Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer rolled out the first KC-390 medium transport aircraft on Tuesday 21 October 2014. The aircraft, which can also be reconfigured for an air-to-air tanker role, is the biggest aircraft ever to be designed and produced in the South American country.
The KC-390 is a twin IAE V2500-E5 turbofan cargo aircraft capable of carrying 23 tonnes of cargo, and uses many components of Embraer’s E-Jet design. According to its manufacturer, the new type uses state-of-the-art avionics, with dual Head Up Display (HUD) and a full-featured mission system, including accurate computed air release point (CARP). It is equipped with a complete self-protection system and is Night Vision Goggles (NVG) compatible. The KC-390 is also said to be capable of operating from short and semi-prepared airstrips.
In June 2010, the Força Aérea Brasileira (Brazilian Air Force) decided to buy 28 aircraft. Other countries showing interest are Argentina, Chile, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Colombia.
The roll out aircraft is the first of two prototypes that will be used in the development, ground, flight and certification test campaigns. The aircraft will first go through initial systems evaluations leading to the first engine run, and then to ground vibration tests and other ground tests. First flight is scheduled for later this year, with first deliveries following in two years time.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): The KC-390, wearing the standard two-tone Brazilian Air Force paint scheme, is seen here just after it was rolled out of its hanger. (Image © Embraer)