Pilatus said here at LABACE yesterday that it will deliver three more of these PC-6 Turbo Porters to Brazil this year, having delivered only one since certification in the country in 2011. The Swiss manufacturer is emphasizing the single turboprop’s short takeoff and landing performance, pointing out that it can operate more economically than helicopters and with superior payload. Maximum payload is 1.2 metric tons, maximum range is 870 nm and this can be achieved operating out of an airstrip shorter than 1,500 feet (440 meters).
All LABACE 2013 News
AgustaWestland is preparing the way to possible final assembly of its helicopters in Brazil with plans to expand the São Paulo facilities of its local subsidiary. Construction is due to be completed by the end of 2014 and the enlarged facility will also be used to accommodate a training center, bonded warehouse, workshop space and a heliport.
As the global economy in general, and business aviation in particular, begins to stabilize, so the squeeze on aircraft financing is beginning to relax, albeit with an element of conservatism. That was the message from speakers at the 5th Business Aviation in Latin America summit held here at LABACE yesterday. A range of financial issues was covered during the summit, as well as other key issues such as managing flight clearance risk in developing nations and pilot shortages in Latin America.
Dallas Aeronautical Services will produce composite materials and components for business aircraft in a new facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil, starting in the first half of 2014. The U.S. company announced the new venture here at the LABACE show yesterday. According to DAS director for Brazil Paul Dominonni, the operation will be launched with an initial investment of $500,000, occupying a 70,000 sq ft site in the Univap Technological Park. The projects is being supported by both state and city authorities.
Helibras has announced the opening of a new customer support center (CSC) at Atibaia, near the three main airfields of São Paulo. The facility forms part of Eurocopter’s global network and mirrors those established by the company in Hong Kong, Dallas and Marignane (France). Some 75 percent of the Brazilian Eurocopter/Helibras fleet is based in the southeast of Brazil.
Latin America is the target of an effort by MD Helicopters to strengthen its dealer network, which consists of one independent representative per country, with the exception of Mexico where there are two. The MD fleet in Latin America currently totals approximately 100 aircraft, with 15 of those in service in Brazil.
“Our focus is to strengthen the dealer network and our goal is to be delivering 12 MD Explorers a year in Latin America by the end of 2015,” said MD director of sales and marketing Philip Marsteller. “And that’s a conservative goal,” he added.
Appearing for the first time in Latin America at Cessna’s LABACE display is the single-engine turboprop Grand Caravan EX. The new version of the turboprop single offers increased power through its Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140 867-shp engine to better serve hard-to-access areas. It delivers 25 percent more horsepower than the original Grand Caravan, which translates into a 38-percent increase in rate of climb, a 340-foot (106-meter) reduction in takeoff distance and a 12-knot faster cruise speed.
The facts of business aviation’s growth in Brazil speak for themselves and these facts are amply laid out in the new Brazilian Yearbook of General Aviation published here at LABACE this week.
Overseas visitors may be puzzled by the number of so-called “trading” firms prominently placed in the LABACE exhibition areas. Why at an event that lets potential purchasers meet directly with manufacturers do Brazilian middlemen occupy so much space?
Arguably the most eye-catching aircraft on display at LABACE is the ultra-sleek Epic LT six-seater turboprop on show at Somma Aviation’s outside stand (5116). The aircraft is a revolutionary kit-built, carbon-fiber, high-performance transport that has caused quite a stir in its home country of the U.S. Now Somma is looking to bring in a certified version tailored specifically to the Brazilian market.