- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Embraer ERJ 145
Embraer ERJ-145LU - XA-ULI - Aeromexico Connect
2002 Embraer ERJ-145LU
XA-ULI (ex. HB-JAU) (sn 145570)
Aeromexico Connect
Photo taken November 07, 2010
Miami International Airport, FL - USA (MIA / KMIA)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The ERJ 145 is a family of regional jets produced by Embraer, a Brazilian aerospace company. Family members include the ERJ 135 (37 passengers), ERJ 140 (44 passengers), and ERJ 145 (50 passengers), as well as the Legacy business jet and the R-99 family of military aircraft. The ERJ 145 is the largest of the group. Each jet in the series is powered by two turbofan engines. The family's primary competition comes from the Bombardier CRJ regional jets.

Development

Early design
The ERJ 145 was launched at the Paris Airshow in 1989 as a stretched and turbofan-powered modification of the EMB 120 Brasilia. Key components of this design included:

  • Straight wing (with winglets)
  • Rear Fuselage-mounted engines
  • Range of 2500 km
  • 75% parts commonality with the EMB 120.

Interim design
By 1990, Embraer engineers found that results from wind-tunnel testing were less than satisfactory, and began considering a significantly different design from the EMB 120. The proposed modified design included a slightly (22.3°) swept wing with winglets, as well as engines mounted in underwing nacelles. This second design showed markedly better aerodynamic performance, but the combination of swept wings and wing-mounted engines required an unusually high (and therefore heavy) undercarriage.

Production design
The design evolved until late 1991, at which time it was frozen. Though the aircraft went through many alterations before it was finalized, it did retain a few of the original influences of the EMB 120 such as the three abreast seating (2+1) configuration which was a similar configuration used for the new technology supercritical winged Embraer/FMA CBA 123 Vector design which never reached production. The key features of the production design included:

  • Rear fuselage-mounted engines
  • Swept wings (no winglets)
  • "T"-tail configuration
  • Range of 2500 km

The company was seen to be at a disadvantage due to the delay in bringing the aircraft to service, partly because of the change in the aircraft's design. The first design was intended to retain as much commonality as possible with the EMB 120. However, the aircraft has sold well thus overcoming the initial setbacks. Embraer delivered 892 units of all variants through 2006, and predicts that another 102 units will be delivered in the 2007-2016 time period.

Derivatives
The ERJ 140 is based on the ERJ 145 with 96% parts commonality and the same crew type rating. The only significant changes are a shorter fuselage, a slightly derated engine and an increased range. At launch, Embraer estimated the cost of an ERJ 140 to be approximately US$15.2 million. The estimated cost of development of the ERJ 140 was US$45 million. The ERJ 135, with a service entry date of 1999, has 95% parts commonality with the ERJ 145, but is 11.7 feet (3.6 m) shorter.

The ERJ 145 seats 50 passengers, the ERJ 140 seats 44, and the ERJ 135 seats 37. The ERJ 140 was designed with fewer seats in order to meet the needs of some major United States airlines, which have an agreement with the pilot union as to the number of 50-seat aircraft that can be operated in their mixed fleets.

In 2003, Embraer entered a partnership with the Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation of Harbin, China. The resulting company, Harbin Embraer, began producing the ERJ 145 for the Chinese market by assembling complete knock down kits premanufactured by other worldwide Embraer operations.

Operations

The first flight of the ERJ 145 was on August 11, 1995, with the first delivery in December 1996 to ExpressJet Airlines (then the regional division of Continental Airlines). ExpressJet is the largest operator of the ERJ 145, with 270 of the nearly 1000 ERJ 145s in service. The second largest operator is American Eagle, with 206 ERJ 145 aircraft. Chautauqua Airlines also operates 95 ERJ 145s through its alliances with American Connection, Delta Connection, US Airways Express, Continental Express, United Express and Athens Airways .

By some accounts, the ERJ 145 has a cost of ownership of about $2,500,000 per year.

In March 2007 ExpressJet entered into a short-term agreement to operate some regional routes for JetBlue Airways using its ERJ 145 aircraft.

The ERJ 140 was introduced in September 1999, first flew on June 27, 2000 and entered commercial service in July 2001. American Eagle Airlines, the regional jet subsidiary of American Airlines, operates the majority of the ERJ 140s built, including the first to be delivered, N800AE. Chautauqua Airlines also operate the ERJ 140.

As of early 2005, 74 ERJ 140s had been delivered.

This version is marketed as ERJ 140, but on the company's internal documents and on Federal Aviation Administration certification, the version is designated EMB 135KL.

