Brazilian Air Force designation: VC-97

TYPE: Twin-turboprop airliner.

PROGRAMME: Design began September 1979; three flying prototypes, two static/fatigue test aircraft and one pre-series demonstrator built (first flight, by PT-ZBA, 27 July 1983); Brazilian CTA certification with original PW115 engines on 10 May 1985 followed by FAA (FAR Pt 25) type approval 9 July 1985, British/French/German approval 1986 and Australian in April 1990; deliveries began June 1985 (to Atlantic Southeast Airlines, USA, entering service that October); first order for corporate version (United Technologies Corporation, USA) received August 1986, delivered following month.
From October 1986 (c/n 120028), all Brasilias delivered incorporate materials equivalent to 10 per cent of aircraft basic empty weight; also since late 1986 has been available in hot-and-high version (certified 26 August 1986) with PW118A engines which maintain maximum output up to ISA +15°C at S/L (first customer Skywest of USA); on 4 January 1989, first prototype began flight trials with Honeywell TPE331-12B turboprop on port side of rear fuselage, as testbed for engine installation of subsequently cancelled Embraer/FMA CBA-123; 300th Brasilia delivered 4 September 1995; more than five million flying hours by September 1998, at which time Brasilias had carried more than 60 million passengers.
Extended-range EMB-120ER (now standard version) announced June 1991, certified by CTA February 1992.

CURRENT VERSIONS: EMB-120: Launch production version, with 1,118.5 kW (1,500 shp) PW115 engines and Hamilton Sundstrand 14RF four-blade propellers (replaced at early stage by higher output PW115s of 1,193 kW; 1,600 shp). Details in 1996-97 and earlier Jane's.
EMB-120RT: (Reduced Take-off): Initial production version; 1,342 kW (1,800 shp) PW118 engines for better field performance; most early aircraft now retrofitted to RT standard. Also, from late 1986, in hot/high version with PW118As (see Programme above). See 1996-97 and earlier edotions for details.
EMB-120FC: 'Full Cargo' conversion of EMB-120RT developed in USA by IASG and approval by Embraer. Prototype (N453UE) converted June 2000 and exhibited at Farnborough in following month. Cargo volume 31.0 m³ (1,095 cu ft); maximum payload 3,700 kg (8,157 lb); empty weight 7,200 kg (15,873 lb); maximum T-O weight 12,000 lb (26,455 lb). Initial 10 kits ordered by North South Airways.
EMB-120 Combi: Mixed configuration version of ER with quick-release seats, 9 g movable rear bulkhead and cargo restraint net; retains lavatory and galley; typical capacity 30 passengers and 700 kg (1,543 lb) of cargo or 19 passengers and 1,100 kg (2,425 lb) cargo.
EMB-120QC (Quick-Change): Convertible in 40 minutes from 30-passenger layout to 3,500 kg (7,716 lb) all-cargo configuration with floor and sidewall protection, fire detection system, smoke curtain aft of flight deck, 9 g movable rear bulkhead and cargo restraint net; conversion from cargo to passenger interior takes 50 minutes. First customer (14 May 1993 delivery), Total Linhas Aereas of Brazil.
EMB-120ER Brasilia Advanced: First delivery to Skywest Airlines in May 1993; standard production version from 1994, previously reffered to as EMB-120X or Improved Brasilia. Additional range obtained by increasing maximum T-O weight without major structural change; this also allows for increases standard passenger-plus-baggage weight (97.5 kg; 215 lb per person instead of 91 kg; 200 lb) and obligatory fitting of TCAS and flight data recorder. Incorporates several modifications and some redesign aimed at maximising both passenger comfort and dispatchability while simultaneously reducing operational and maintenance costs. These include redesigned, interchangeable leading-edges for all flying surfaces; deletion of the fin de-icing boot; improved door seals and redesigned interior panel joints to reduce passenger cabin noise; more comfortable Sicma-built pilot seats; redesigned flight deck door; and new-design overhead bins with wider doors and increased capacity. Other features include new passenger cabin lighting; redesigned flight deck and cabin ventilation systems; new windscreen frame fairings to improve resistance to condensation; new flight deck sun visors; improved flap system; and an increase in baggage/cargo compartment capacity to 700 kg (1,543 lb).
Existing Brasilias can be retrofitted to ER standard (first two customers for retrofit Delta Air Transport and Luxair); initial production deliveries (two) to Great Lakes Aviation in USA, December 1994.
EMB-120 Cargo: All-cargo version of ER with 4,000 kg (8,818 lb) payload capacity; floor and sidewall protection, fire detection system, smoke curtain between flight deck and cargo restraint net.
Detailed description applies to EMB-120ER except where indicated.
EMB-120K: Proposed maritime surveillance or ASW version for Brazilian Air Force; would be equipped with in-flight refuelling, giving 15 hour endurance; under study in 1999.
VC-97: VIP transport model for Brazilian Air Force's 6° Esquadrao de Transporte Aérea and Grupo de Transporte Especial, both at Brasilia.

