Brazil has the world’s second-largest civil aviation fleet, but only two original equipment manufacturers (OEMS)—Embraer and Helibras, the Airbus Helicopters local subsidiary. LABACE 2019 takes place with the promise of adding three more OEMs, taking the total from two to five.
Boeing Brasil Commercial will be born fully grown, through Boeing's upcoming purchase of Embraer’s regional aircraft business. Kopter’s local distributor, Gualter, said the Swiss startup is scouting sites for a factory in Brazil. Lastly, Octans Aircraft, which has delivered more than 240 experimental aircraft since 2002, is moving into the production of certified aircraft with its five-passenger Cygnus, unveiled this week at LABACE 2019.
Octans, which had operated under the name INPAER, moved to the upstate São Paulo city of São José da Boa Vista, and new partners have invested more than $20 million in the migration to certified aircraft, looking at both the Brazilian and export markets, and eventually other models besides the Cygnus.
Octans president Milton Roberto Perreira told AIN about the company's plans and the Brazilian market’s peculiarities. While the U.S., Canadian, and Australian markets each have about 13 percent experimental aircraft, Brazil’s uncertified fleet is at 26 percent, twice as large. “It’s easier to produce uncertified aircraft,” Perreira said. The Cygnus is being developed to meet ANAC and FAA Part 23 requirements and will start the path to certification in 2020 in line with ANAC’s iBR2020 program of support for small aircraft certification.
“Brazil doesn’t have a certified manufacturer in this segment, and all aircraft in this category are imported, Perreira said. “Brazil has the fifth-largest territory and fifth-largest population of any country, and if income were in line with the developed world we’d have a fleet of 120,000 aircraft. The country has an aviation tradition and has earned respect.” More than 20 engineers worked on the development of the Cygnus project and will work on future Octans models.
The five-passenger Cygnus has a metallic structure, high cantilevered wing, fixed tricycle landing gear, day/night VFR and IFR capabilities, and is powered by a 300-hp Lycoming IO-540 engine with a Hartzell three-blade metal propeller. Air conditioning and leather seats are part of the interior designed by Studio Marcelo Teixeira.