Brazil’s Embraer, the world’s third-largest commercial plane maker, on Monday announced the launch of a fourth prototype of a next-generation narrow-body jet slated to enter service in 2018.
The E190-E2 is the first aircraft in Embraer’s regional E-Jet line-up with new engines and wings aimed at improving fuel efficiency by at least 16 per cent. Embraer said the four prototypes have already recorded more than 650 flight hours.
Embraer is also expanding the size and range of its largest commercial jet, the E195, whose next generation enters service in 2019, posing a direct challenge to the new C Series produced by rival Bombardier.
Last week, Embraer announced it was establishing teams in Silicon Valley and Boston to collaborate on research with startup companies, investors, academics and others.
Embraer is also reinforcing its operations in Melbourne, Florida, which build executive jets and will now contribute directly to engineering departments based in Brazil.
Antonio Campello, Embraer’s head of innovation, cited technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and autonomous vehicles in a statement outlining the program aimed at "transforming global air transportation".
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