Embraer Marks Bandeirante 40th Anniversary

 - October 22, 2008, 12:33 PM

Forty years after the first flight of the prototype twin-turboprop Bandeirante (designed by Frenchman Max Holste, who also designed the Broussard, France’s equivalent of the DHC-2 Beaver), Embraer celebrated the airplane that launched the company into the aerospace industry. Joining Embraer officials at the celebration held at Embraer headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil, on Sunday were members of the team who built the three Bandeirante prototypes. The freshly restored second prototype was also on hand, having been disassembled and moved to Embraer headquarters, where former and current employees spent a month on the restoration process. The team painted the number-two Bandeirante in the same colors that it sported when it was first rolled out and flown on Oct. 19, 1969: white with a blue stripe in the middle and gray underneath. The interior was also restored with new paneling, seats, carpeting, curtains, closets and lavatory, as well as a carefully refurbished electrical system. The restored second prototype Bandeirante, formerly a Brazilian Air Force airplane, is now part of the Santos Dumont Foundation collection in Cotia.