All posts tagged: embraer
ERJ-145 side view drawing

Hold on a second! Before you dash on over to the Contact page and skewer me over the fact that I already made a post about my ERJ-145 templates (just last week!), you need to know that this is actually something completely different. Well, not totally different, but different enough to warrant it’s own post.

My last post was about the ERJ-145XR. This post is about the ERJ-145. Two completely different kinds of aircraft! I’m not sure if everybody would agree with me on that, but I think we can all agree that there are enough differences between the two which requires separate templates. Here, check out this graphic I made which shows the visual differences between the ERJ-145XR and the base model ERJ-145:

visual differences between ERJ-145XR and ERJ-145

The highlights in red are the visual differences between ERJ-145XR and ERJ-145 (base model).

XR stands for “extended range”, which means that there are some additional aerodynamic add-ons to the base model which helps facilitate higher fuel-efficiency for extended range operations. There are a ton of internal modifications of course, but since I am just an illustrator focused on the exterior of these airplanes, here’s the breakdown of what the XR has over the base model -145:

  • Winglets
  • A large horizontal aerodynamic fin on the underside of the aircraft between the wings
  • Vertical slats at the aft of the fuselage underneath the vertical stabilizer

I’m sure there are a ton of other tiny little differences as well, but those are the major items which helps airplane nerds like us quickly identify the differences between these two different aircraft types. And if I’m being honest, I think it’s this base model -145 which looks the best out of the entire ERJ family of aircraft. The XR looks too fancy with all of its flashy add on‘s (kind of like how people add a bunch of crazy shit to Honda Civic‘s thinking that it makes them look faster), while the -140 and -135 (both templates coming soon) look like victims of tragic knife accidents.

ERJ-145 base model side view blueprint

Side profile line drawing of a Embraer 145 regional jet (base model)

Perhaps another reason why this base model -145 is my favorite is because it was the launch type for this family of aircraft way back in 1995. It was designed to be the successor for the EMB-120 Brasília, and I was totally on board with it because of my hatred for riding in small turboprop aircraft such as that little 120. I vividly remember when these small regional jets started appearing on the scene, and for someone like me who was terrified of small turboprops, I couldn’t help to think that it was a glorious time to be a traveler. That feeling only lasted five years or so, until most every airline decided to use these tiny little jets for everything – even flights longer than three hours in length. As a passenger, that was downright torture! Regional jets were excellent replacements for the turboprops, but not as replacements for larger mainline aircraft such as the 737.

OK then, can you guess which templates are coming next? If you guessed the ERJ-140 and ERJ-135, you’re a smart cookie. I’m working on them both as I type this (well, not exactly as I’m typing) and I hope to have them posted to the blog very very soon…

ERJ-145XR side view

One of the most interesting things about doing all these airliner templates is the fact that I learn a lot about which aircraft are really popular (or not) in an indirect sort of way. Did you know that my Boeing 747–400 template is one of my least downloaded? And that the Airbus A320 is the most popular? It’s data like this which has convinced me that the rest of the world just doesn’t share my enthusiasm for large commercial aircraft, and it kind of bums me out a little bit. I would’ve thought for sure that the big stuff like the 747’s and A380s would be the runaway favorites, but it turns out that the little guys (such as narrowbody Airbuses and tiny regional jets) seem to be what everyone is clamoring for.

Was that the perfect segue into this post about my all-new ERJ-145 templates or what? This little Embraer has been near the top of my most-requested list for quite a while now, which is strange to me considering that I personally don’t see many of these here in the US much anymore. They used to run rampant here at SAN and up north at LAX, but they’ve all been replaced by the larger ERJ-175’s thanks in large part to Skywest and their aggressive fleet renewal program over the past few years. I know that ORD still sees quite a few of these things (both American and United still have a ton), but they definitely seem to be approaching the endangered species list at a ridiculously fast pace and it may not be long until they’re all gone for good.

