Air Transport World

EMB 145 flies, then rolls.

Embraer's long-time-to-the-line regional jet impresses with maneuverability, low noise footprint and price

SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, Brazil--At glance, the EMB-145 appears to be a larger version of its turboprop-powered little brother, the widely used Brasilia--the same bullet-nose, the same sleek design.

But Embraer's new 50-seat jet that rolled out and flew here for a cheering throng of 1,500, including Brazil's President, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, is much more than a lookalike. Embraer's third regional airliner, the others being the 18-seat Bandeirante and 30-seat Brasilia, represents the future and perhaps survival for the newly privatized company.

Embraer is hoping the admittedly late-to-the-market, $14.5 million EMB-145 will provide healthy competition for the $18 million Canadair Regional Jet and the $14.5 million turboprop Saab 2000, as well as other turboprops of comparable size and cost, using already-proved technology.

The first of four flight-test articles was a crowd pleaser. …

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