military transport planes

Military Transport Planes



haul estimate overcome
woo convince workhorse
design brass (2) long-running
airline ambition chief executive
broad spot (2) competition
avoid respect commercial
avoid stage (2) head-to-head
proxy straight manufacture
aerial analysis consultancy
armor update humanitarian
hurtle avionics stamp of approval
cargo essential endorsement
spare declare spare parts
dirt runway advantage
pave civilian withstand
dust propeller model (3)
range approval stamp (2)
motto replace prototype
rival attribute aerospace
wing combat experimental
stuff deliver guarantee


Text Link: Embraer


The Paris Air Show

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer brought its all-new prototype jet-powered KC-390 military cargo hauler to the Paris Air Show to woo the world’s military brass and convince them it’s time to give up Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Hercules.

The C-130 is the world’s longest-running production aircraft and the preferred workhorse of the U.S. Air Force. There are just over 1,100 military and civilian C-130s flying today that will eventually need to be replaced. Embraer wants to fill those spots.

“We do respect the competition” from Lockheed, said Embraer’s chief executive, Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva. “It’s now time to have something newer and we are there for that.”

The development of the KC-390 is also part of Brazil’s broader ambition to be a bigger industrial player on the world stage.


Better known for its small commercial airliners, Embraer has, until recently, avoided going head-to-head with bigger manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus.

“In some ways, this jet is a proxy to Brazil’s rise as a global power,” says to a report by Richard Aboulafia, Vice President of Analysis at the Teal Group, an aerospace consultancy.

The KC-390

The nearly 61-foot-long cargo deck of the new KC-390 can carry anything from armored vehicles and troops to humanitarian supplies and aerial refueling equipment. Zipping along at 300 mph and 15,000 feet above the French countryside, it’s hauling journalists for the first time.

The C-130J

Heavily updated little by little over the years, the U.S. Air Force is flying the latest model of the C-130J Super Hercules.

It has new engines and avionics, but the aircraft is the same basic shape that is has flown more than 23 million flight hours over 60 years — 1.6 million for the C-130J alone.

And the U.S. military’s stamp of approval is no small hurdle to overcome.
That’s “more than just a product endorsement,” Aboulafia said. It’s a guarantee that spare parts will be plentiful around the globe and the C-130 will continue to be upgraded for decades to come.


Both the KC-390 and Lockheed’s Hercules are designed to land on short, unpaved dirt or sand runways, and their engines can withstand the beating from rocks and dust.

But the faster jet-powered KC-390 has a 140-mph speed advantage over the 400 mph, four-propeller driven, Hercules. Embraer says the KC-390 can haul up to 50,000 pounds of cargo on its 19-foot longer cargo deck – about 6,000 pounds more than Lockheed’s plane.

Perhaps most essentially, Embraer thinks it can replace the C-130 for less money.

The Pricetag

The estimated price for each KC-390 would range between $50 million to $55 million, according to a 2016 report from the Teal Group — around $15 million less than the Hercules.

It’s “a fantastic cargo box for the price,” said Aboulafia.

Embraer is betting that politicians and taxpayers will give the KC-390 an advantage.

Combat versus Delivery Flights

But Lockheed’s motto is “the only replacement for a Herc is another Herc.”
The Brazilian rival may be less expensive, but there are attributes of the Herc that it can’t match.

The C-130’s straight wing can get it off the ground faster in battle with more troops or cargo.

“If you’re looking for combat lift, I think that the Herc’s just going to have an advantage,” Aboulafia said. “If you’re looking to simply deliver stuff from one airfield to another, the KC-390’s probably going to have better economics.”

Currently only two experimental KC-390s are flying, and the airlifter is still being tested, so it will be a while before it can declare victory.

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1. Both the Embraer KC-390 and the Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Hercules have been in full production for many years. True or false?

2. Was this an ordinary trade fair or exhibition?

3. What was Ebraer’s aim or goal at the Paris Air Show?

4. Embraer’s main competitors are Boeing and Airbus. They are aiming for the large passenger airline market. Is this right or wrong?

5. Is the C-130 a new or old model? Has it remained exactly the same since its inception?

6. If an aircraft meets the US Air Force’s standards, it means it’s excellent and of top quality. Is this correct or incorrect?

7. What are the advantages of the KC-390? What are the advantages of the C-130?

8. What might happen in the future?


A. Is there an aviation industry in your city or country? What does it manufacture?

B. What sort of commercial, passenger airplanes fly to airports?

C. Describe the types of aircraft in the air force. Do your friends want to join the airforce?

D. Would you or your friends like to be an airplane pilot or aeronautical engineer or technician?

E. What will happen in the future?

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