Buckle up ladies & gentlemen, today is the 26th of September, Colin & me are invited to take part in a really exclusive and historical flight over the swiss alps in the new Embraer E190 E2 Profit Hunter “Shark”!
After a too short night for me, it was already time to wakeup, have a quick breakfast and take the next train to the airport. Arrived at the VIP terminal at JetAviation, we got our flight tickets and they offered us coffee and sweets before we could go through the security check to our bus which brought us to a big hangar. In this hall the press conference took place, where Helvetic Chief Executive Officer Tobias Pogorevc and owner Martin Ebner confirmed a firm order of 12 E190-E2 jets. This agreement was announced as a Letter of Intent at the recent Farnborough Air Show, in July, about what Colin has already written a detailed blog. The firm order has a value of USD 730 Million, good news for Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer.
These 12 Embraer E190-E2 will begin replacing Helvetic`s five Fokker 100s and seven E190s, starting in summer 2019 and completing in spring 2021.
Helvetic has the option to purchase further 12 aircraft (E190-E2 or E195-E2), that means that Helvetic Airways could grow according to market opportunities.
BUT WHY DOES HELVETIC CHOOSE THE E2?
First of all the E2 is environmentally friendly, it is the most efficient single aisle aircraft. In contrast to the A220 the E2 weighs 3,500 kg less, therefore the E2 burns less fuel. The wings of the E2 are like a glider wing, they are optimized and are 10% smaller than on the A220. In fuel consumption, the E190-E2 proved to be 1.3% better than originally expected, which represents a 17.3% improvement when compared to the current Generation E190, and nearly 10% better than its direct competitor A220.
Furthermore, the new E2 offers a lot of comfort for the passenger. It is confirmed that the E2 has the lowest noise levels among all new generation single aisle aircraft, what I could notice later inflight. This noice reduction not only improves the customer experience, but significantly reduces the environmental noise impact of the aircraft on local communities.
Besides of the new avionics, aircraft systems, a new engine and new landing gear, new 4th gen full fly-by-wire, that means the pilots know exactly what to do next in fact of an engine failure for example which increases flight safety and economy, the new wing, new fuselage and new interior the range is increased up to 5,300 km, which offers greater flexibility to the airlines in planning their networks. Even on the longest routes the passengers will enjoy the highest level of comfort. The E2 offers “no middle seat” 2+2 cabin layout, as from experience most passengers would not book a middle seat. With an 89% increase in cabin luggage capacity over the first Generation E190, the aircraft provides passengers with the highest carry-on capacity of any single aisle aircraft. Even the Overhead Bins are improved and offer more space for bags, which results in faster turn-arounds and a higher on-time performance.
The E190-E2 also delivers significant savings to airlines in terms of pilot transition training time. Pilots of first generation E-Jets need only 2.5 days of training and no full flight simulator to fly an E2.
Another key program target where the E190-E2 obtained better results than initial expectations is the cost of maintenance. It has the longest maintenance intervals with 10,000 flight hours for basic checks and no calendar limit in typical E-Jets utilization.
WHY PAINTED AS A SHARK?
The shark is a phenomenal animal, which never sleeps, one of the most evolved creatures on earth and it fits perfect to a Profit Hunter aircraft.
THERE WILL BE SHARKS IN EUROPE SOON
The Farnborough Airshow was a big success for Embraer. Embraer announced 300 orders and $ 15.3Bn worth of a Business. That on its own built the fact that Embraer is the number one aircraft manufacturer of aircraft up to 150 seats. Over 1700 are in service in 60 countries globally from the coldest to the hottest place on earth.
THE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE
After the press conference, the hall gates have been opened and the Shark rolled in… one of the coolest airplane liveries I`ve ever seen!
While boarding, you could mention how big the new engines are, really impressive.
Since Colin and me were fast, we also got a good seat, his was 05A and mine 06A, as the four front rows were reserved for the interviews. Then our pushback started, you could enjoy the engine start up sound of the massive 2 Pratt & Whitney PW1919G/23G engines. While taxiing everyone was waving out to the spotters, and then it was time to take off to the skies.. We had the luck to experience a vertical takeoff as the E190 E2 is a little bit overpowered for just ~40-50 people inside. While climbing you could watch how the Alps slowly grew higher and higher behind lake Zürichsee, an unforgettable scene! After a steep left turn we flew towards the alps and after reaching our cruise altitude, that was FL210 (21.000 feet), the engines ran down and became very quiet. Inflight, everyone could visit the cockpit, make interviews with the CEO or just enjoy the beautiful engine view, which really reminds of flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner thanks to the new wing and the massive engine.
While Colin was busy doing interviews and videos, I was a busy photo guy. Standing the first time in an E2 cockpit, made me smile. In comparison to the older E190 E1 Cockpit which I often saw while my internship at Lufthansa City Line Technik it just looks so clean and modern, the displays are twice as big like in the E1 and you could see the mountains in a 3D display.
On top of that the view over the Alps was just incredible. You could see Switzerlands most famous mountain, the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, even Europes highest mountain, the Mont Blanc in France and we had a hazy view into Italy and the metropolis Milan.
At the end Helvetic Airways owner Martin Ebner made his last acceptance speech, before we smoothly touched down at Zurich Airport.
Have you already flown on an E2 Jet? How did you like it? Tell us in the comments!
See you on the next blog, David.