Variants

Civilian models

  • ERJ 135ER - Extended range, although this is the Baseline 135 model. Simple shrink of the ERJ 145, seating thirteen fewer passengers, for a total of 37 passengers.
  • ERJ 135LR - Long Range (increased fuel capacity and upgraded engines).
  • ERJ 140ER - Simple shrink of the ERJ 145, seating six fewer passengers, for a total of 44 passengers.
  • ERJ 140LR - Long Range (increased fuel capacity (5187 kg) and upgraded engines).
  • ERJ 145STD - The baseline original
  • ERJ 145EU - Model for European market. Same fuel capacity as 145STD (4174 kg) but an increased MTOW 19990 kg
  • ERJ 145ER - Extended Range, although this is the Baseline 145 model.
  • ERJ 145EP - Same fuel capacity as 145ER (4174 kg) but an increased MTOW 20990 kg.
  • ERJ 145LR - Long Range (increased fuel capacity (5187 kg) and upgraded engines).
  • ERJ 145LU - Same fuel capacity as 145LR (5187 kg) but an increased MTOW 21990 kg.
  • ERJ 145MK - Same fuel capacity (4174 kg), landing weight (MLW) and MTOW as in the 145STD, but a changed MZFW (17700 kg).
  • ERJ 145XR - Extra-long Range (numerous aerodynamic improvements, including winglets, strakes, etc. for lower cruise-configuration drag, a ventral fuel tank (aft location) in addition to the two main larger capacity wing tanks (same tanks as in the LR models), increased weight capacity, higher top speed and more powerful engines).
  • Legacy 600 - Business jet variant is a special variant based on the ERJ145.
  • Harbin Embraer ERJ145 - joint venture with Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation

(MTOW - Maximum TakeOff Weight; MZFW - Maximum Zero Fuel Weight)

The physical engines are the same (Rolls Royce Allison AE3007), however, the FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine/Electronic Control) logic is what differs between the various models in regards to total thrust capability.

The extended range version, the ERJ-145ER, has Rolls Royce AE 3007A engines rated at 31.3 kN(7036 lb) thrust, with the option of more powerful AE 3007A1 engines. A, A1, A1P models are mechanically identical but differ in thrust due to variations in FADEC software. The A1E engine, however, has not only new software, but significantly upgraded mechanical components.

The long-range ERJ-145LR aircraft is equipped with Rolls Royce AE 3007A1 engines which provide 15% more power. The engines are flat rated at 33.1 kN (7440 lb) thrust to provide improved climb characteristics and improved cruise performance in high ambient temperatures.

The extra-long-range ERJ-145XR aircraft is equipped with Rolls-Royce AE 3007A1E engines. The high performance engines provide lower specific fuel consumption (SFC) and improved performance in hot and high conditions. The engines also yield a higher altitude for one-engine-inoperable conditions." ExpressJet is the sole operator of the ERJ 145XR.

Despite the multiple variants, pilots need only one type rating to fly any variant of the ERJ aircraft. Companies like ExpressJet Airlines utilize this benefit with their mixed fleet of ERJ135ER/LR and ERJ145EP/LR/XR. Shared type ratings allows operators to utilize a single pilot pool for any ERJ aircraft.

Military models

  • C-99A - Transport model
  • EMB 145SA (R-99A) - Airborne Early Warning model
  • EMB 145RS (R-99B) - Remote sensing model
  • EMB 145MP/ASW (P-99) - Maritime patrol model

Operators

Civilian operators

In August 2010 a total of 996 ERJ 135/140/145 remain in service, with 5 further firm orders.

Current major civilian operators include :

  • Satena (6)
  • ExpressJet Airlines (244)
  • American Eagle Airlines (198)
  • Chautauqua Airlines (78)
  • AeroMexico Connect (40)
  • Freedom Airlines (Mesa Air Group) (33)
  • Air France Régional (33)
  • Trans States Airlines (27)
  • bmi Regional (18)
  • Tianjin Airlines (16)
  • Dniproavia (13)
  • South African Airlink (9)
  • Luxair (8)
  • Passaredo (8)
  • Portugália Airlines (8)
  • City Airline (8)
  • China Eastern Airlines (7)
  • LOT Polish Airlines (6)
  • China Southern Airlines (6)

Some 26 other airlines also operate the aircraft in smaller numbers.