ERJ-145XR line drawing side view

Side profile line drawing of a Embraer 145XR (Extended Range) regional jet

Regardless of how popular the ERJ-145 still is these days, I’m really glad to have a template created for it. Unfortunately, there are so many variants of this particular aircraft that I didn’t really know where to start once I realized that one template wasn’t going to cover everything. Because of that, I decided to start at the top of the food chain with the big daddy of them all: the ERJ-145XR – which is the extended range version of the largest model available in this family of aircraft.

The ERJ-145XR is a little different than the run-of-the-mill -145, sporting a pair of really cool-looking winglets and a smattering of other aerodynamic add-ons underneath and along the rear of the fuselage. As a matter fact, I didn’t even know that this model existed before I started doing research. I thought it looked pretty nice though, and since it was the most complicated version of them all, I figured that it would be the best one to start with so that I could work my way down to the other (smaller) variants using this illustration as a starting point. I don’t know why, but it’s always easier for me to downsize a template than it is to make one larger.

Even though the Embraer ERJ family of aircraft is quite extensive, there aren’t any significant differences between most of them other than fuselage length. Therefore, I should be able to crank through all of the other major variants at a very rapid pace now that I have this main illustration complete. Keep your eyes peeled for the standard -145 next, and then I’m going to tackle the -135 immediately after that. You’ll be happy to know that these are going to come very fast, and I hope to have everything uploaded here on the blog by the end of next week.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go sit in a corner for a while and listen to calming mediation music to fend off this anxiety I just inflicted on myself for promising a lot of illustrations by the end of next week…

Southwest Airlines E190 drawing

Have you heard the news? Well, it’s just a rumor at this point but there is speculation floating around the airline industry right now that Southwest Airlines is considering adding the Embraer 190 to it’s fleet. That’s pretty big news considering how they’ve been a Boeing 737 carrier since they launched back in the 1970’s. They did lease a few 727’s from Braniff for a few years, but other than that, Southwest has never operated another aircraft type.

I couldn’t resist creating an illustration of the E190 in the Southwest livery as soon as I heard this news. Of course this is the outgoing (old) livery, but since it’s a conceptual rendering anyway, I thought I’d do this one first since it’s my favorite of them all. I like the way this design flows nicely from the front of the aircraft to the rear, and it really grew on me over time. I didn’t care so much for the bold blue and red combination (with bright yellow and orange highlights) when it was first unveiled, but after seeing this design for so many years it almost became “normal” for me. It was definitely better than the original “mustard rocket” colors though – that livery was the worst of them all. But I will admit that now that some time has passed, it does have a sort of cool retro vibe to it that was lacking in the 1990’s. Back then, it was just downright ugly.

southwest e190 side view

Side profile illustration of a Southwest Airlines Embraer 190 regional jet over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

Anyway, I believe the Embraer 190 will be a good fit for Southwest. It’s a smaller aircraft than the 737, and the lower seating capacity will allow them to enter (and augment) smaller markets that wouldn’t support the larger aircraft. Southwest has always been pretty good about serving the smaller and secondary markets that the larger legacy airlines choose to pass over, and having the ability to dig deeper into untapped (and profitable) routes is going to be necessary going forward. The E190 is a fine choice, and I also believe that the CS100 would be a viable option as well. But then again I’m not an airline executive, so what do I know?

Hope you like this quick conceptual rendering. It was fun to put together really quickly just for fun, but if Southwest does announce an order for E190’s you can be sure I’ll do another version in the latest livery. I may even do some special liveries too if I can ever find the time.

err-175 new winglet

Creating airliner templates isn’t easy – especially when it comes to getting all the little details correct. It was only a few days ago that I posted my completed set of ERJ-175 illustrations, and like always, it felt really good to have that project wrapped up and posted to this blog. It was especially true in this particular case because I had been needing (very badly) a version of this with the United Express livery for several weeks now. Having a finished template from which to work from was a huge relief and I wasted no time in getting to work on it.

