The Embraer ERJ 145 family is a series 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.
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.
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.
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 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)
Range of 2500 km
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 predicted that another 102 units would be delivered in the 2007-2016 time period.
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 pilots' union as to the number of 50-seat aircraft that can be operated in their mixed fleets. The Major airline agreed with their pilots' union to limit the number of jets flown by their affiliates. One of the limits was a restriction of the number of planes with 45 seats or more.
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.
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, and United Express.
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
- 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, seating for a total of 50 passengers.
- 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 based on the ERJ 135.
- Harbin Embraer ERJ145 - joint venture with Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation
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. February 2011 Embraer presented its new EMB-145 AEW&C for India.
Despite the multiple variants, pilots need only one type rating to fly any variant of the ERJ aircraft. Companies like American Eagle and 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.
- 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
Current major civilian operators include :
- Aeroméxico Connect (38)
- Africa World Airlines (2)
- Air France Régional (33)
- Air Namibia (3)
- American Eagle Airlines (198)
- bmi Regional (18)
- Chautauqua Airlines (78)
- China Eastern Airlines (7)
- China Southern Airlines (6)
- City Airline (9)
- Delta Connection (48)
- Dniproavia (25)
- Eastern Airways (5)
- ExpressJet Airlines (244)
- Luxair (6)
- NovoAir (2)
- Passaredo (13)
- Portugália Airlines (8)
- Privilege Style (1)
- Satena (6)
- Solenta Aviation (2)
- South African Airlink (8)
- Tianjin Airlines (16)
- Trans States Airlines (27)
Some 26 other airlines also operate the aircraft in smaller numbers.
- Angolan Air Force
- Belgian Air Component (operates two ERJ 135 and two ERJ 145 since 2001 in passenger transport and VIP roles)
- Brazilian Air Force
- Colombian Air Force
- Ecuadorian Air Force
- Hellenic Air Force
- Indian Air Force
- Border Security Force
- Mexican Air Force
- Panamanian Public Forces