Embraer started the tests for operating the C-390 Millennium from an unpaved runway.
For this, a specific runway was built at the Embraer Unidade Gavião Peixoto Airport, near Sao Paulo, Brazil. “Assessments will be performed over the next weeks to analyze the effective operation of the multi-mission aircraft,” the manufacturer wrote in a statement.
The C-390 Millennium is a tactical transport that can also act as an inflight refueling aircraft. Powered by two specially designed Pratt and Whitney V2500-E5 engines, it can carry 26 tons of cargo, including vehicles like two M113 armored personnel carriers, or a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. It is the biggest aircraft produced in Latin America.
In June 2021, the Brazilian Air Force announced its intention to renegotiate the contract with Embraer to slow down the delivery rate of C-390 transport aircraft and reduce the total number. While not confirmed, the order could be cut from 28 to 20 aircraft.
In addition to the domestic order, Embraer has a backlog of five aircraft for Portugal, a partner in the development of the aircraft, and two for Hungary.
After Boeing’s withdrawal from a joint venture project in April 2020, Embraer announced it was looking for other partners to support the commercialization of the airlifter.