Introduction To Aircraft Performance

The E-170 is a commercial aircraft, used to transport passengers over a medium range distance. It has a low weight, simple to operate and allows pilots who have a type rating in a similar regional aircraft to transfer to the E-170 with ease.

Refinements made to the aircraft compared with other regional jets enables the E-170 to obtain a quicker turnaround time, between 20-40 minutes, as the rear passenger door has been enlarged so loading and unloading is more rapid. The economic life of the E-170 has also been increased from 60,000 cycles to 80,000 cycles due to an extension of the design.


  • February 1999 - Official announcement of Embraer 170
  • May 1999 - Engine selection
  • 14 June 1999 - First orders announced
  • 30 September 1999 - Risk sharing partners revealed (C&D interiors, Gamesa, General Electric, Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell, Kawasaki, Latcore, Liebherr, Parker Hannifin and Sonaca)
  • April 2000 - Joint definition phase leading to design freeze completed
  • 19 February 2002 - First flight
  • 13 November 2003 & 8 December 2003 - Received provisional type certificate by CTA and FAA on respective dates after 3,000 hours of flight tests by six pre-series aircraft and one production aircraft
  • 19 & 20 February 2004 - Full certification by CTA and FAA on respective dates and in first quarter of 2004 by JAA after completing flight control certification document
  • 8 & 10 March 2004 - First deliveries to LOT Polish and Alitalia respectively


The Embraer 170 is designed like a conventional low-winged airliner, having two podded engines, one mounted below each wing. Winglets are fitted to the wings and so reduce drag of the tip vortex and will help to increase lift, thus improving the efficiency of the wing. This aircraft configuration allows for more volume within in the passenger cabin as the aircraft contains a ‘double bubble' fuselage. The engines are General Electric CF34-8E5 or 8E5A1 turbofan.

Flight Controls

Fly-by-wire technology is used for the primary flight controls of the E-170, controlling the ailerons, elevators and rudder. Ailerons are positioned on the trailing edge of the mainplane and control the aircrafts roll/banking. Elevators however moves the aircraft up or down hence controlling the pitch of the aircraft and are situated on the rear of the aircraft at the trailing edge of the tailplane. Both ailerons and elevators are controlled by the pilot using the control column or a control yoke. The rudder controls yaw and is fixed onto the empennage of the aircraft, it is operated using rudder pedals. The throttle controls the amount of thrust given to the aircraft. Thrust is provided by the engines mounted on the underside of the wings.

Secondary flight controls include wing flaps, slats and air brakes (spoilers) trimming wheel. Flaps for the E-170 can be deployed in six stages with a maximum deflection of 34o full flaps at the main section, 13o inboard and 15o at the outboard flaps. They are located at the trailing edge of the mainplane and are deployed to different stages to reduce the stalling speed during low speed manoeuvres at take-off and landing. Slats are positioned at the leading edge of the mainplane to increase the camber of the wing thus lowering the stall speed for low-speed manoeuvres during take-off and landing. They are retractable and have deployment angles of 20o and 25o. The airbrake is fitted on the upper surface of the mainplane and is used to provide drag. There are five sections on each wing, three on the outboard of each wing that are multifunctional and the inboard pair act as the ground spoilers. In addition to having elevators, a wheel located in the cockpit can be used to control pitching trim, stabilise the aircraft. These are usually called stabilizers.

Aircraft Systems

The Embraer 170 operates using a number of aircraft systems for example, electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, fuel, navigation etc. The electrical systems controls the fly-by-wire technology as electrical impulses are sent to the areas of interest, i.e. ailerons, elevators or rudder. The hydraulic system enables the deployment or retracting of the tricycle-type landing gear, each unit being fitted with two wheels. The pneumatic systems would control air circulation throughout the aircraft and help with anti-icing and deicing the wings of the aircraft. Sub-pneumatic systems are sometimes located near the hydraulic system.


  1. Paul Jackson FRAes “Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2009-2010” Jane's Information Group ISBN 978-0-7106-2880-0
  3. Flight International (23 October 2001) ISSN 0015-3710 Gary Leung (A913177)

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