The ERJ 145 is a family of regional jets produced by Embraer, a Brazilian aerospace company. Family members include the ERJ 135, ERJ 140, and ERJ 145, as well as the Legacy business jet and the R-99 family of military aircraft. The ERJ 145 is the largest of the group. Each jet in the series is powered by two turbofan engines. The family's primary competition comes from the Canadair regional jets.
By 1990, Embraer engineers found that results from wind-tunnel testing were satisfactory, and began considering a significantly different design from the EMB 120. A modified design was proposed which included:
The second design showed better performance in wind tunnel testing, but the combination of swept wings and wing-mounted engines required a significantly higher undercarriage than previous iterations. The design evolved until late 1991, at which time it was frozen. Though the aircraft went through many alterations before it was finalized, it did retain a few of the original influences of the EMB 120 such as the three abreast seating (2+1) configuration which was a similar configuration used for the new technology supercritical winged Embraer/FMA CBA 123 Vector design which never reached production. The key features of the production design included:
The company was seen to be at a disadvantage due to the delay in bringing the aircraft to service, partly because of the change in the aircraft's design. The first design was intended to retain as much commonality as possible with the EMB 120. However, the aircraft has sold well thus overcoming the initial setbacks. Embraer delivered 892 units of all variants through 2006, and predicts that another 102 units will be delivered in the 2007-2016 time period.
The ERJ 140 is based on the ERJ 145 with 96% parts commonality and the same crew type rating. The only significant changes are a shorter fuselage, a slightly derated engine and an increased range. At launch, Embraer estimated the cost of an ERJ 140 to be approximately US$15.2 million. The estimated cost of development of the ERJ 140 was US$45 million. The ERJ 135, with a service entry date of 1999, has 95% parts commonality with the ERJ 145, but is 11.7 feet (3.6 m) shorter.
The ERJ 145 seats 50 passengers, the ERJ 140 seats 44, and the ERJ 135 seats 37. The ERJ 140 was designed with fewer seats in order to meet the needs of some major United States airlines, which have an agreement with the pilot union as to the number of 50-seat aircraft that can be operated in their mixed fleets.
In 2003, Embraer entered a partnership with the Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation of Harbin, China. The resulting company, Harbin Embraer, began producing the ERJ 145 for the Chinese market by assembling kits premanufactured by other worldwide Embraer operations.
The first flight of the ERJ 145 was on 11 August 1995, with the first delivery in December 1996 to ExpressJet Airlines (then the regional division of Continental Airlines). ExpressJet is the largest operator of the ERJ 145, with 270 of the nearly 1000 ERJ 145s in service. The second largest operator is American Eagle, with 206 ERJ 145 aircraft. Chautauqua Airlines also operates 95 ERJ 145s through its alliances with American Connection, Delta Connection, US Airways Express, Continental Express, United Express and Athens Airways .
By some accounts, the ERJ 145 has a cost of ownership of about $2,500,000 per year.
In March 2007 ExpressJet entered into a short-term agreement to operate some regional routes for JetBlue Airways using its ERJ 145 aircraft.
The ERJ 140 was introduced in September 1999, first flew on June 27, 2000 and entered commercial service in July 2001. American Eagle Airlines, the regional jet subsidiary of American Airlines, operates the majority of the ERJ 140s built, including the first to be delivered, N800AE. Chautauqua Airlines also operate the ERJ 140.
As of early 2005, 74 ERJ 140s had been delivered.
MTOW - Maximum TakeOff Weight; MZFW - Maximum Zero Fuel Weight
The physical engines are the same (Rolls Royce Allison AE3007), however, the FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine/Electronic Control) logic is what differs between the various models in regards to total thrust capability.
The extended range version, the ERJ-145ER, has Rolls Royce AE 3007A engines rated at 31.3kN(7036 lb) thrust, with the option of more powerful AE 3007A1 engines. A, A1, A1P models are mechanically identical but differ in thrust due to variations in FADEC software. The A1E engine, however, has not only new software, but significantly upgraded mechanical components.
The long-range ERJ-145LR aircraft is equipped with Rolls Royce AE 3007A1 engines which provide 15% more power. The engines are flat rated at 33.1kN (7440 lb) thrust to provide improved climb characteristics and improved cruise performance in high ambient temperatures.
The extra-long-range ERJ-145XR aircraft is equipped with Rolls-Royce AE 3007A1E engines. The high performance engines provide lower specific fuel consumption (SFC) and improved performance in hot and high conditions. The engines also yield a higher altitude for one-engine-inoperable conditions." ExpressJet is the sole operator of the ERJ 145XR.
Despite the multiple variants, pilots need only one type rating to fly any variant of the ERJ aircraft. Companies like ExpressJet Airlines utilize this benefit with their mixed fleet of ERJ135ER/LR and ERJ145EP/LR/XR. Shared type ratings allows operators to utilize a single pilot pool for any ERJ aircraft.
The ERJ 145 family of aircraft has no reported crashes or fatalities due to mechanical malfunction in over 15 million hours (as of June 2009) of flight time for the fleet. (Source: http://www.embraer.com/english/content/imprensa/press_releases_detalhe.asp?id=2482) There have been a small number of incidents and accidents involving the ERJ 145. In one case a Rio-Sul pilot descended beyond the normal rates and landed at a speed significantly higher than the normal landing speed. This aircraft tail section cracked and was dragged along the runway. In the other case, a Continental Express (ExpressJet) flight overran a Cleveland runway in blizzard conditions; there were no injuries and the aircraft was returned to service. Another ExpressJet aircraft crashed on takeoff in Beaumont, Texas during a training flight; that aircraft was a total loss, but again no injuries were sustained.
Specifications (ERJ 140)
Published - July 2009
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