The U.S. Army has announced that the Brazil Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira, FAB) conducting airdrop testing certification of its new Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft at at the Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) in southwestern Arizona, U.S. approximately 70 customers from Brazil, which include maintainers, test pilots, and engineers at YPG supported Embraer in the air delivery testing for the aircraft. It was a certification process which included conducting several tests to certify the air delivery system. The Brazilian Air Force set the requirements and YPG supported Embraer in conducting every critical test. YPG’s role for this project was to rig all the payloads, pack parachutes, collect instrumentation data, photographs, video, and coordinate range support. It was a certification process which included conducting several tests to certify the system.
The Embraer KC-390 is a medium-size, twin-engine jet-powered military transport aircraft under development by Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer, able to perform aerial refuelling and to transport cargo and troops. It is the heaviest aircraft that the company has made to date, and will be able to transport up to 26 tonnes (29 tons) of cargo, including wheeled armoured fighting vehicles. It is powered by two IAE V2500-E5 turbofans generating 139.4 kN(31,330 lbf) thrust each. The plane has been in development since 2009 and is scheduled for introduction into the Brazilian Air Force in 2019, but before that happens, the KC-390 must be certified. After 1,900 flight hours in testing, the KC-390 received Brazilian civil type certification on 23 October 2018; the first production aircraft is to be delivered to the Brazilian air force in the first half 2019 and should obtain military certification by the end of 2019. The third aircraft (PT-ZNG), originally slated for the first delivery, has been redirected to complete certification.
Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) is a United States Army proving ground and one of the largest military installations in the world. It is a subordinate command of the Army Test and Evaluation Command.Located in southwestern La Paz County and western Yuma County in southwestern Arizona, U.S., about 30 miles (48 km) north-east of the city of Yuma, it encompasses 1,307.8 square miles (3,387.2 km²) in the northwestern Sonoran Desert.
The Yuma Proving Ground is the U.S.Army’s premier test center for air delivery testing. Roberto Becker, is the chief flight test engineer for Embraer, where he has worked for 30 years. While this is not his first time at YPG, it’s the first time he’s come here for this test. After the test, he is confident about the aircraft’s capabilities. “The airplane is fantastic,” he said. “The airplane is working perfectly, no malfunctions, the system is operating very well.” Becker explains that the aircraft has undergone basic certification and now YPG is supporting military mission certification. He’s been pleased with the process. “The YPG staff is really professional and they know what they are doing.”