Embraer Makes Successful Aerial Refueling with KC-390 Millennium

The four KC-390 Millennium turbine-powered twin freighters have logged more than 2,500 hours since entering service in Brazil’s air force. Embraer

Embraer’s defense division has completed a successful bid towards its aerial refueling qualification with the KC-390 Millennium multi-mission freighter. The company also won an award for its modular aircraft design through its engineering facility in Évora, Portugal.

The aerial ballet was accomplished using unique underwing “pods” designed for the special mission, which results in extended range and expanded reach for search-and-rescue and other critical operations for both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. The operations can be conducted within a range of 120 to 300 kcas at altitudes from 2,000 to 32,000 ft msl. The KC-390 and its sister ship, the C-390, have dual civilian and military certification, conducted in Brazil in accordance with FAA Part 25 transport category aircraft standards. The KC-390 is powered by two IAE V2500-E5 turbofan powerplants and features Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion avionics on the flight deck. The aircraft are also on order by the Portuguese and Hungarian air forces.

The Flexcraft modular design mock-up was created by a Portuguese consortium joined by Embraer. Embraer

In other news for Embraer, a consortium led by the company from its facility in Évora, Portugal, has won an International Design Award in the Transport Design category for its Flexcraft modular and remotely piloted aircraft conceptual design. The Flexcraft resulted from the collaborative efforts of a Portuguese team led by the Sociedade de Engenharia e Transformação, SA (SET.SA) bringing together Embraer Portugal, Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Almadesign, Instituto de Ciência e Inovação em Engenharia Mecânica e Engenharia Industrial (INEGI), plus additional support from Embraer SA (in Brazil). The initiative received funding through the Portugal 2020 program, under the Operational Program Competitiveness and Internationalization through the European Regional Development Fund.

“This award is a recognition of Embraer and all partners efforts, innovation and scientific research for this conceptual project, which points out opportunities and paths for the transformation of future air mobility,” said Maurílio Albanese Novaes Júnior, head of research and technology development at Embraer, in a press release. “We are also grateful for the initiative of the Government of Portugal, which, under the Incentive System for Research and Technological Development (SI I&DT) of the Portugal 2020 Program, promotes scientific research and trusts Embraer as a catalyst for the local chain and the development of the Portuguese aeronautics industry.”

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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