CUSTOMERS: Embraer delivered 352nd (including prototypes) aircraft to SkyWest (as N586SW) in September 1999. Manufacture then transferred to Neiva, which delivered two in 2001 (none in 2000) to Avior Express of Venezuela. No further deliveries reported in 2002.

DESIGN FEATURES: Low-mounted unswept wings, circular-section pressurised fuselage, all-swept T tail unit. Fixed incidence tailplane.
Wing section NACA 23018 (modified) at root, NACA 23012 at tip; inicidence 2°; at 66 per cent chord, wings have 6° 30' dihedral.

FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and assisted. Internally balanced ailerons, and horn-balanced elevators, actuated mechanically (ailerons by dual irreversible actuators); serially hinged two-segment rudder actuated hydraulically by Bertea CSD unit; trim tabs in ailerons (one port, two starboard) and each elevator. Hydraulically actuated, electrically controlled, double-slotted Fowler trailing-edge flap inboard and outboard of each engine nacelle, with small plain flap beneath each nacelle; no slats, slots, spoilers or airbrakes. Small fence on each outer wing between outer flap and aileron; twin ventral strakes under rear fuselage.

STRUCTURE: Kevlar-reinforced glass fibre for wing and tailplane leading-edges and tips, wingroot fairings, dorsal fin, fuselage nosecone and (when no APU fitted) tailcone; Fowler flaps of carbon fibre. Remainder conventional semi-monocoque/stressed skin structure of 2024/7050/7475 aluminium alloys with chemically milled skins. Fuselage pressurised between flat bulkhead forward of flight deck and hemispherical bulkhead aft of baggage compartment, and meets damage tolerance requirements of FAR Pt 25 (Transport category) up to Amendment 25-54. Wing is single continuous three-spar fail-safe structure, attached to underfuselage frames; tail surfaces also three-spar.

LANDING GEAR: Retractable tricycle type, with Goodrich twin wheels and oleo-pneumatic shock-absorber on each unit (main units 12 in, nose unit 8 in). Hydraulic actuation; all units retract forward (main units into engine nacelles). Hydraulically powered nosewheel steering. Mainwheel tyres 24x7.25-12 (12 ply) tubeless; nose tyre 18x5.5 (8 ply) tubeless; pressure 6.90 to 7.58 bar (100 to 110 lh/sq in) on main units, 4.14 to 4.83 bar (60 to 70 lh/sq in) on nose unit. Goodrich carbon brakes standard (steel optional). Hydro Aire anti-skid system standard; autobrake optional. Minimum ground turning radius 15.76 m (51 ft 8½ in). Nosewheel guard optional for operation from unpaved surfaces.

