Based on our recent visit to San Jose dos Campos for the E190-E2 roll out, we pondered about the enhancements the company announced. The original E2 concept was compelling in many ways. Embraer moved last among the big four aircraft OEMs with an update, which is natural having the youngest program to update. At the time the program was announced, it appeared that Embraer was potentially going to be late to the party and miss the wave of new orders.
It turns out that their thought process was not ill-timed at all. Being last does not necessarily mean losing first-mover advantage, if you keep your timeline while others miss theirs. By being fourth, Embraer saw what its peers were doing and learned from their mistakes. The company will also benefit from being the the last of the initial set of customers for the Pratt & Whitney GTF engine. Embraer told us that they have no concerns with the engine because by the time it enters service with them, the engine will have been thoroughly shaken out. Their engines will incorporate all of the lessons learned from day one.
Embraer, so far, is developing its E2 on time and on budget. It is clear they are currently within their timeline. It is less clear how they are staying within their budget, seeing as each of the three E2 models has its own wing, and wings tend to be expensive to design and build. The budget impact is likely to become more transparent later. We would not be surprised to see it “evolve” to a figure above the planned $1.7bn.
We recently sent a series of detailed questions regarding the E2 after the roll-out to clarify key points. Embraer’s replies are in italics.
- Performance improvements E190-E2: Any indication that the increased range and hot and high performance announced for the E195-E2 could also be applied to the E190-E2?
The increased range and H&H performance announced for the E195-E2 is the output of an optimization process focused on the E195-E2 that resulted on a higher aspect ratio wing for that model. There are no current requirements or plans to introduce the new wingtip to the E190-E2.
- E195-E2 wing: The +4.6ft span increase: Are the changes being made to the wing to increase the span via a wing tip extension, wing root plug, or trailing edge modification? Are there any other structural changes required to support the increase in MTOW on the E195-E2?
The increased wingspan is achieved by larger wingtips only and structural changes were required throughout the wing to cope with the new aerodynamic loads. There are no further changes in the aircraft structure.
- E195-E2 OWE increase: Embraer announced a +2,000kg increase in MTOW and a larger wing for the E195-E2, but the max payload looks the same on the PR chart. Can you explain please? Do we know how much the OWE and MZFW increased as part of these changes?
The increased MTOW allows a better use of the fuel tank capacity. More fuel, more range. In this case, the MTOW increase does not impact the payload of the aircraft. There might be a small impact in the aircraft structural weight, but given a higher level of program maturity and a better understanding of the aircraft structural loads, it will be minimal, if any. What is really important is that the maximum payload is unchanged.
- Hot & High improvement: For the E195-E2 expressed as an increase in range (i.e. +250NM from DEN, +280 NM from BOG), do you have any indication on the improvement in TOFL or TOW from these airports at different temperatures? (is there a table you can share?) Is there any information on field performance in general?
The higher aspect ratio wing main outcome is an overall improved performance when there are takeoff limitations associated to WAT/climb, not necessarily impacting the TOFL. The extra range benefit varies depending on the altitude, temperature and airline operational/configuration assumptions. The range increase for Denver and Bogota was calculated using typical assumptions, assuming 85% confidence summer temperatures. Please refer to the attached table for field performance info.
Orders: What is the minimum lead time to choose between an E195-E2 and E190-E2 vs current E1 generation if an airline were to order now?
Similar lead times for both generations, around 15 months. There was no change in the lead time to choose between the E195-E2 and E190-E2 with the new wing.
We believe Embraer has been smart to take a “wait and see” approach. It appears this was the right low-risk approach and gave the company time to consider its options. Customers advised Embraer not to change the E190’s dimensions and they followed this guidance. As the table shows, this looks to be the aircraft with the best relative field performance. Among the E1 orders, the E190 has about 40% of the orders. We expect the E190-E2 will also prove to be the most popular model over time. (The lead the E175-E2 has in orders is primarily based on two US regional customers constrained by scope clauses.) Embraer’s E2 line looks ready to become the second generation platform the company planned for and seamlessly continue the success of the EJets program.