First flight of Embraer KC-390 a success!

The new KC-390 military transport aircraft built by Embraer of Brazil made its first flight on February 3, 2015, from the final assembly site in Gaviao Peixoto, near Sao Paulo. This new airlifter features a number of systems developed by Safran.

The largest aircraft ever built by Embraer, the KC-390 is designed for both military and civilian mission, in particular troop transport, emergency evacuation and in-flight refueling. Its first flight lasted one hour and 25 minutes. Afterwards, the test pilots emphasized the aircraft's good performance and ease of handling.

The first flight of the KC-390 is a major success for Safran and for everybody who has contributed to this new aircraft, which incorporates six "work packages" designed and developed by Safran. In particular the KC-390 reflects Labinal Power Systems expertise in aircraft electrical systems (see box)

The comapny also coordinates operation of the electrical test rig for the aircraft, which enabled testing all of the aircraft's electrical systems (whether supplied by Safran or not) on the ground.

Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (Safran) makes the wheels and brakes, braking control system, nose landing gear steering system, and landing gear extension/retraction system. Sagem (Safran) supplies the horizontal stabilizer trim system (HSTS*), the largest of this type ever designed by Safran.

The test flight program now continues, leading to production startup and initial deliveries, slated for late 2016.

*The HSTS (horizontal stabilizer trim system) enables the pilot to adjust the angle of the horizontal stabilizer in order to maintain a stable flight attitude, while also minimizing the aerodynamic loads on the control stick.

Labinal Power Systems on board KC-390

  • Primary and secondary electrical distribution systems, the first time that Safran has provided both systems on a single aircraft.
  • The ram air turbine (RAT) backup power generator, which uses the natural airflow around the plane to drive a generator that provides the electrical power needed to ensure flight safety and landing in emergency situations when the main power generators are no longer available.
  • All ventilation systems, provided by its subsidiary, Technofan.
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