POWER PLANT: Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW118 or PW118A turboprops, each rated at 1,342 kW (1,800 shp) for T-O and maximum continuous power, and driving a Hamilton Sundstrand 14RF-9 four-blade constant-speed reversible-pitch autofeathering propeller with glass fibre blades containing aluminium spars. Fuel in two-cell 1,670 litre (441 US gallon; 367.2 Imp gallon) integral tank in each wing; total capacity 3,340 litres (882 US gallons; 734.4 Imp gallons), of which 3,308 litres (874 US gallons; 728 Imp gallons) are usable. Single-point pressure refuelling (beneath outer starboard wing), plus gravity point in upper surface of each wing. Oil capacity 9 litres (2.4 US gallons; 2.0 Imp gallons).

ACCOMMODATION: Two-pilot flight deck. Main cabin accommodates attendant and 30 passengers in three-abreast seating at 79 cm (31 in) pitch, with overhead lockable baggage racks, in pressurised and air conditioned environment. Passenger seats of carbon fibre and Kevlar, floor and partitions of carbon fibre Nomex sandwich, side panels and ceiling of glass fibre/Kevlar/Nomex/carbon fibre sandwich. Provisions for wardrobe, galley and lavatory. Quick-change interior available optionally (first customer, Total Linhas Aéreas in 1993), for 30 passengers or 3,500 kg (7,716 lb) of cargo. Downward-opening main passenger door, with airstairs, forward of wing on port side. Type II emergency exit on starboard side at rear. Overwing Type III emergency exit on each side. Pressurised baggage compartment aft of passenger cabin, with large door on port side.
Also available with all-cargo interior; executive or military transport interior; or in mixed-traffic version with 24 or 26 passengers (lavatory omitted in latter case), and 900 kg (1,984 lb) of cargo in enlarged rear baggage compartment.

SYSTEMS: Honeywell air conditioning/pressurisation system (differential 0.48 bar; 7 lh/sq in), with dual packs of recirculation equipment. Duplicated hydraulic systems (pressure 207 bar; 3,000 lb/sq in), each powered by an engine-driven pump, for landing gear, flap, rudder and brake actuation, and nosewheel steering. Emergency standby electric pumps on each system, plus single standby hand pump, for landing gear extension. Main electrical power supplied by two 28 V 400 A DC starter/generators; two 28 V 100 A DC auxiliary brushless generators for secondary and/or emergency power; one 24 V 40 Ah Ni/Cd battery for assisted starting and emergency power. Main and standby 450 VA static inverters for 26/115 V AC power at 400 Hz. Single high-pressure (127.5 bars; 1,850 lb/sq in) oxygen cylinder for crew; individual chemical oxygen generators for passengers. Pneumatic de-icing for wing and tail leading-edges; electrically heated windscreens, propellers and pilot tubes; bleed air de-icing of engine air intakes. Optional Honeywell GTCP36-150(A) APU in tailcone, for electrical and pneumatic power supply.

AVIONICS: Rockwell Collins Pro Line II digital package as core system.
Comms: Dual VHF-22 com transceivers, one TDR-90 transponder, Dorne & Margolin DMELT-81 emergency locator transmitter, Fairchild voice recorder, dual Avtech audio/interphones and Avtech PA and cabin interphone all standard. Third VHF com, second transponder, Motorola Selcal and flight entertainment music all optional. Alternative Bendix/King avionics package available to special order.
Radar: Rockwell Collins WXR-270 weather radar standard; WXR-300 optional.
Flight: Dual VIR-32 VHF nav receivers, one ADF-60A DME-41 and CLT-22/32/62/92 control heads. Optional single/dual JET RNS-8000 3D or Racal Avionics RN 5000 nav and second DME. Optional equipment includes APS-65 digital autopilot, single/dual FCS-65 digital flight director, single/dual BAE Systems Canada CMA-771 Alpha VLF/Omega, MLS, GPWS, flight recorder.
Instrumentation: Dual AHRS-85 digital strapdown AHRS, dual ADI-84, dual EHSI-74, dual RMI-36 and JET standby altitude indicator standard. Optional equipment includes dual EFIS-86 electronic flight instrumentation systems, MFD-85 multifunction display, dual ALT-55 radio altimeters and altitude alerter/preselect.