The new turboprop will be Embraer’s platform of the future. CEO Arjan Meijer confirmed during an online press conference on June 23 that the Brazilian airframer has recently made the strategic choice to build the future of the airliner program around the TP, as the aircraft is known for short.
Embraer has been working for some time on a next-generation turboprop. At first, it was thought that this aircraft would mainly target the older generation turboprops from ATR and De Havilland Canada. Last December, Meijer said in a webcast on AirInsight that the concept would offer great opportunities to enter a market segment that has been abandoned by Embraer for quite a few years. In its most recent outlook, Embraer sees a market potential for 1.080 turboprops until 2030.
In the press conference, on the occasion of the delivery of the first E195-E2 to Helvetic, Meijer confirmed that the thinking on the turboprop has changed. By design, turboprops offer better fuel efficiency, but the latest thinking is that they could be a very good platform for a next-generation airliner, either a hybrid-electric or hydrogen-powered one. Airbus has a high-wing turboprop as one of the potential aircraft on its ZEROe hydrogen-based range that could become available in the mid-2030s.
Without going too much into details, Meijer said: “As sustainability becomes more important, Embraer is also spending more and more time looking at what is ahead of us. We are very active. Without going into too much detail, I can say that we have selected the turboprop as the platform for the future as well. We are looking very much at the turboprop variant that we will bring to the market as a next step to bring more sustainable solutions. That’s a big change and we believe that will bring a lot of future value to Embraer and the customers.”
Program launch expected in 2022
Embraer’s CEO said that the OEM hopes to launch the program in 2022. “Internally, we are doing a lot of work on the concept. We have made some changes, using a slightly wider cross-section to leverage the E2 and E1 cabins that we already have and which are so well-respected by our customers and the end-users in the market. So we are looking to bring a much better passenger appeal to the turboprop segment: an aircraft with better performance, with better cost performance, much lower noise levels. We believe we have a turboprop in mind that we could bring to the market in the 2027-2028 timeframe which will really stand apart from the products that we have out there today.”
Embraer has stated that it is open for industrial and/or financial partnerships on the turboprop program. Meijer said he couldn’t give clarity to who they are, but added: “We are progressing well, we are in talks with several partners. We are very confident about how that is progressing so far.”