Embraer yesterday rolled out the first prototype of its KC-390 military transport at its Gaviao Peixoto facility in Brazil.
The event was attended by the Brazilian Minister of Defense, Celso Amorim, the Commander of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), Lieutenant-Brigadier General Juniti Saito, and delegations and representatives from more than 30 countries. The milestone rollout will allow the company to perform important ground tests prior to the aircraft’s first flight, planned to take place by the end of this year, Embraer said in a statement.
“This significant milestone of the KC-390 programme demonstrates Embraer´s ability to manage such a complex and high-technology project and to perform it on track,” said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO, Embraer Defense & Security. “It paves the way for the beginning of the ground tests to prepare for the first flight.”
“The KC-390 will be the backbone of the FAB’s air transportation network. It will be able to operate in both the Amazon and Antarctica. The jet engines give the aircraft enormous agility in fulfilling all of its missions, faster and better,” stated Aeronautics Commander, Lieutenant-Brigadier General Juniti Saito.
Following the rollout, the aircraft will continue with initial systems evaluations leading to the first engine run, and then to the ground vibration tests and other planned ground tests. This aircraft is the first of two prototypes that will be used in the development, ground, flight and certification test campaigns.
The KC-390 is a joint project of the Brazilian Air Force and Embraer to develop and produce a tactical military transport and aerial refuelling aircraft that is a significant advance in terms of technology and innovation for the Brazilian aeronautics industry, Embraer said. The aircraft is designed to establish new standards in its category, with a lower operating cost and the flexibility to perform a variety of missions: cargo and troop transport, troop and cargo air delivery, aerial refuelling, search and rescue, and combating forest fires, among others.
On May 20th, 2014, Embraer and the Brazilian Air Force signed a series production contract for the delivery of 28 KC-390 aircraft and associated initial logistic support. Besides the order by the Brazilian Air Force, there are currently intentions to purchase for additional 32 aircraft from other countries.