$50 million multi-mission aircraft with numerous capabilities.
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credit: Editorial Team
The Embraer C-390 Millennium is a transport aircraft with various capabilities such as cargo and troops transport and launch, and conducts different missions such as search and rescue, humanitarian search and rescue, aerial refueling for fighters and helicopters, aerial firefighting and assistance, and medical evacuation.
On April 14 2009, the Brazilian aerospace company Embraer has been awarded with a $1.5 billion contract from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) for orders of KC-390 aircraft.
In July 2010, the FAB declared its order of 28 KC-390 aircraft during the Farnborough Airshow.
In 2011 during the Paris Airshow, the plan to introduce a stretched version of the aircraft was announced by Embraer.
In February 2015, the new KC-390 aircraft made its maiden flight. It is anticipated to enter into service in 2019.
In December 2017, the aircraft attained Initial Operating Capability (IOC).
On October 23 2018, it received its Brazilian type certification after completing 1,900 hours of flight testing.
On November 18 2019, during the Dubai Airshow, Embraer and Boeing, an American multinational aerospace company have rebranded the KC-390 to C-390 Millennium. The two companies announced their joint venture in 2018.
KC-390 Orders and Deliveries
In August 2010, Empresa Nacional de Aeronautica (ENAER) signed an agreement with Embraer to construct the aircraft to be delivered to Chilean Air Force (CAF). About six KC-390 were purchased by CAF.
In May 2014, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) signed a $3.3 billion series production contract with Embraer. As part of the contract, Embraer will supply and deliver 28 KC-395 on a span of ten years. It also consists of a logistical support package, with the aircraft spare parts and maintenance.
In February 2018, the company announced that it signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Skytech, a privately-owned aviation company for the acquisition of KC-390 aircraft.
The KC-390 has an exterior length of 33.5 meters, height of 11.84 meters and a fuselage diameter of 3.6 meters. Its turbofan engines are installed forward on the high wing with a span of 33.9 meters. These wings are swept back and the tail has a T-tail configuration.
Eleb, an aerospace system and component manufacturer in Brazil signed a contract in May 2011 to supply the landing gear of the aircraft. The KC-390 has a wheelbase of 10.6 meters, with landing gears that have low pressure tires; two 85 psi on nose wheel and four 105 psi on both sides.
The aircraft can also refuel in flight using two wing-mounted probe and drogue pods produced by Cobham plc, a British manufacturing company based in England.
KC-390 Cockpit and Flight Deck
The KC-390 cockpit features two Head-Up Displays (HUD) that provide data without requiring the user to look away from the usual viewpoints. It is also equipped with the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics system for the advanced situational awareness of the pilot. The agreement was signed by Rockwell Collins in May 2011 to supply the avionics system of the aircraft.
It also includes Self-defense system and a Night-Vision Device (NVD) which permits images to be produced in levels of light proceeding toward total darkness.
On July 27 2011, BAE Systems, a British aerospace company signed a contract with Embraer to produce and assemble the fly-by-wire flight control system of the KC-390.
KC-390 Engine and Performance
The aircraft is powered by two IAE V2500-E5. These two-shaft high-bypass turbofan engines are manufactured by International Aero Engines and has a maximum thrust of 31,330 pounds. The engine features notable performance and economic advantages, low fuel burn and easy maintenance.
The KC-390 has a maximum take-off and landing weight of 86,999 kg and 74,400 kg. It has a maximum payload of 23,600 kg and a fuel tank capacity of 6,084 kg.
It can fly up to a maximum altitude of 36,000 feet. The aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of 470 knots and approach speed of 120 knots. The travel range of the aircraft is around 1,520 nautical miles.