Military operators

  • Angola
    Angolan Air Force
  • Belgium
    Belgian Air Component (operates two ERJ 135 and two ERJ 145 since 2001 in passenger transport and VIP roles)
  • Brazil
    Brazilian Air Force
  • Ecuador
    Ecuadorian Air Force
  • Greece
    Hellenic Air Force
  • India
    Indian Air Force
    Border Security Force
  • Mexico
    Mexican Air Force
  • Thailand
    Royal Thai Army
    Royal Thai Navy

Notable accidents

The ERJ 145 family of aircraft has no reported crashes or fatalities due to mechanical malfunction in over 15 million hours (as of June 2009) of flight time for the fleet. There have been a small number of incidents and accidents involving the ERJ 145.

  • On December 28, 1998, a Rio-Sul pilot descended beyond the normal rates and landed at a speed significantly higher than the normal landing speed. This aircraft tail section cracked and was dragged along the runway. The airplane involved was PT-SPE, an ERJ-145ER and this happened at Afonso Pena Airport, in Curitiba, Brazil. The airplane was damaged beyond economical repair.
  • A Continental Express (ExpressJet) flight overran a Cleveland runway in blizzard conditions; there were no injuries and the aircraft was returned to service. Another ExpressJet aircraft crashed on takeoff in Beaumont, Texas during a training flight; that aircraft was a total loss, but again no injuries were sustained.
  • On July 14, 2004, a US Airways Express Embraer EMB-145LR N829HK landed at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport and slid off the west end of runway 25/07 ( 8000 foot ). There was light rain at the time. Six years later (almost to the week) the same carrier had another EMB-145LR slide off the opposite end of the same runway.
  • On September 29, 2006, an ExcelAire Embraer Legacy EMB-135BJ, Civil Registration N600XL, collided with Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907, a Boeing 737-800, while flying over the northern state of Mato Grosso en route to Manaus from São José dos Campos. The Legacy made an emergency landing at a military airstrip at Cachimbo, Pará, Brazil, with minor damages and with its 5 passengers and 2 crew members uninjured. The Gol 737 crashed in the Amazon forest east of Peixoto de Azevedo, killing all 148 passengers and 6 crew members.
  • 7 December 2009 - An Embraer ERJ 135 (registration: ZS-SJW) operated by Airlink on a scheduled flight (SA-8625) overran the runway at George Airport, South Africa in wet conditions and ended up on a public road. No fatalities occurred, but the plane suffered substantial damage.
  • On June 16, 2010, an Embraer ERJ-145LR (registration: N847HK) with 33 passengers and 3 crew aboard, identified as United Airlines Flight 8050, hydroplaned down the runway at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport and skidded off into the grass. The pilot, co-pilot, and an elderly passenger suffered minor injuries and were sent to hospital for treatment.

Specifications

  ERJ135 ER ERJ135 LR ERJ140 ER ERJ140 LR ERJ145 LR ERJ145 XR
Crew 3 (2 pilots + flight attendant)
Seating capacity 37 44 50
Length
Wing span
Height
26.33 m (86 ft 5 in)
20.04 m (65 ft 9 in)
6.76 m (22 ft 2 in)
28.45 m (93 ft 4 in)
20.04 m (65 ft 9 in)
6.76 m (22 ft 2 in)
29.87 m (98 ft 0 in)
20.04 m (65 ft 9 in)
6.76 m (22 ft 2 in)
Engines (2x) Rolls-Royce AE 3007A
Max Zero Fuel Weight (MZFW) 15,600 kg (34,392 lb) 16,000 kg (35,273 lb) 17,100 kg (37,699 lb) 17,900 kg (39,462 lb) 18,500 kg (40,785 lb)
Max payload weight 4,198 kg (9,255 lb) 4,499 kg (9,918 lb) 5,284 kg (11,649 lb) 5,292 kg (11,666 lb) 5,786 kg (12,755 lb) 5,909 kg (13,027 lb)
Max Take Off Weight 19,000 kg (41,887 lb) 20,000 kg (44,092 lb) 20,100 kg (44,312 lb) 21,100 kg (46,517 lb) 22,000 kg (48,501 lb) 24,100 kg (53,131 lb)
Maximum range 2,409 km (1,300 nmi) 3,243 km (1,750 nmi) 2,317 km (1,250 nmi) 3,058 km (1,650 nmi) 2,873 km (1,550 nmi) 3,706 km (2,000 nmi)
Basic cruising speed Mach .78, 447 kts, 515 mph, 828 km/h Mach .80, 470 kts, 530 mph, 851 km/h
Service ceiling 11,278 m (37,000 ft)
Last updated November 18, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Embraer ERJ 145 family".
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