Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia


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Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia

Encouraged by the successful penetration of the commuter airline market by the EMB-110 Bandeirante, EMBRAER initiated design studies for a completely new and pressurised twin-turboprop regional airliner in September 1979. Designated the EMBRAER EMB-120 Brasilia, the prototype flew for the first time on 27 July 1983 and certification was achieved by May 1985. Primary design objective was to carry a full 30-passenger payload for up to three 185km sectors without refuelling. The fuselage has an interior diameter of 2.28m and a cabin height of 1.76m, the aisle being offset by the two-and-one seating arrangement. In cargo configuration the Brasilia has a maximum available cabin volume of 31.1m3 and is fitted with a cargo door in the starboard side of the rear fuselage.

Powered by advanced-technology Pratt & Whitney Canada PW118 turbo-props driving four-bladed Hamilton Standard 14RF-9 propellers, the engines can be ground-run without turning the propellers to facilitate speedier turn-rounds, thus obviating the need to shut down during loading or unloading. The starboard engine can act as an auxiliary power unit, to provide ground electrical power and cabin air-conditioning, but a conventional APU is optional.

By early 1991 EMBRAER had received 346 orders from over 30 operators around the world, and more than 200 had been delivered since entering service in October 1985, including four VIP transport versions for the Brazilian Air Force designated VC-97. Current production rate is six per month.

Embraer EMB-120 BrasiliaA three-view drawing (800 x 499)

 ENGINE2 x Pratt & Whitney Aircraft of Canada PW118 turboprops, 1342kW
  Take-off weight11500 kg25353 lb
  Loaded weight7070 kg15587 lb
  Wingspan19.78 m65 ft 11 in
  Length20.00 m66 ft 7 in
  Height6.35 m21 ft 10 in
  Wing area39.43 m2424.42 sq ft
  Max. speed552 km/h343 mph
  Cruise speed482 km/h300 mph
  Ceiling9085 m29800 ft
  Range1750 km1087 miles

dashanya, 21.06.2011 05:59

but requires lots of maintaince hours as the aircraft ages. These aircraft made the commuter and regional airlines good profits.


Dennis R. Deptula, e-mail, 16.04.2011 20:55

I flew the EMB 120 at Midway Airlines in the 80's. It was very complex and took some getting used to. However I never had a flap or AC problem.


Herton, e-mail, 02.12.2010 18:03

I had flown nearly 2000 hs in this plane for Riosul Airlines - Brazil. This was the fastest turbo prop plane ever built. I remember is possible to reach the OM with 250 kts and be able to land!jUST PUT PROPELLERS FORWARD AND GEAR DOWN! AMAZING PLANE!!


Normfromga, e-mail, 22.09.2010 19:24

Another problem area was its Hamilton Standard propellers, whose failure resulted in two fatal mishaps, in 1990 and 1995, for Atlantic Southeast Airlines.

A new airworthiness directive (AD) was issued in early 1996 addressing this issue, by changing the inspection procedure for the area of the parts causing the problem.


Scott Boyd, e-mail, 09.03.2010 06:48

I have about 4,000 hours flying passengers in the EMB-120. As the previous says there wa no propeller brake, unless you held on to it physically, and all the Brasilias I flew has APU's.

Flaps were the biggest area of problems I remember, an extremely complex system, for some unknown reason. Other then that they were pretty bullet proof and in probably 10,000 hours plus I have never had a mechanical problem with a Pratt&Whitney engine.


Ken, e-mail, 15.05.2008 00:05

I must correct some of the above information. The A /C that we operated at Atlantic Southeast Airlines, over 60 aircraft,did not have the ability to operate engines without propellers turning. You are thinking about ATR-42 /72's where right engine has a propeller brake. Engine can be operated with propeller brake engaged to stop prop rotation. This allows for electrical generation and bleed air for air conditioning.
The EMB-120 does have an APU, Auxillary power unit, that allows for air conditioning and electrical generation.
Have flown both cargo and passenger versions for 9700 hours.
Great aircraft when new,but requires lots of maintaince hours as the aircraft ages. These aircraft made the commuter and regional airlines good profits.


elviktor, e-mail, 14.10.2007 22:33

I think that this aircraft is good (7 years experience), but some system like aircondition, flaps are not reliable. I've worked in Kongo and had a lot of problems due to hight temperature outside.


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