A Look At Embraer’s New Turboprop In Development

During a virtual Farnborough Airshow Connect presentation in July, Embraer had shed light on its turboprop project. Now, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer has shared an image illustrating what such a plane could look like.

Embraer Turboprop
An illustration of a concept of an Embraer turboprop shared by the manufacturer. Photo: Embraer via Twitter

New market requirements

Rodrigo Silva e Souza, Embraer’s VP of commercial aviation marketing, spoke with Airfinance Journal on a podcast this week. The businessman highlighted how the company will position itself in the post-pandemic reality. During the discussion, he spoke about the business’ five-year plan, the status of partnership talks, and the need for smaller-capacity aircraft in a soft-demand market.

Earlier this summer, Rodrigo also stated how the global health crisis is shaping the future of the firm’s productions. The need to cater to smaller markets, along with the requirement for more environmentally friendly planes for short-haul flights, means that there is plenty of room for the introduction of a new aircraft. Such a production could hit the market this decade.

Ethiopian Dash 8-400
The likes of De Havilland could have a new rival. Photo: Getty Images

Potential features

The illustration initially indicates that the planes would have low wings, contrasting with turboprop powerhouses such as the Dash 8 and ATR. Moreover, Airways highlights that the aircraft in the image adopts the same configuration as the EMB-120 Brasilia, which is Embraer’s last turboprop for passenger operations. This plane was first introduced in October 1985. Therefore, it could be around four decades since a successor made by the planemaker is entered into service.

Additionally, the picture portrays an advanced profile wing and with a turboprop engine installed. There seems to be a standard propellant with no indication of a hybrid or hydrogen-based solution, which some other designers are looking at. Nonetheless, this is just a concept, and the project is in its early days. So, there could be some advancements along the way.

Altogether, there appear to be 21 windows, meaning that the plane potentially would carry approximately 70 passengers. This number fits in line with Rogrigo’s vision of catering to smaller markets in the post-coronavirus industry.

Embraer 120 Brasilaia
The Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia was produced between 1983 and 2001. Photo: Getty Images

A new era

While talking on the podcast, Rodrigo affirmed that his team views the turboprop segment in a positive light. Additionally, he explained that Embraer is looking to attract business partners and not just suppliers for the new turboprop program. Nonetheless, he feels that emerging propulsion technologies will first be in use by planes that hold up to 50 seats.

Altogether, this turboprop project is an exciting development for Embraer. It has been 35 years since the company introduced its previous passenger variant of the type. Therefore, it will also be thrilled about working on such a program once again.

Market needs are changing amid sustainability efforts and shifts in passenger demand. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see further interest in the development of new turboprops across the industry this decade.

What are your thoughts about the potential Embraer turboprop? Let us know what you think of the plane’s prospects in the comment section.