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Most Environmentally Friendly Jet? How The Embraer E2 Compares To Other Planes

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Photo: Lukas Souza | Simple Flying

Embraer

Embraer’s E2 series of aircraft are known for being more environmentally friendly than other similar-sized jets, and at its launch in 2018, it was the quietest single-aisle jet in the world. Four years later, does it still hold that title? And how does it compare to its closest competitor, the Airbus A220?

The E2 first took the skies on a test flight in May 2016, and entered commercial service with Widerøe in April 2018. The aircraft comes in two sizes: the E190-E2 and the larger E195-E2. Embraer is also planning an E175 refresh, but has paused development until 2027.

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For this comparison, we will focus on the Embraer E195-E2 aircraft, which is the most popular of the three variants, and the most similar in size and range to the A220.

Azul Linhas Aereas is one of the largest operators of the Embraer E195-E2, and was the type’s launch customer. Photo: Lukas Souza | Simple Flying

Noise reduction

The Embraer E195-E2 is 63 % quieter than its predecessor, the E195, and 11 % quieter than the next quietest jet aircraft, the Airbus A220-100. This reduction means the newer model complies with ICAO’s most restrictive Chapter 14 noise limits. For comparison the original E-195 was in Chapter 4, attracting much higher airport take-off and landing charges.

How has Embraer achieved this impressive reduction? The aircraft’s design features, including bespoke wings, large fan engines, and an advanced fly-by-wire system, contribute to its reduced noise.

Of course, reduced noise means improved efficiency, as Luís Carlos Affonso, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Technology Development, and Corporate Strategy at Embraer, explained to Simple Flying last year. He said,

“Noise is energy. If you’re making a noise, you’re wasting energy. A quiet plane is an efficient plane.”

Image: Embraer

The Embraer E2’s innovative design

Each member of the E2 family has a unique, high aspect ratio wing, that is longer than those on the previous generation of Embraer aircraft. The efficiently designed wing means that drag is reduced, lowering fuel burn and also reducing noise.

Drag is also further reduced by the E2’s smaller tailplane, which is possible thanks to the increased stability provided by the aircraft’s technologically advanced fly-by-wire system. As a result of this reduced drag, the E195-E2, for example, achieves 17.5 % greater fuel efficiency than the E-195.

Embraer’s E2 aircraft use the same Pratt & Whitney PW1900G engines as those found on the Airbus A220. However, thanks to the E2’s optimized design, the thrust required from the engines is less, meaning once again less fuel burn and less noise.

When compared to older single-aisle aircraft such as the Boeing 737 NG, the E2 family shows a vast improvement in both noise level and fuel efficiency. It is also still significantly quieter and greener than the newer incarnations, such as the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo family.

While its environmental performance is excellent, how has the E2 performed commercially? Photo: Embraer

Commercial success

With lower noise levels and reduced fuel burn, the Embraer E2 is a clear winner when it comes to environmental impact, but how has it fared commercially?

Embraer has received a total of 201 E2 orders since the aircraft’s launch. However, this is a drop in the ocean compared to the 741 orders that Airbus has received for its A220. The largest A220 orders so far have come from JetBlue (100 aircraft), Breeze Airways (80 aircraft), and Air France-KLM (60 aircraft).

Delta Air Lines is the largest operator of the Airbus A220. Photo: Airbus

The largest operators of the Embraer E2 aircraft are currently Helvetic Airways with 12, KLM Cityhopper with 11, and Azul Linhas Aereas with nine. The current largest operator of the A220 is Delta Air Lines, with 55 of the type in its fleet.

While the E2 family may not be the biggest-selling aircraft in history, its reduced fuel burn per passenger and lower noise pollution make it a winner environmentally speaking. Four years after launching, it remains the quietest single-aisle jet in the world.

Have you flown on an Embraer E2 aircraft? Share your experiences by commenting below.

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This content was originally published here.

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