage; MSN104 — avionics and electrics; MSN105
— avionics and environmental control; and MSN106 — airline config-
uration and overall reliability. (Comac has requested assistance from
German airworthiness officials in obtaining EASA clearance.)
E-JET-E2 FAMILY Brazil’s Embraer is halfway through a seven-year
exercise to design, certificate, and manufacture three re-engined and
re-winged “E2” developments of its established E-Jet programme.
The E2 uses PW1715G-JM and PW1919G-JM geared-turbofans in
place of the original E-Jet’s GE CF34-8E and -10E equipment.
Four E190-E2s (MSN20.001 to MSN20.004) and the first of two
E195-E2s (MSN20.005) had accumulated 1,020FH against an expected
2,000-FH total budgeted for certification. These aircraft are set to be
joined by the second E195-E2 (MSN 20.006) before year ’s end, its first
flight having slipped from an earlier September target.
Embraer says that the E2 is exceeding performance estimates,
leading it to offer enhanced range figures. Flight-testing is ahead
of schedule and related E2 ground-testing exceeds 40,000hrs. The
97-seat E190-E2 is scheduled for certification before next July, while
the 120-passenger E195-E2 should be approved by mid-2019.
E190-E2 MSN20.001 is performing aero-elasticity, crosswind-han-
dling, external-noise, loads, and systems testing, while MSN20.002
is used for systems and general aircraft-performance duties. Sibling
MSN20.003 has been evaluating flying qualities (mainly) and air-
craft-handling characteristics in icing conditions.
In the latter situation, test machines accrue ice on unprotected
surfaces before being manoeuvred to check performance and
handling, monitor ice-detection and protection systems, and to
establish how other systems (such as anemometrics, radar, and
radios) are performing.
The fourth E190-E2, MSN20.004, completed with a full passen-
ger-cabin interior, has been subject to internal sound-level measure-
ment and to emergency-evacuation demonstration. E195-E2 MSN
20.005 is tasked with confirming aerodynamics and performance, with
MSN 20.006 set to validate the cabin interior and maintenance tasks.
Embraer expects to fly the final E175-E2 variant in two years’ time
(when US airlines are expected to have defined the weight — and
related passenger capacity — of aircraft covered by prospective new
pilots’ agreements). Certification flying for the E175-E2 will involve
three aircraft, says the manufacturer.
With all three E2 variants having optimised wings, instead of one
generic design, Embraer flight-testing has confirmed lower-than-ex-
pected airframe drag that offers operators increased range and/or
airfield performance. Accordingly, E190-E2s flying from “hot-and-
high” airports can reach 2,500nm, an increase of about 200nm.
Those operating from short runways, such as London City (UK), now
have a range of about 1,650nm, about 100nm more.
Embraer also has increased E195-E2 range, with maximum take-
off weight (MTOW) increased to 61,500kg with a better under-
standing of structure, meaning that no airframe strengthening has
been required. The higher MTOW does not affecting the E195-E2
maximum zero-fuel or maximum landing weights.
By the start of 2019, the E-Jet final-assembly area will have been
converted to accommodate production of new E190-E2 and E195-E2
variants (to be joined by 2021 by the E175-E2) alongside the original
E175, E190, and E195 designs.
MC-21 A two-hour flight on 13 September opened a second round of
MC-21-300 flight-testing, following an initial campaign of nine flights
that began in late May. Russian manufacturer Irkut has fitted strain
gauges to the aircraft to monitor structural loads and has modified
According to Yuri Slyusar, president of parent company United
Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the latest series of tests will concentrate
on extending the flight envelope of the PW1400G-JM-powered MC-
21, for which Irkut expects Russian airworthiness approval in 2019,
two years ahead of European certification. “ The aircraft has reached
[an] altitude of 10,000m and [a] speed of 900km/h,” says Slyusar.
Four MC-21-300 test aircraft are being manufactured, according
to Irkut, which expects the second example to join the flight-test
department by the end of the year. Wind-tunnel tests are to be
conducted on MC-21 models equipped with alternative Russian
Aviadvigatel PD-14 engines that have already been flown on an
Ilyushin Il-76LL testbed.
MITSUBISHI REGIONAL JET A thorough design review of the 90-
seat Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), Japan’s first new airliner in half
a century, has aggravated an already much-delayed flight-test pro-
gramme. Schedules suffered further disruption in August following a
precautionary landing by second flight-test aircraft FTA-2 after an un-
commanded in-flight shutdown of its left-hand PW1200G-JM engine.
A three-hour flight by FTA-4 on 11 September saw flight-testing re-
sume, flying of all four MRJs having been curtailed after the incident
three weeks earlier. Engine manufacturer P&W started an investiga-
tion following a borescope check of FTA-2’s damaged powerplant.
US-based MRJ certification flying is being conducted with flight-
test and type-certification contractor Aerospace Testing Engineering
& Certification (AeroTEC), whose initial review has led to re-routing
of MRJ electrical-wiring harnesses and re-location of avionics-bay
This had already resulted in further delays to the programme, with
fifth test machine FTA-5 not expected to fly until the design review is
completed (perhaps later this year). An additional one or two FTAs
may be required to accommodate further changes and meet the
latest 2020 service-entry plan.
In mid-2017, Mitsubishi used FTA-3 transit flights to and from the
Paris air-show to test systems performance, monitoring “GPS accu-
racy, weather radar, autopilot, and flight-management system”.
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