In the month of September the Embraer T-27 Tucano completed 40 years of activities with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). Used in the instruction of cadets at the Air Force Academy, the Tucano trained several generations of military aviators. To celebrate the milestone, one of the T-27s received a commemorative painting on the tail.
The special painting was applied to the tail of the modernized T-27, registration 1394. The scheme includes a stylized Tucano in the colors of the national flag, the 40th anniversary mark (1983 – 2023) with the silhouette of the T-27 and in the background a woodpecker in blue, symbolizing the flight instructors who use the T-27 in training new pilots.
The commemorative ceremony was held at AFA, last Monday (20) and was attended by the FAB commander, Air Lieutenant Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno. He piloted the “customized” T-27, sharing the cockpit with the Chief of the AFA Air Operations Division, Lieutenant-Colonel Aviator Marcelo Guimarães Resende.
On the commemorative flight, the T-27 was escorted by aircraft from the Air Demonstration Squadron (EDA) - better known as the Fumaça Squadron, which for more than three decades used the Tucano in its demonstrations, until exchanging it for the A-29 Super Toucan.
“It is a great pleasure to be part of this moment, on this aircraft that trained a large part of our aviators, practically all of them”, said the Air Force Commander on the flight. “Flying this machine is a wonderful feeling. Congratulations to all of you. It's a great pleasure. We are all Air Force.”
Continuing the commemorative events, there was also the unveiling of the Symbolic Medal alluding to the 40 years of service provided by the T-27 in training military pilots.
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On the occasion, there was also a tribute from the Embraer to the Air Force Command. Furthermore, the Air Force Academy presented a trophy to the active FAB pilot with the most flying hours (4.344 hours) in the T-27 Tucano: the General Commander of Personnel, Air Lieutenant-Brigadier Ricardo Reis Tavares.
“It’s a very big surprise. An emotion. My entire history in the FAB as an aviator was practically on the Tucano. So, I have a great affection for this aircraft because I flew in the Air Force on the wings of the Tucano for most of my flying hours”, celebrated the General Officer.
In his speech, the AFA Commander, Air Brigadier Marcello Lobão Schiavo highlighted the evolution of the aircraft. “Today the “forty-something” T-27 continues to grow stronger and more resilient, overcoming all challenges and adverse events. It remains an icon of the Brazilian aeronautical industry and a source of pride for the Air Force Academy, which has the privilege of training its pilots in one of the best training aircraft in the world, now modernized.”, he underlined.
History and modernization
The Tucano was developed by Embraer at the request of the air force itself, which needed a new aircraft to replace the T-37 Tweet trainers, of North American origin. Designated EMB-312 by Embraer, it received the name Tucano after a consultation with cadets at the Air Force Academy (AFA), who suggested a multitude of names.
Robust, versatile, cheap and easy to operate, the Tucano was also a sales success with exports to 17 countries, many of which still operate the model. It was also manufactured under license by British Shorts, which even reengineered the aircraft.
Still in operation, the Tucano began to be modernized in 2019. The main difference is in the cockpit, which received colorful multifunctional displays instead of analogue dials. The livery has also changed: they now sport a digitized scheme in orange, black and white, again chosen (and designed) by the cadets themselves.
With information from FAB
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