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The Airplane:

When the EMB-120 Brasilia was introduced in May 1985 with its launch customer, the U.S.-based Atlantic Southeast Airlines, it changed regional air travel. For the first time in aviation history, small communities and the regional airlines connecting them had an aircraft specifically designed to meet their needs. The first EMB-120 Brasilia was the fastest (300 kt of cruise speed), the lightest (25,353 lbs of maximum take-off weight) and the most economical aircraft of the 30-40 seat range.

Embraer has sold 329 EMB-120 Brasilia aircraft to date, and continues to make technological updates, resulting in reduced operational and maintenance costs, and improved dispatch reliability. Within a 10-year period aimed at improving the EMB-120 design and maintenance to promote passenger comfort and reduction of operational costs, Embraer has been incorporating numerous changes to the Brasilia.

Modifications leading to even greater passenger comfort include a 31-inch seat pitch and 7 psi pressurization in the cabin. The 30-seat twin turboprop is now equipped with powerful 1,800 SHP Pratt & Whitney PW118A turboprop engines, and has an even greater cruise speed (315 kt) as compared with the original aircraft speed, and its maximum take-off weight has increased to 26,433 lbs.

Recently, Embraer implemented a passive control system for noise and vibration. The improvement in comfort is perceptible to passengers, since noise and vibration were reduced considerably and were better distributed along the length of the cabin.

The aircraft has offered superior safety levels since its inception, designed in compliance with FAR 25 requirements – the same that apply to large jetliners such as the Boeing 747. Extensive ongoing testing has been carried out to ensure the aircraft’s continued reliability and safety. On March 12, 1996, Embraer received a special certificate of recognition from the FAA for initiating an intensive and comprehensive test of the EMB-120 Brasilia in super-cooled large droplet icing conditions which demonstrated the aircraft’s safety.

The Brasilia is flown by 29 companies in 14 countries. The world fleet has logged more than five million flight hours and carried more than 60 million passengers. At present, the EMB-120 Brasilia commands a 24% share of the worldwide sales market, in the 21-40 seat category.

EMB-120 Specifications:

External Dimensions
Overall Span 64.90 ft. (19.78 m)
Height (maximum) 20.84 ft. (6.35 m)
Overall Length 65.62 ft. (20.00 m)

Passenger Cabin Dimensions
Width 6.90 ft. (2.10 m)
Height 5.77 ft. (1.76 m)

Baggage Compartment
Passenger Configuration
Volume 222 cu. ft. (6.30 cu. m)
Capacity 1,543 lbs. (700 kg)
Cargo Configuration
Volume 1,185 cu. ft. (33.6 cu. m)

Design Weights (note: 120ER Model)
Maximum Take-off 26,433 lbs. (11,990 kg)
Maximum Landing 25,794 lbs. (11,700 kg)
Maximum Zero Fuel 24,030 lbs. (10,900 kg)
Passenger Configuration
Typical basic ops 16,711 lbs. (7,580 kg)
Maximum Payload 7,319 lbs. (3,320 kg)
Cargo Configuration
Typical basic ops 15,050 lbs. (6,772 kg)
Maximum Payload 9,013 lbs. (4,056 kg)

Performance Summary
Takeoff Field Length 5,118 ft. (1,560 m)
Landing Field Length 4,528 ft. (1,380 m)
Maximum Cruise Speed 314 kts. (582 km/h)
(ISA, typical cruise wt, FL230)

The EMB-120 Cargo Hauler:

EMB-120 Cargo Conversion Overview (STC #ST00598WI)

Cargo up to 6,000 lbs may be distributed equally between compartments 1,2 and 3. The remainder of cargo allowed by the aircraft weight and center of gravity limitations may be divided between compartment 1,2,3 and 4. Loose packages retained by the barrier nets must not exceed the floor loading of 100 pounds per square foot, or the total compartment capacities noted above. Loose packages in excess of 75 lbs and 15" square are considered non-standard articles and may be secured in any compartments (subject to total weight and floor limitations noted) by the use of the floor fittings and tie-down devices.

This aircraft is equipped, in all compartments, with anchor plate cargo tie-down rings and cargo track with an allowable load of 4,000 lbs vertical or 3,000 lbs around any element of a 45 degree cone with the apex at the ring attachment fitting. Each tie-down ring will restrain a maximum weight of 222 lbs subject to a 9g horizontal acceleration.

The maximum cargo weight limitations for this acceleration is predicated on the following factors: aircraft empty weight, aircraft zero fuel weight, and the aircraft’s maximum permissible take-off weight (gross weight) by aircraft model(s), i.e.; EMB-120 RT or ER. The aircraft empty weight with C.G., empty MAC #, along with zero fuel and gross weight limitations are found in the aircraft weight and balance manual.

Cargo nets are provided to restrain cargo. They may be installed at fuselage stations 219, 300, 399, and 488 (approximately). This STC provides for a supplemental auxiliary tie-down (PN #CS-WW120-2) net capable of securing individual or collective loads up to 2,600 lbs.

