Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer is committed to the development of a new turboprop aircraft, despite setbacks in the project. The company has put the project on hold due to the lack of an engine that can operate cleanly and sustainably, but Embraer’s commercial aircraft division has assured the public that they have not given up on the project.
Suppliers Falling Short
Embraer’s new turboprop aircraft, which has been unofficially referred to as E3, was supposed to be launched in the middle of 2023, with the first deliveries planned for 2028. However, suppliers have not been delivering the required parts at the necessary levels of consumption, performance, and cost, resulting in a delay in the project’s development.
In a recent statement, the head of Embraer’s commercial aircraft division, Arjan Meijer, said, “We have not buried the project. We have simply made it clear to the market that we need more time.” Meijer likened the project to Sleeping Beauty, stating that they are waiting for the princes who will kiss the project awake again.
Embraer is not giving up on the project, which has already secured more than 250 Letters of Intent (LoI) from potential customers. The company has not set a new launch date for the new-generation turboprop aircraft, but is committed to delivering an aircraft that “owns the future,” according to Meijer.
The new turboprop aircraft would have been the first large commercial aircraft of its kind since the launch of the ATR 72 by Airbus and Leonardo (then Aeritalia) in 1989. Demand for such an aircraft is growing, particularly in regional markets, where smaller aircraft are more cost-effective and better suited to serve smaller airports.
Embraer’s decision to postpone the launch of the new-generation turboprop aircraft is a setback for the manufacturer’s plan to expand its product portfolio. The lack of suitable engines that can operate cleanly with sustainable fuel or hydrogen is a significant challenge facing the aviation industry.
Despite this setback, Embraer’s commitment to sustainable aviation remains intact, and the manufacturer is working with potential suppliers to evaluate the viability of the project. The success of this project could potentially lead the future of sustainable aviation.