Brazilian Air Force Introduces the New Super Tucano
By Dialogo December 24, 2012
The Brazilian Air Force Aerial Show Squadron introduced the first A-29 Super Tucano fighter plane painted with the colors of the country’s national flag on December 18. It will be used by the pilots from the Brazilian Air Force air show squadron during presentations starting next year.
The delivery of the first aircraft was held during the Aerial Show Squadron change of command ceremony. The current commander, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Wagner de Almeida Esteves, transferred the post to Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Marcelo Gobett Cardoso. The military ceremony took place at the Aviation Academy in Pirassununga, Sao Paulo, and was led by Air Force Commander, General Juniti Saito, and attended by the general officers from the Aviation High Command.
In 2001, the Tucanos abandoned the red with black and white stripes, and replaced them with the traditional Brazilian color of green, blue, and yellow. The graphics on the A-29 can now be better recognized. The Brazilian flag has been painted on the A-29 rudder, and it appears as if it were flying. Another change is the pilot’s identification number, which is no longer on the tail, but on the side of the fuselage.
Since its debut, 60 years ago, this is the fifth airplane to fly for the aerobatic team of the Air Force’s air show squadron, and the first fighter plane. The fleet already had a T-6, T-24, T-25, and the latest one a T-27. Designed by Embraer, the A-29 has been flying for the Brazilian Air Force since 2005, on missions such as attack and interception of low performance airplanes in border regions, like Roraima, Rondonia, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Rio Grande do Norte.
The transition from the T-27, which has been with the fleet for 29 years with over two thousand presentations, to the A-29 Super Tucano, will start in 2013. The transition is very important because the fighter plane is faster, has more than twice the power, and can enable new maneuvers during presentations.
According to the Lieutenant Colonel Gobbet, stunts performed by the A-29 and the adjustment to the new model will take some time before its introduction. In July of this year, three new A-29 pilots joined the air show squadron. They will train other pilots on the aircraft, and in return they will also learn acrobatics from the fleet.
“According to the Brazilian Air Force air show squadron’s evaluation at the Air Force Base in Natal last January, the transition will be safe and harmonious, so that we may have a show similar to what we see today,” stated the new commander.
The four aircraft are two-seaters. The others, which are scheduled to arrive in the beginning of next year, will be delivered in groups of two or three, until the end of the first quarter.