While perhaps not a household name, today’s seasoned air travelers may have seen the name Embraer on seatback information about the city-to-city or connecting flight aircraft they have been aboard. One particular model, the Embraer 190, a member of the Embraer family of commercial regional jets recently developed and built in the company facility in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, is worth a closer look.
While Embraer is responsible for assembly at its enormous site, the 170/190 family series was developed through a partnership involving major aerospace contractors from the USA, Germany and Belgium; they, too, established subsidiary operations in Brazil to facilitate local production. Moreover, when the Embraer 190, which was launched in 1999, was duly tested in 2004, the longest runway ever constructed in Latin America provided the backdrop.
The 190 model, which received US Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, certification in September 2005, saw delivery of its first aircraft that same year to launch the USA’s JetBlue Airways, which placed it into service in 2006. Subsequently, JetBlue ordered more, while other airlines such as Air Canada, Alitalia, British Airways, and KLM are customers.
Notably, the Embraer 190 offers desirable features for smaller carrier companies, with seating to accommodate 98 passengers. While larger than the Embraer 170 and 175 models in this jet family, which carry 70-78 passengers, it is smaller than the slightly larger 108-passenger Embraer 195.
Other desirable characteristics of the Embraer 190 are its digital cockpit and a traveling range of 4,260 kilometers or just under 2,300 nautical miles.
That is enough to allow operation between pairs of major domestic and international cities. Thus, possibilities exist for both business and pleasure flights. While the aircraft has a conventional design with low wings and podded engines mounted below them, the wings are also fitted with winglets. These reduce drag of the wing vortex, providing increased lift and wing efficiency.
Additional features include the capacity for computer-controlled flight and a double bubble cabin design that allows more width and easier access to overhead storage compartments. It would seem that for passengers on the Embraer 190, who sit four abreast with a center aisle, they can experience a pleasant ride whether hopping from Dallas to Bogota or Paris to Moscow, even flying from Hong Kong to Bombay.