Santiago Rivas details the KC-390 as the test programme progresses and delivery of the first example to the Brazilian Air Force approaches.
The KC-390 is the biggest military aircraft to be developed in Latin America and Embraer’s most ambitious current programme. Design work started in 2006 using many components from the company’s E170/190 regional airliner family. Walter Pinto, vice-president KC-390 Programme, gives insight into early thinking about the type: “The first discussions within Embraer about launching a product in this market used the E190 as its basis. But in the first interactions with the FAB [Força Aérea Brasileira/Brazilian Air Force] we saw that what was more interesting for the market would require a new platform, then we abandoned the concept derived from a commercial airplane and we started with a completely new design”. The FAB signed a contract in 2009 to move forward with the project.