But then…disaster. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration (lol) but at least it felt that way when I discovered that there are actually two versions of winglets available on the ERJ-175, and the United Express planes have the one I didn’t know about (and didn’t include on my original template). Dang it! Just when I thought I was done, I had to go back to the drawing board and create another version of the wing with this new winglet. That might not seem like that big of a deal, but it required a major structural change to my original illustrations. This particular winglet is a completely different shape than the other one, which affected the structure of the wing slightly – so there were a lot of things I had to rebuild and/or adjust in order to get it to fit correctly. Considering that I just went though the “ahhh, it’s finally done!” phase of this template, you can probably understand how irritating it was to have to go back and reconstruct a major portion of it.

erj-175 new winglet line drawing

A technical side profile line drawing of a Embraer 175 regional jet with the new style winglet over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

As much as it sounds like I’m complaining, the truth is that I’m glad that I took the time to create another version with this new style winglet. It only makes my airliner template collection more complete. And hey – I learned something new about the ERJ-175! These larger winglets make this particular airplane look very different from certain views – especially front and rear. They are wider and less angled than the original winglets, and that shallow angle helps to extend the overall wingspan a bit and make the airplane look larger than it really is. On top of that, Embraer claims a 6% increase in fuel efficiency over the original versions. Better looks + better economy seems like a winner to me.

erj-190 blank side view template

Embraer has come a really long way since the 120 Brasilia, and this ERJ-190 is nothing like those old turboprops from the 80’s. It’s everything those old airplanes weren’t: quiet, spacious, and dare I say it…comfortable! I’d also go as far as to say that the 190’s are much better looking airplanes, but that’s totally subjective so I’ll leave that up for you to decide.

These side view illustration templates represent the first in what I hope will be an entire series of Embraer regional jet illustrations. I was even planning on doing the E175 in conjunction with this 190, but I realized that the differences between the two are so great that it made more sense to focus on each one individually instead. I’m not sure yet if the E175 is the template I’m going to do next, but it’s certainly on my list of aircraft to draw.

erj-190 technical side drawing blueprint

A technical side profile line drawing of a Embraer 190 regional jet over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

You might have noticed that I’m slowly refining my rendering technique on the all white versions of these illustrations. Back when I was doing the L-1011 artwork, I realized that the way I had been doing the fuselage shading up until that point wasn’t quite right. The linear gradient which I created to show the curvature of the fuselage was too abrupt as it wrapped over the top, which created a harsh “halo” shadow along that top edge. This is more prevalent in my earlier templates (such as the 737-800), and it I’ve been working on finding ways to smooth that out while keeping the shape and depth of the tube. It hasn’t been easy to find the right balance, but I think the softer shadows that I’m using now look much better and are a lot more realistic.

Anyway, we don’t see very many Embraer 190’s here on the west coast of the US, so up until now it hasn’t been an aircraft I’ve thought much about. However, a recent trip to the east coast (which included my first flight on one) made me realize that these are popular little airplanes that needed to be part of my overall template collection. Hopefully you find these illustrations useful!

emb-120 blank template

I’m slowly chipping away at my goal of building a large collection of blank airliner templates, and this EMB-120 illustration is my first turboprop. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to creating it, mostly because I’m not a fan of smaller aircraft such as this, and the 120 is not a very nice airplane to fly on (IMHO). It’s loud, cramped, and it’s small size means that it gets bounced around a lot in rough air. Thankfully, I may never have to ride on one of these things again as they’ll be gone for good by the end of the year (at least here in the US).

Having said that, I actually enjoyed doing these illustrations and my admiration for the EMB-120 grew stronger by the time I was finished. There’s some pretty neat engineering going on where the wing meets the fuselage (I love complex surfaces like that), and the organic/twisting form of the prop is very well designed. Not bad for an aircraft that was designed in the early 1980’s.

mb-120 line drawing

A technical side profile line drawing of an Embraer 120 Brasilia over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

One final thing I’d like to note about the white version of this blank template is that I got a little bit carried away and I may have put too much detail into it. That’s not really a good thing, as the entire premise of these templates is to present a basic representation of the airplane that can be enhanced later when a livery is applied to it. Too many shadows and reflections can actually make things more difficult when applying color later, so it’s best just to keep things simple. My 757-200 template is a perfect example of that. The shadows are light and transparent, and I didn’t apply any gloss to the surfaces. I should have had the same restraint with this Embraer – but I’m going to leave it for now to see how things go.

What do you think? Do you prefer these templates to be more or less detailed?