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I didn't get that much done last week. I did some sanding and filling on the windscreen fairing, and that was it for actual progress. I did spend several hours looking for a single vendor that carried a list of miscellaneous hardware that I wanted to order. The only vendors that seemed to carry everything had minimum order sizes of 100 items of each part number. I eventually gave up and just ordered the stuff I need to keep moving, as Van's carried all those items.

I spent the rest of my spare time taking care of some non-RV stuff, and spending time with Terry, as I was getting ready to go on the road for two weeks. I flew down to Brazil over night last night, and am writing this from my hotel room. I'm pretty tired, so hopefully this isn't too incoherent.

I'm down here to do Embraer ERJ-190 flight testing. We'll spend most of the time at Embraer's main facility at Sao Jose dos Campos, but we will go to their Gaviao Peixoto flight test facility for several days. I'm looking forward to visiting Gaviao Peixoto, as it was built expressly for flight testing, with a runway 16,295 ft long. It is well away from populated areas, and in an area with very little air traffic, which will really help. Their main facility is right on a busy airway between Sao Paulo and Rio, which makes it hard to get big blocks of airspace for flight testing.

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  • Hello Kevin
    I've been told by a few of our pilots flying the Embraer (175 in this case) that the a/c was very noisy in the flight deck due to wind noise and some other reasons.
    Can you confirm or deny these statements?I will probably be flying it (175 & 190)in a near future and would like to have an un-biased opinion on the subject.
    Any comments you may have regarding performances and flying qualities will be appreciated.

  • Bruno,

    It's hard to make a decent comment on noise, as flight test aircraft are usually noisier than the production ones. Flight test aircraft usually don't have the normal accoustic blankets, they don't have a cockpit door, they sometimes have special provisions for emergency egress that cause extra noise, etc. They are sometimes flown to speeds greatly higher than the normal VMO/MMO. Flight test crews usually wear bulky David Clark headsets because of the noise. I didn't percieve the 170/175/190 as being any noiser than other flight test aircraft I have flown, but it is hard to say how line pilots will perceive a production aircraft, wearing a lighter headset.

    I really enjoyed flying the aircraft. The cockpit is very neat and well laid out, sort of in the Airbus style, but with control yokes, rather than a side stick. Embraer uses the rams horn style control yoke, and I found it quite comfortable. The aircraft systems are relatively automatic in operation, and don't need much tending by the crew.

    The aircraft has quite good airfield performance, and it seems to climb reasonably well. We went up to 41,000 ft several times to do various tests, and never had any difficulty getting their, albeit not at max take off weight.

    The flying qualities are wonderful. They are probably the best handling transport category aircraft that I have flown. They fly very well even with the flight control system in Direct Mode. The dutch roll in positively damped, even at high altitude/low speed, and in the landing configuration and speed, which is unusual for a swept wing jet.

    They are having a few difficulties with the avionics, but Honeywell is working hard to sort out the problems, and there are a bunch of software and hardware fixes in the pipeline that may improve things. It isn't unusual for a new aircraft to have problems, and Embraer/Honeywell are working very hard to find and fix them, so I believe they will eventually get there.

    I'm betting you will love the aircraft, all in all.

    Kevin Horton

  • Hello Kevin
    Thanks for the update,it's greatly appreciated.