Marking a significant milestone, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has successfully completed the maiden flight of its first E190F aircraft in São José dos Campos, Brazil. The Embraer E190F is a new narrowbody freighter aircraft that was launched in the year 2022, It is a converted version of the E190 passenger jet and a part of Embraer’s E-Freighter programme, in which Embraer is converting its existing E-Jet passenger planes into cargo freighters, mainly the E190 and E195.

The E190F was airborne for approximately two hours, during which the Embraer team evaluated the aircraft. The company has announced its intention to conduct further assessments before the aircraft enters into operation. The first E190F aircraft is owned by Regional One, a leasing company headquartered in the United States.

Embraer says that the aircraft has already passed both ground pressurisation and cargo loading tests successfully.

“The E-Freighter programme opens a new business opportunity for Embraer, meeting e-commerce’s growing global demand for cargo transport and matching the high-tech E-Jets family to an unbeatable operational performance,” says Francisco Gomes Neto, President and CEO of Embraer. “We are very pleased with E190F’s and E195F’s fast progress during the testing period. These jets will be important tools for our customers and allow them to work with more agile and decentralized deliveries.”

Video credit: X / @Mallikahr

Earlier in December last year, the Brazilian firm had completed the conversion of the first E190 passenger aircraft into a freighter. According to Embraer, the aircraft certification is now expected in the third quarter instead of the second, as informed to Cargo Facts.

At the 54th Paris Air Show in June last year, Embraer signed a letter of agreement (LoA) with Lanzhou Aviation Industry Development Group for 20 E190F and E195F E-Jets passenger-to-freighter conversions. Through this LoA, Embraer and Lanzhou will work together to set up conversion capability for E190F and E195F aircraft in Lanzhou, China. This collaboration aims to support and speed up the introduction of first-generation E-Jet freighters into the Chinese market.

In 2022, Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) also entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Embraer to allocate the initial two E190F passenger-to-freighter conversions to Astral Aviation, based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Additionally, Embraer has also secured a significant deal with an undisclosed client for the conversion of up to ten Embraer E-jets from passenger to freighter.

Embraer states that E-Jets converted to freighters will offer over 50% more volume capacity, three times the range of large cargo turboprops, and up to 30% lower operating costs compared to narrowbodies. When combining capacity under the floor and on the main deck, the maximum structural payload for the E190F is 13,500 kg, and for the E195F is 14,300 kg.

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