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 ktas 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 over 350 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 ktas) as compared with the original aircraft speed, and its maximum take-off weight has increased to 26,433 lb.