Second KC-390 flight imminent

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Brazilian manufacturer Embraer is readying its second KC-390 prototype for its first flight, which is to be carried out ‘in the coming weeks’, in an effort to increase the pace of flight testing over the next two years.

The second prototype is finished and is in ground testing preparing for its maiden flight.

The first KC-390 prototype flew in February 2015 but flight testing was postponed soon after because of the worsening economic situation in Brazil.

The first prototype has fully covered tests of the flight envelope, achieving its predicted airspeed, mach numbers, maximum altitude, and all flap and slat configurations, industry reports say. Only the testing of the opening and closing of the cargo ramp in flight remains.

The second prototype will be used for the engine performance campaign and flutter testing. Additional testing will involve stalls with the cargo ramp open, and an expansion of center of gravity positions for certification purposes.

Two full-scale ground test vehicles have also been built for static tests and structural tests. Embraer believes the aircraft will be certified by 2H 2017, with first deliveries beginning in early 2018.

April 1, 2016

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