What happens to an airplane when it sits for 10 hours at -35C or less? That’s what a cold soak test determines. We just completed that test for the E195-E2 recently in Yellowknife and Iqaluit, Canada. The environment was ideal for measuring the effect of prolonged cold on the aircraft’s operations and systems. The test measures the impact on more than 200 items. After the “soak,” Embraer’s flight team flew the aircraft to check its flying behavior. There was another round of checks by the ground crew after the E195-E2 landed.
The E195-E2 already passed the cold soak test during its original certification years ago with EASA and other regulators. That test was conducted inside a hangar which simulated ultra-low outdoor temperature conditions. Transport Canada, however, requires the E195-E2 to be tested in a natural environment, and not in a lab resembling a huge refrigerator, before the first aircraft can be delivered to Porter Airlines later this year.
The E2s are no strangers to cold weather. Embraer established Pioneer Airlines in 2017 to accelerate certification of the new E-Jet family. The in-house airline used several E2s that flew in simulated airline operations, including high frequency, high-cycle schedules, and cold weather flying in North America. The results helped advance the maturity of the aircraft to ensure high reliability at service entry.