Embraer Launches Ambitious Plans For ‘Energia’ Line


Brazilian airframer Embraer has announced “concepts” for its Energia line, described as a family of nine- to 50-seat aircraft using an array of propulsion technologies, including hybrid, hydrogen, dual-fuel gas turbine, and electric systems. The first of these aircraft are projected to begin customer deliveries sometime between 2030 and 2040. For now, Embraer is suggesting the longest-legged member of the Energia family could have a range of 500 nautical miles.

Full program launches are expected within five to 10 years, according to Arjan Meijer, Embraer Commercial Aviation president. He added that a “consultation process” with prospective aircraft operators has already begun.

The hybrid-electric Energia Hybrid (E9-HE) design includes nine passenger seats and is to be powered by a piston engine and two electric motors used for takeoff and climb. With a range of “up to 500 nautical miles,” the E9-HE, when using sustainable aviation fuels, should generate a carbon footprint as little as 10 percent that of “current aircraft,” said Embraer.

The 200-NM, nine-passenger all-electric E9-FE concept has rear-mounted contra-rotating propellers. Entry into service is projected as 2035. Also pegged for 2035 service entry, the 19-seat, 200-NM E19-H2FC would use hydrogen fuel cells driving two aft-mounted electric motors. Rounding out the lineup with service entry projected out to 2040, the E50-H2GT could use either hydrogen-powered gas turbines, or engines using SAF or Jet-A. It could carry 35 to 50 passengers between 350 and 500 nautical miles.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. Here we go again … aviation entities ‘announcing’ launch of still another “pie-in-the-sky” idea only THIS time, we’re as much as two decades out. Maybe they didn’t get the word … the world is gonna end in just 10 ! (sic) I don’t know why I even bothered to click on this story … must be a slow news week ?

      • Right, a half century of FAILed doomsday predictions.

        Sometimes with excuses like doomsday religious preachers, otherwise complete evasion of failure of their predictions.

        There’s a negative psychology at work, a religious belief (fantasies believed on faith) – check economic beliefs of climate catastrophists and you’ll find the disproven ideology of Marxism. They deny effectiveness of human mind for life, which aviation is proof of.

    • What? No “urban mobility” and “air taxi”? Not “disruptive” and “revolutionary”? At least they are reasonable with their expectations: 200 nm range and 2040. And we all know that this is likely pie-in-the-sky, and Embraer knows it too. But putting thought into alternative propulsion is not a bad idea if you are an aircraft manufacturer. It’s called R&D. Legacy auto manufactures should have put more thought into electric when Tesla came out with their first Roadster in 2008. Now they are scrambling to play catch-up.

      • Meanwhile Embraer needs to be putting any money it has to spare into enhancing its airliner product line, it has wanted to develop a turboprop airliner.

  2. The need for auto manufactures to play catch up is not due to Tesla per se. Tesla did, and does, nothing revolutionary. Just a new application of preexisting technology. They invented nothing, unless you consider self-creating convertibles when the roofs fly off newly minted Model Y’s.

    What is creating the ‘need’ for EVs is progressive liberal politics in the EU and infecting the US. It’s all government driven. Tesla has nothing to do with it. All they did was cash in on the government handouts, and the government forcing manufactures of good cars that people want having to pay Tesla a cut for carbon credits or whatever such nonsense.

    • I think Tesla deserves a little credit. The California Air Resources Board made it clear a decade ago that they wanted to mandate all electric cars. As you eluded, the big problem was that the automakers would not be willing to loose $10K plus to sell an electric car in California at a loss if they could not also profit by selling conventional cars there. Please DON’T buy my BEV Fiat 500 as Sergio Marchione put it. So California had to back away from its impassioned talk.

      What Tesla did for California and the EU was prove that it was feasible to mass produce Battery Electric Vehicles as a going concern. This enabled California, and the EU, to move forward with the mandates to eventually phase out internal combustion engine that they always wanted.

      And, quite frankly, prior to Tesla the typical image in my head of an electrified vehicle driver was that annoying guy blocking traffic in order to better hyper-mile his Toyota Prius. Now the driver’s of most exotic performance cars are on notice that the dweeb in the next lane in a Tesla could have them eating dust at will. I am pretty sure I will trade in my V-8 one of these days for a BEV.

      • I lived in California for 30 years and am familiar with the CARB and it’s ultra-liberal policies. If they were mandating that electric vehicles should be an affordable alternative for SOME people who live in urban areas where short distances traveled are the norm, I could maybe half live with it. But mililions of Californians have to drive great distances to work and back. How the heck are people gonna recharge those vehicles from a weakened grid with rolling brownouts already. This idea is pure folly. I worked for a very large company in LA which had the areas larges vanpool. SOME of the vans were powered by propane. Nearly every day, numerous vans would run out of propane sitting in traffic and have to have a rescue vehicle sent out to get the passengers and retrieve the van. Ridiculous!

      • Tesla.

        The car of choice for people who hate cars.

        They may have good acceleration, but aside for that their existence on Earth offends me.

        I may be forced to go electric sometime in the distant future, but never Tesla.

        If that is all there is you can pry the keys to my twin turbo V-8 S Class from my cold dead hands.

  3. Well, maybe by 2040 battery technology might have progressed to the point that a “real” electric airplane may be pratical. Who knows?

    • Maybe we will have lithium sulfur batteries that are good enough by 2025 for a 500 mile range. This reason why we will have these planes has more to do with economics than being green. Just read that the cost of power for flying a Pipistrel electric trainer was 1 Euro ($1.16) for an hour. How does that stack up with flying a C-172 or even a Sportcruiser for an hour?

  4. Possible but the maximum power of a battery is still predicated on the differential in the periodic table, and with existing elements there is only so much that can be done.

    Because of this the power/weight curve will be asymptotic not logarhythmic as the promoters would have us believe.

  5. Mr. Negativity chiming in here, with an observation. The difference between impossible and doable, is many times, only time! Airplanes, space travel, micro miniature solid state electronics? 100 years ago these were all inconceivable. Today, eh? The human species largest problem is that its emotional evolution has not progressed in probably hundreds of thousands of years, and the result is conflict and hostility, as is amply demonstrated in the comments to this and other articles. One of the biggest threats to the planet is the human species, not to mention to the human species itself.