The ERJ-145 is Embraer’s 50-passenger regional jet airliner. The maiden flight of the jet took place in August 1995. The aircraft was certified by the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology in 1996. It first entered service in December 1996 and is operational with 27 airlines worldwide. There are three variants of the aircraft – the 50-passenger ERJ-145 launched in 1989; a shorter fuselage 37-passenger ERJ-135 launched in 1997; and the medium-size 44-seat ERJ-140 launched in 1999.

As of May 2011, a total of 990 ERJ aircraft (including ERJ 135/140/145) were operational worldwide.

The extended-range ERJ-145ER is the original version of the aircraft which has a range of 2,963km. The long-range ERJ-145LR, introduced in 1998, has a range of 3,037km. The extra long-range ERJ-145XR, with improved fuel efficiency and a range of 3,704km, entered service with the launch customer, ExpressJet Airlines of the US, in November 2002. ExpressJet has ordered 104 aircraft with 100 options.

In May 2008, the ERJ-145 family received Russian certification, allowing operation in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

In December 2002, Embraer announced that the company would set up a production facility for the ERJ-135/140/145 aircraft in China in a joint venture with Harbin Aircraft. The first aircraft assembled in China was completed in December 2003 and two aircraft were delivered to China Southern Airlines.

The EMB-145AEW&C airborne early warning and control aircraft is a derivative of the ERJ-145 and is equipped with the Ericsson Erieye side-looking airborne radar. It is in service with the Brazilian Air Force and the Greek Air Force. The remote-sensing EMB-145RS equipped with surveillance mission equipment is in service with the Brazilian Air Force for the Brazilian Government SIVAM Amazon surveillance programme.

In August 2004, the ERJ-145 was chosen as the platform for the US Army’s new aerial common sensor (ACS) battlefield surveillance system, under a systems development and demonstration (SDD) contract awarded to the team led by Lockheed Martin. However, in July 2005, it was decided that the aircraft was not large enough and would be replaced as the ACS platform.

“The ERJ-145ER is the original version.”

Hainan Airline Company ordered 50 ERJ-145 jets in August 2006. Hainan signed an agreement with Embraer in May 2009 to reduce the number of jets from 50 to 25. A total of 12 ERJ-145 jets were delivered to Hainan until April 2009. The remaining 13 are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2011.

Passaredo Linhas Aereas received the first ERJ-145 regional jet from Embraer in May 2009 as part of a contract signed in November 2008.

In September 2009, Embraer delivered an ERJ-145 jet to Federal Police Department of Brazil under a contract signed in February 2009.

Serviços Executivos Aéreos de Angola (SEAA) procured one ERJ 145 jet from Embraer in October 2009.

Aerospace Museum received an Embraer ERJ-145 jet prototype as a donation from Embraer in November 2010 during a ceremony held at the museum.

ERJ-145 orders and deliveries

Orders received from various customers include ExpressJet Airlines (244), American Eagle Airlines (198), Chautauqua Airlines (78), AeroMexico Connect (40), Freedom Airlines (Mesa Air Group) (33), Air France Regional (33), Trans States Airlines (27), Virgin Australia (23), bmi Regional (18), Dniproavia (17), Tianjin Airlines (16), Passaredo (13), South African Airlink (nine), Luxair (eight), Portugália Airlines (eight), City Airline (eight), China Eastern Airlines (seven), China Southern Airlines (six), Satena (six), Eastern Airways (two) and Air Namibia (three).

Tianjin Airlines received the last ERJ-145 from Harbin Embraer Aircraft in May 2011.

ERJ-145 aircraft design

The ERJ-145 aircraft has a circular-cross-section fuselage, rear-mounted engines, low-mounted swept wings and a T-tailplane. The nose radome was supplied by Norton and the manufacture of the rear and centre section of the fuselage was subcontracted to Sonaca of Belgium.

The wings, supplied by Gamesa of Spain, are of two-spar design with a third spar to support the landing gear. The wing leading edges are of aluminium. The wings of the extra long-range ERJ-145XR are fitted with winglets, which increase lift and improve the efficiency of the wing at cruise speed by reducing the drag of the tip vortex.

ENAER of Chile designed and supplied the fin and the tailplane. The T-tail is of aluminium box construction with aluminium leading edges on the tailplane. The fin leading edge is of composite

Flight deck

The flight deck accommodates two pilots, a flight observer and one member of the cabin crew. The instrumentation includes a Flight Dynamics head-up display that gives the aircraft CAT III landing capability. Five electronic flight and information system displays, each measuring 20.3cm×18cm (8in×7in) include two multifunction displays, two primary flight displays and one in-flight engine condition monitoring system (IECMS).

The aircraft is fitted with a Honeywell Primus 1000 digital avionics suite with dual digital air data computers, dual attitude heading reference system (AHRS), a terrain collision avoidance system (TCAS) and a ground proximity warning system (GPWS). An optional flight management system and global positioning system can be fitted. The aircraft has a Primus 1000 colour weather radar and a dual Primus II radio communications suite.

ERJ-145 cabin

The main cabin can accommodate 50 passengers in a three-abreast seating configuration. The cabin and baggage compartments are designed by the US-based aircraft interior design company, C&D Interiors.

The passenger door at the front port side is equipped with airstairs. The cabin and baggage compartments are air-conditioned and pressurised. The aircraft has a Hamilton Sundstrand air conditioning system and Liebherr Aerospace pressurisation system. The oxygen system is supplied by EROS.

ERJ-145 engines

The aircraft has two Rolls-Royce engines mounted on pylons on the rear section of the fuselage. The engine pylons are supplied by Sonaca of Belgium. The engines are equipped with full authority digital engine control. International Nacelle Systems developed and supplied the engine nacelles and the optional clamshell thrust reversers. The engine air intakes are fitted with an engine bleed air anti-icing system.

The extended-range version, the ERJ-145ER, has Rolls-Royce AE 3007A engines rated at 31.3kN with the option of more powerful AE 3007A1 engines.

The long-range ERJ-145LR aircraft is equipped with Rolls-Royce AE 3007A1 engines which provide 15% more power. The engines are flat rated at 33.1kN to provide improved climb characteristics and improved cruise performance in high ambient temperatures.

The extra long-range ERJ-145XR aircraft is equipped with Rolls-Royce AE 3007A1E engines. The high-performance engines provide lower specific fuel consumption (SFC) and improved performance in hot and high conditions. The engines also yield a higher altitude for one-engine-inoperable conditions.

The aircraft is equipped with a Parker Hannifin fuel management system. The integral wing tanks have a capacity of 4,173kg of fuel.

The aircraft is fitted with a Smiths electrical power system and an APIC APS-500 auxiliary power unit providing 18.6kW.

Landing gear

Embraer contracted the development and supply of the retractable tricycle-type landing gear to EDE. Liebherr was subcontracted for development and supply of the nose landing gear. Each unit is fitted with twin Goodrich wheels and carbon brakes. The main units retract inward into the wing and fuselage landing gear fairings. The nose unit retracts forward. The aircraft is equipped with a Hydro-Aire brake-by-wire control system.

The nosewheel is steerable and the minimum turning circle is 29.22m.

ERJ-145 performance

The Embraer ERJ-145 can fly at a maximum speed of 833km/h. The range and a service ceiling of the jet are 3,704km and 11,275m respectively. The service ceiling with one engine inoperable is 6,100m. The take-off and landing run are 2,430m and 1,440m respectively. The aircraft weighs around 12,934kg and its maximum take-off weight is 12,934kg.