LONDON – The Embraer Bandeirante – the classic icon of the regional commuter airline sector, is celebrating 50 years of service.
An icon of regional aviation and what was to become the precursor of the modern Brazilian aeronautical industry, the EMB 110 Bandeirante formally marks its 50th year of operation.
The model entry into service took place on February 9th, 1973, when the first aircraft was delivered to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).
The introduction of the twin-engine commuter took place in a ceremony held at the Embraer factory in São José dos Campos, in São Paulo’s countryside.
The first delivery symbolized the realization of a strategic vision of transforming science and technology into a high-value industrial activity in Brazil.
A major milestone for Brazilian aviation
“The Bandeirante represents a major milestone for Brazilian aviation,” said Brazilian Air Force Commander, Lieutenant-Brigadier Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno.
“Born from the dreams of visionaries like Ozires Silva, the aircraft played an essential role in Brazil’s integration and, year after year, proved to be a versatile, safe twin-engine capable of operating in all regions of our immense country.”
“This model expresses much more than just an aircraft that has been successfully used by the Brazilian Air Force in the last 50 years.”
“It represents a victorious partnership that gave birth to the largest company in our aeronautical industry, a source of pride for all Brazilians. Congratulations, Embraer,” he concluded.
“Embraer and FAB are long-standing strategic partners, and the Bandeirante depicts the beginning of an important industrial cooperation,” said Francisco Gomes Neto, President and CEO of Embraer.
The aircraft was a milestone for the development of regional aviation worldwide and the first commercial success of the Brazilian aeronautical industry abroad.”
“Robust and versatile, the result of an innovative project for the time, the Bandeirante was produced in versions for civil and military use, and it fills us with pride to know that many units are still in operation today.”
The IPD/PAR 6504 aeronautical project was conceived at the Aeronautics Technical Center (CTA) in Sao Jose dos Campos, Sao Paulo’s countryside, and authorized by the Ministry of Aeronautics in 1965.
The first flight took place on October 22nd, 1968, and the aircraft was named Bandeirante. The development had the collaboration of 170 national companies and a high degree of quality so that the components reached the precision requested for the development of the aircraft.
The creation of Embraer in 1969 aimed to develop an industrial structure for the scale production of the Bandeirante, as well as to improve the initial project.
Due to Brazil’s vast size, the Bandeirante was conceived to provide services and connect the most diverse points of the national territory, such as the Amazon, Northeast, or Midwest of the country.
The model was developed as a multiplatform and used for different missions and purposes to meet not only the needs of the FAB, but also the Brazilian airlines, such as Transbrasil and VASP, which ordered the civil version of the aircraft.
The international market
Due to its well-sized project for the segment, the Bandeirante quickly conquered the international market.
Thus in 1975, the first military version was exported to Uruguay, and two years later, the French airline Air Littoral became the first international customer of the civil version.
In the following years, the Bandeirante would also become a reference in the North American regional market.
The aircraft also stands out for its robustness, not only as a regional commuter, but also its ability to operate in remote remote and difficult-to-access regions.
As a result it is also been employed for logistical missions and humanitarian support.
The versatility made the production of the Bandeirante last for almost two decades, with 498 aircraft being delivered in 36 countries.
The Bandeirante has established itself as one of the best-selling aircraft in its category and marked a new era in regional air transport in Brazil and worldwide.