Often seen as a region where no industrial developments are achieved or are part of national policies; it is interesting to look into the current Aviation Projects under development in Latin America to understand the real picture and the full potential of the Regional Aircraft manufacturers and the new joint ventures which are making evolution of the industry possible.

EMBRAER, betting on regional partners
photo of aircraft EMBRAER KC-390

EMBRAER KC-390 during the type’s roll-out ceremony in October in Brazil.

A clear example of how the industry has evolved is the Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica –known worldwide as EMBRAER. The factory was opened in 1969, and since then, their market share has grown considerably; currently being the third biggest aircraft manufacturer worldwide (only behind Boeing and Airbus). Since 1990, Embraer has consistently been placed among the three biggest exporters from Brazil. Currently working on and developing their newest and most ambitious project yet, they have known how to invest not only in Brazil, but also in the industrial capabilities of other partners in the region.

October in Brazil

Known as the KC-390, the new military tactical airlifter designed and assembled by Embraer is a product which not only attracts the attention of the Latin American Air Forces; but different Governments around the world as well, such is the case of Portugal and Czech Republic.

The importance of the project not only resides in the number of airframes required or the interest generated at an international level, but in the Regional industrial integration EMBRAER is promoting by working together for the development of the airframes with the other partner countries. This has been achieved by allowing them to participate in the manufacturing process of several parts and improving in this way the technical knowledge of the factories involved; increasing the international cooperation and sharing the lessons learned during the process.

UNASUR 1, new airs for FAdeA

A less promoted project currently under development by the Consortium Unasur Aero SA –formed by Argentina, Venezuela and Ecuador- is the new UNASUR 1.

Manufactured by FAdeA, the aircraft can be placed in the same segment as the Alenia Aermacchi SF-260 and the Grob -120TP (currently in service with the Argentina Air Force) and will represent; as the KC-390, the result of a joint development between the several Latin American countries involved. The goal of the program is to successfully design and produce a light military training aircraft which will cover the needs from Argentina (50 aircraft), Venezuela (24) and Ecuador (18) for a basic trainer for their Air Forces, and with several other nations in the region following up the project very close and with high interest.

The new trend and a successful future

This new chapter in the Aircraft Manufacturing Industry in Latin America is showing a clear trend from National factories to team up with their regional counterparts and to enter joint ventures to successfully design, develop and build their products. This approach will not only assure the increasing quality standards required by customer in the region are achieved, but it does represent as well a clear example of how the Latin American Industry is adapting to the new challenges faced at an International level.

Surely enough, this new approach to regional industrial cooperation is representing the new trend to be followed and it will assure with no doubt, a successful future for the current programs under development.