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Brazil's KC-390 passes preliminary design review

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The KC-390 military aircraft. An Embraer photo

SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS (BNS): Brazil's KC-390 medium-lift military transport aircraft, being built by Embraer, has completed preliminary design review.

The design review was presented before the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) officials at Embraer's facilities in Eugênio de Melo from August 20th to 29th.

During the review, the aircraft maker presented to the Air Force Command the technical characteristics of the project's solutions adopted for structural and aircraft systems, including the definitions of the main components and their interfaces, demonstrating that the project has reached its expected maturity at the current phase.

"We are quite pleased with the results and we are sure that the project is on the right track," said Colonel-Engineer Sergio Carneiro, Project KC-390 Manager at FAB. "We checked all the main aspects of the aircraft's project and the KC-390 meets the Brazilian Air Force's expectations."

The review phase also involved an evaluation of the aircraft's cockpit ergonomics, the company said.

The next major contractual event will be the project's critical design review, when the aircraft's maturity will be verified for prototype manufacturing, Embraer said.

Under development since 2009, the KC-390 is a medium-size, twin-engine jet-powered military transport plane. The aircraft, which can be refueled in flight and will be used for in-flight refueling of other aircraft as well as for search and rescue missions, is expected to fly in 2014 and enter service by the end of 2015.

The aircraft will be the biggest ever to be built by the Brazilian aerospace industry.

In April 2009, Embraer secured an order from the Brazilian Air Force to supply 23 KC-390 planes over seven years for a contract worth USD 1.3 billion.

Several other countries, including Chile, Portugal and Colombia, have evinced interest in buying the aircraft.

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