On Monday August 19 Embraer celebrates its 50th birthday. The company has been on an incredible journey since that day in 1969 when it officially came into being to produce an aircraft then known as the IPD-6504 Bandeirante. An immaculately presented example of this type is on show at LABACE 2019 to represent the company’s proud heritage, alongside its latest executive jet creations—the Praetor 500 and 600.
In early 1965 Brazil’s CTA (aerospace technical center) launched a program to produce a regional airliner that could serve smaller communities throughout the country. The CTA’s IPD (institute for research and development) produced a range of potential design concepts, of which the fourth was selected to proceed. The program was formally launched on June 15, 1965. The CTA’s director, Brigadier Paulo Victor da Silva, named it the Bandeirante.
The CTA built two prototypes, and the first made its first flight on October 22, 1968. Success in flight trials paved the way for the production of the aircraft, a task for which Embraer was specifically formed. Manufacture began in January 1970, and the first aircraft produced—the third Bandeirante—first flew on June 29 that year. The initial eight-seat EMB-100 version was replaced by the stretched 12-seat EMB-110, which was first ordered by the Força Aerea Brasiliana (FAB, Brazilian air force). Deliveries to the FAB and initial commercial customer Transbrasil began in 1973.
The EMB-110 Bandeirante went on to achieve major success—both at home and overseas—with 501 built by the time that the focus of production transferred entirely to the EMB-120 Brasilia in 1990. Experience with the EMB-110 laid a firm foundation for the development of Embraer into a global company that today offers a range of regional airliners, executive jets, trainers/light attack aircraft, and military transports.
The principal customer for the Bandeirante was the FAB, which acquired the type for transport duties, and for a variety of special missions such as aerial survey and maritime surveillance. A fair number continue to serve. The example on show at LABACE is a C-95C (military designation EMB-110P2) from the FAB’s Parque de Material Aeronáutico de Lagoa Santa, a major air force MRO facility north of Belo Horizonte that operates a handful of aircraft for liaison and utility transport duties.