The net is of rectangular design with mesh from side-to-side and hooks to attach to the floor seat tracks. The net also has the following characteristics:

  • Adjustable hooks and straps located on the aft sides with quick disconnect hooks on both ends to pull over cargo and secure as appropriate.
  • D-rings located fore and aft and left to right every 24" on its outside face to allow the operator to use the net to secure articles of smaller sized packages. This is accomplished by connecting the adjustable straps and relocating them to an appropriately located D-ring on the net.
  • Net hooks which are secured to the floor track by using Ancra 40340-10 cargo tie-down rings, which can be located every 24" on the applicable tracks.
  • Individual re-locatable tie down fittings shall not be located closer than 12" to any barrier net hook ring.
  • For individual containers or packages, the net can be wrapped around or over the article using the adjustable straps to quarter the article and secure it using appropriately located D-rings on the net and floor.
  • The Adjustable straps located on each net can be removed by unclasping and used to secure packages or cargo individually or collectively as required (there are 4 removable straps per net).
  • Each strap is adjustable from 12" to 60" and its maximum load rating is 500 lbs per strap.

Standard loading procedures concern all articles of freight or cargo that weigh less than 75 lbs (U.S.) single unit weight. The physical dimensions of any freight package is of no concern if its total weight is less than 75 lbs. The operator is unrestricted in loading of these articles into any loading compartment within the aircraft by quantity or size, (as long as floor loading and aircraft weight and balance are maintained within operating limitations) without further restraining beyond the vertical barrier nets. Any freight that falls outside of this weight limitation (75 lbs) shall be treated as non-standard loading and must be handled as such.

The procedures to be used for freight or cargo that is non-standard to the typical loads expected to be carried in this aircraft are also outlined. Non-standard loads are defined as freight or cargo that exceed the 75 lbs (U.S.) single unit weight and packages or containers that exceed the length of any of one cargo loading compartment.

Regulatory requirements do not allow the carriage of passengers in a class "E" cargo compartment. Use of the jump seat (flight attendant seat) for the carriage of passengers is prohibited when the aircraft is hauling freight or cargo in its’ class "E" cargo compartment. The smoke curtain and net #1 and #2 must be disconnected and retracted to allow clear and unrestricted access to the right hand overwing exit when the jump seat is occupied.

EMB-120 Cargo Specifications

Compartment #1
Location: F.S. 219.00 to 300.00
Length: 6.75 linear ft.
Floor Area: 33.10 square ft.
Maximum Weight: 2,600 lbs. (1,179 kg)
Maximum Volume: 232 cubic ft.
Max. Floor Loading: 3,310 lbs.

Compartment #2
Location: F.S. 300.00 to 399.00
Length: 8.25 linear ft.
Floor Area: 40.40 square ft.
Maximum Weight: 2,600 lbs. (1,179 kg)
Maximum Volume: 284 cubic ft.
Max. Floor Loading: 4,040 lbs.

Compartment #3
Location: F.S. 399.00 to 488.00
Length: 7.40 linear ft.
Floor Area: 36.26 square ft.
Maximum Weight: 2,600 lbs. (1,179 kg)
Maximum Volume: 255 cubic ft.
Max. Floor Loading: 5,082 lbs.

Compartment #4
Location: F.S. 488.00 to 635.00
Length: 12.25 linear ft.
Floor Area: 60.00 square ft.
Maximum Weight: 1,213 lbs. (1,179 kg)
Maximum Volume: 391 cubic ft.
Max. Floor Loading: 1,200 lbs.

Total Payload: 
9,013 lbs (4,087 kg)
Note: Total varies depending on aircraft model and empty weight.

Modified Cabin - Forward Facing View

Modified Cabin - Aft Facing View

The Modified Cabin
(Forward Facing View)

The Modified Cabin
(Aft Facing View)

The EMB-120 Passenger Configuration:

Passenger Cabin

The passenger cabin is located between the cockpit and the cargo compartment bulkhead. It incorporates a passenger access door (forward, left side) hinged to the fuselage at its lower end, and is fitted with handrails and folding steps. This door may be operated manually or hydraulically closed, either from inside or outside the aircraft.

The cabin is also provided with two emergency exit doors over the wings and a third one just aft of the right wing trailing edge. All the emergency exits open inward. The passenger access door may also be used as an emergency exit.

The cabin has been designed to accommodate a maximum of 30 passengers, flight attendant, galley, and toilet.

In most versions, the passenger seats are distributed in a double seat row (18 seats) on the right side and a single row (11 seats) on the left side separated by an aisle. A fourth seat is normally installed in the last row. The seats were designed for a pitch of 31 inches (0.79 m) so as to allow the passengers better mobility and freedom to movement, but they are not reclinable.

The flight attendant’s station, galley, wardrobes, and toilet, as well as, the seat distribution may be arranged according to customer preference. The passenger’s oxygen masks drop from panels located in the cabin ceiling. An attendant call button, reading light, "NO SMOKING", and "FASTEN SEAT BELT" signs, and air conditioning gaspers are located in passenger service units over each seat row.

Cargo Compartment

The pressurized cargo compartment is located in the aft fuselage, and is accessible through a wide (51 X 54 inch) sliding door located on the left side, which is manually operated from the outside only. This door slides along tow inner rails following the fuselage contour, assisted by a system of cables. The opening and closing are achieved by means of a mechanism controlled by an external handle which is located in the lower half of the door. The mechanism is responsible for door locking.

The cargo compartment meets the FAR Part 25 requirements for class "D" cargo compartments and as such, requires no provisions for fire extinguishing. Carrying live animals in the cargo compartment is not recommended.

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