Tag Archives: KC-390

Promising Brazilian airlifter KC-390 makes first flight

The promising Brazilian indigenous airlifter Embraer KC-390 made its first flight on 3 February 2015, the manufacturer announced through social media. The flight lasted 85 minutes and was aimed at evaluating flight characteristics and conducting a variety of systems tests. Upon arrival back at the airfield in São José dos Campos, the test pilots remarked the aircraft is ‘docile and predictable’. We’ll take that as good thing.

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.

Interest
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. Equipped with wing mounted in-flight refuelling pods, the KC-390 is destined to become a future tanker for the 36 or more SAAB JAS 39E/F Gripen multi-role fighters the Brazilian Air Force is buying.

The first KC-390 was rolled out on 21 October (see images and video). It is the biggest aircraft ever designed and produced in Brazil, Embraer twittered proudly.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editors Marcel Burger and Elmer van Hest

First flight of the new KC-390 (Image © Embraer S.A.)
First flight of the new KC-390 (Image © Embraer S.A.)

Embraer KC-390 runs like a smooth taxi

Taxi! Not your everyday yellow cab at Gavião Peixoto airfield in Brazil last Friday, when Embraer’s new KC-390 tactical airlifter was making its first baby steps on the taxi lane. The milestone in the 4.6 billion dollar development for the Brazilian Air Force was caught in the act by media outlet Globo (PRESS PLAY).

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, with currently planned introduction into service in 2016. Other countries showing interest are Argentina, Chile, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Colombia.

© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editors Marcel Burger and Elmer van Hest

The KC-390, seen just after it was rolled out of its hanger in October 2014. (Image © Embraer)
The KC-390, seen just after it was rolled out of its hanger in October 2014. (Image © Embraer)

Embraer rolls out KC-390

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.

Interest
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)

The KC-390 draws a crowd. (Image © Embraer)
The KC-390 draws a crowd. (Image © Embraer)

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Brazilian KC-390 into final assembly

Computer generation of the new KC-390 (Image © Embraer)
Computer generation of the new KC-390 (Image © Embraer)

LATEST UPDATE 22 MAY 2014 | Embraer officially opened the final assembly line of its new, promising KC-390 tactical transport aircraft in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo, Brazil. The Brazilian Air Force used the occassion to sign the series production contract for 28 aircraft over ten years.

The first delivery is scheduled for the end of 2016. Besides the aircraft, the contract provides for supplying a logistical support package, which includes spare parts and maintenance. The KC-390 is a joint project of the Brazilian Air Force with Embraer to develop and produce a tactical military transport and aerial refueling airplane. The plane is destined to refuel the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) to be leased SAAB JAS 39C/D Gripen fighters and all the other aircraft in the inventory.

The production facility of Gavião Peixoto includes more than 30,000 square meters of hangars. The first prototype is already in the structural assembly phase. Final assembly is planned to begin in June. The first prototype is expected to fly before the end of the year.

Unpaved
Within the Brazilian Air Force the KC-390 will have the same tasks as the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. It will be able to operate from unpaved runways, from the hot and moisty conditions of the Amazon to the freezing rough climate of Antarctica. The jet engines will give it a speed of roughly 470 knots (870 kmh).

Transport
The cargo hold will be more than 60 feet (18.54 m) long, 11 feet wide (3.45 m) and almost 10 feet wide (2.95 m), large enough to transport vehicles, artillery and semi-disassembled smaller aircraft. Moreover, the aircraft will be able to accommodate 80 fully-equipped troops, 64 paratroopers or 74 stretcher plus a medical team. The maximum cargo load will be 23 tons. With 19 tons of cargo the projected operating radius will be 2231 miles (3,590 km) and the service ceiling roughly 38,000 feet.

According to Embraer, on top of the 28 aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force the company already has received requests for another 32 planes from other countries. In the air refuelling role, the KC-390 will take upon the task lost when the FAB retired its Boeing KC-137 last October.

Source: Embraer / Força Aérea Brasiliera