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First flight for Embraer's KC-390

By Richard Tomkins

SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, Brazil, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Embraer of Brazil reports conducting the first flight of the KC-390 military transport and refueling aircraft it is building for the Brazilian Air Force.

The aircraft was flown for about 1 hour and 25 minutes.

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"This first flight is a fundamental step toward accomplishing the task with which we were entrusted," said Frederico Fleury Curado, president and chief executive officer of Embraer. "The KC-390 is the result of a close cooperation with the Brazilian Air Force and international partners, representing what is most likely the greatest technological challenge that the company has ever encountered in its history."

The KC-390 is a medium-sized airlifter/refueler with a speed of more than 520 miles per hour, a range of 2,600 nautical miles and a payload capacity of about 52,000 pounds.

"The (KC-390) program continues to move forward as planned and the KC-390 has drawn interest from several countries around the world," said Jackson Schneider, president and chief executive officer of Embraer Defense & Security. "We are proud to once again keep our commitments in the development of this aircraft, which will set a new standard in the category of tactical military transport."

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The Brazilian Air Force has ordered 28 of the aircraft.

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