LE BOURGET - Pratt & Whitney plans to fire up the first PW1900G geared turbofan for the Embraer E190-E2 at its West Palm Beach, Florida test site on June 15, marking the start of the fourth major new PW1000G family development program.

The engine is a derivative of the CSeries engine and, because of this, Pratt is using a modified PW1500G development unit adapted with the external changes required for the Embraer program. “That is also the flight test engine and it will go onto the flying testbed later this summer,” says Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines vice president Graham Webb. 

The PW1900G variant, rated at 19,000 lb to 22,000 lb. thrust, will power the E190-E2 when it enters service in 2018 as well as the stretched E195-E2 from 2019. The flying testbed campaign will be used to assess the performance and operability of the engine with control software for the E2 application. The flights will also evaluate the performance of several adaptations made specifically for the Embraer aircraft, including a new UTC Aerospace Systems-developed integrated drive generator (IDG) and different hydraulic pump. “We want to understand that all these modifications have not impacted the base operability of the PW1500G engine so that’s why we are doing the flying testbed campaign,” says Webb.

The smaller E175-E2, which is set to enter service in 2020, will be powered by the PW1700G, a derivative of the MRJ’s PW1200G engine. “We are now entering onto the preliminary design phase for installation of that onto the aircraft,” says Webb who adds the E175-E2 engine will support the same environmental control system interface, hydraulic pump and IDG as its larger stablemate.  Pratt & Whitney is also providing the E2’s AeroPower APS2500(E) auxiliary power unit.

Embraer expects the first set of wing skins for the initial E190-E2 prototype to arrive at its Sao Jose dos Campos production line in Brazil from the company’s Evora site in Portugal during the Paris show. “We already have the first wing spar from Evora at Sao Jose, and sub-assembly elements of the center fuselage from Triumph are also here,” says Embraer Commercial Aviation COO Luis Carlos Affonso. “In a few months we will start fuselage mating and stuffing, so we are well on schedule.”

“All the critical design reviews for the E190-E2 are done and the vast majority of drawing releases are done. There are a few assembly drawings to be finalized but nearly all the parts are now being produced in Brazil and in other places around the world,” says Affonso. “Here at Embraer we have just taken the first nose section of the 190 out of the jig.”

With the many systems changes involved in the move to the ‘E2’ a large development focus for Embraer is on rig tests. “The iron bird is up and running, in fact we have 15 rigs running now,” says Affonso. “Some of these are not fully compatible yet so we are testing components and integration within a given system first. So we have rigs for avionics, the fly-by-wire flight control system, electrical system, hydraulics, landing gear and so on. Down the road all these systems will be integrated,” he adds.

In terms of getting to flight test on schedule in the second half of 2016 “the long pole in the tent in getting through ‘safety of flight’ testing is systems integration and software ‘safety of flight,’ so probably they will be on the critical path,” says Affonso. 

The second member of the E2 family, the 120-seat E195-E2 as well as the follow-on 88-seat E175-E2, are both in the joint definition phase. The E195-E2 is a relatively simple stretch and therefore considered a smaller development effort. The E75-E2, on the other hand, is “a very different platform with changes to the engines, wings, pylons and landing gear.  The 175 is more difficult so we need more time and that’s why we have entered the joint definition phase one year ahead of the 195-E2,” says Affonso.

Sales for the whole E2 family currently stand at 590, of which 242 are firm orders. “We are quite happy. I believe it is a good start for the program,” he adds. Much of the potential sales fortunes of the E175-E2 hinge on the U.S. market and, in particular, whether the current scope clause limitation on permissible maximum take-off weight will be extended beyond the existing 86,000 lbs. Embraer’s current E175 is compliant and continues to sell well, but the company believes that time is on its side as the U.S. regional market evolves. “The third member of the family doesn’t enter service until 2020. There’s a lot of time for this to happen and at least I believe that wherever there are more efficient solutions available the airlines will drive to that. That’s just history and I’m optimistic history will repeat itself,” says Affonso.