Embraer’s KC-390 transport jet has concluded a 40-day demonstration tour during which it flew over 19 countries and was presented to nine nations in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
Embraer said in a statement that in total, 130 flight hours were recorded, including several demonstration flights with representatives of potential operators.
The aircraft departed from Gavião Peixoto unit, in the state of São Paulo, and headed towards Sweden, where it was shown before flying to Le Bourget Airport, on the outskirts of Paris. There, the KC-390 was presented at the 52nd annual Paris Air Show, in June, making its flight display debut. After France, the KC-390 continued to a series of demonstrations, before returning to Brazil last week.
It is believed the aircraft was demonstrated in two African nations.
“This tour allowed several representatives of potential operators to familiarize with the KC-390 and to learn about its flexibility, which makes it capable of carrying out a broad range of missions”, said Jackson Schneider, CEO and President of Embraer Defense & Security. “Everyone who had the chance to fly the aircraft praised its operational capabilities and its advanced design, which includes proven latest-generation technologies.”
Embraer said the aircraft demonstrated 100% of availability throughout the tour, in which 52 landings were made in 18 different countries. In total, the KC-390 covered 49,537 nautical miles (91,743 km), equivalent to more than two turns around Earth over the equator. During demonstrations, the aircraft was evaluated in high temperature and high altitude take-offs, in low-level navigation (flying at 120ºF, or 49ºC, ambient temperature) and in simulated operational conditions, such as dropping paratroopers.
“We are very satisfied with the maturity that this product has already reached and fully confident that its certification will be achieved as scheduled. Soon, the KC-390 will be completely ready to meet all requirements for which it was designed, making it a true force multiplier, ready to serve any nation”, said Schneider.
The KC-390 can transport up to 26 metric tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 470 knots (870 km/h).
Since the beginning of the flight test campaign, in October 2015, the KC-390 prototypes have accumulated more than 1,200 flight hours. The Initial Operational Capability should be achieved by the end of this year and deliveries are scheduled to begin in the first semester of 2018.
The Brazilian Air Force has 28 KC-390s on order, and will receive its first two in 2018, two in 2019 and three each subsequent year. Brazil is at present the aircraft’s only firm customer, but hopes to announce another customer this year.
New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic and Portugal are known to be interested in the type and some have signed letters of intent for the aircraft.