With the light-hearted animated film, “The Flight of the Impossible,” Embraer celebrates company founder Ozires Silva, who turned 90 on January 8. The piece touches on his childhood dreams of Brazil making airplanes when the country didn’t even make bicycles and the Brazilian air force’s drive to produce engineers as a preliminary to producing aircraft. But the film focuses on the creation of the rugged twin-turboprop Bandeirante and the formation of Embraer to manufacture it.
The animated movie includes legendary episodes such as the Bandeirante’s budget being slipped into a stack of documents for a bleary post-midnight rubber-stamping by a government official opposed to the project. At one point, when all the region’s ranking officials had gone to Brazil’s air force academy to receive the president, bad weather forced his airplane to divert to São José dos Campos, where then-Major Silva received him on 15 minutes notice, showed him the Bandeirante prototype, and argued for official support for its manufacture. This chance encounter led to the creation of Embraer, with Silva as its first president.
The film does take time for the grim and the practical. Silva’s boyhood dreams are shared with a friend who entered the air force with him but died in a fighter accident, and a flag-covered coffin gently underscores the sad event. Silva presents the idea of the Bandeirante to fellow engineers as a dream, but also as an answer to the market's need for a rugged modern aircraft to serve regional aviation as the shift to larger jets reduced the number of Brazilian cities with air service.
The film begins in Paris with the dirigibles of Brazilian aviation pioneer Santos Dumont and ends with a flight of the Bandeirante along with the rest of Embraer’s product line, including a surprise with the still-in-development Eve eVTOL swooping at the camera.
Embraer has also created a webpage with actual photos alongside the animations and brief bios of the people highlighted in the film.