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Brazil to have new aircraft manufacturer in MG and Portugal: Desaer

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil will add another airplane manufacturer. Desaer (Desenvolvimento Aeronáutico [Aeronautical Development]) plans to build its plant in Araxá (MG) to produce the ATL-100 twin-engine aircraft (light transport aircraft). The works are expected to begin in the second half of the year.

The company was founded by engineer Evandro Fernandes Fileno, who left EMBRAER in 2016 to design the ATL-100 and then found Desaer. It currently has several partners who have worked for companies such as EMBRAER and Boeing.

The ATL-100 twin-engine aircraft. (Photo internet reproduction)

Office in São José dos Campos (SP)

Despite the plant in Minas, Desaer will maintain its office in Incubaero, a company and project incubator founded by the Casimiro Montenegro Filho Foundation, located in São José dos Campos (SP), where everything started.

The move to Minas Gerais happened after talks with several states, among them Espírito Santo, Goiás, and São Paulo.

There are 7 partners and 40 employees. “Today, Brazil has over a thousand certified airfields, but only about 65 are used [frequently]. Many cities have runways to accommodate aircraft, but no flights,” says the founder of Desaer about the aircraft’s market potential, which will be able to operate on short runways.

“Square” design provides more cargo space

The ATL-100 seeks to supply a short distance flight market demand. Its maximum speed is approximately 380 km/h, it can reach an autonomy of up to 1,600 km and carry up to 2.5 tons.

Because it flies at low altitudes, it does not need to be pressurized or have a rounded profile. As a result, its fuselage can resemble a square, which expands its cargo capacity.

Carries passengers during the day and cargo at night

The project is designed to carry up to 19 passengers, 12 skydivers, or up to 3 LD3 containers, the same ones used in large cargo planes.

Thus, unloading products from the container of a larger aircraft to be placed on the ATL-100 would not be needed, thereby saving time and cutting costs.

Moreover, the aircraft can be upgraded from a passenger plane to a freighter or air ambulance in about an hour. Companies can benefit from this quick change by flying passengers during the day, and operating cargo flights at night when there is less traffic.

Passenger boarding can be done through the side door at the front of the aircraft or through the rear ramp in specific situations.

The aircraft may also be adapted for a military version, with patrol, recognition, or troop transport purposes, among others.

Plant in Portugal

Along with the construction in Araxá, Desaer has a joint-venture with the Portuguese company Ceiia (Center of Engineering and Product Development), specialized in aeronautical engineering and innovation. This company was in charge of developing parts of the C-390 Millennium military aircraft (also known as KC-390, by EMBRAER).

In Europe, it will be called Desaer Portugal, with an office in Évora and a plant in Ponte de Sor. The partnership will be 70% national and 30% Portuguese.

According to Fileno, the plan is to manufacture and fly in Portugal first, because there is financial support from the Portuguese government. “The support we didn’t get here, we got there,” says the engineer.

Another reason for the ATL-100 to be built in Europe is the aircraft’s range. As the model was not developed to fly long distances, it would not be able to cross the ocean.

The Brazilian plant would supply the Americas markets, and the Portuguese plant, the international market. Once operational, each plant is expected to deliver 4 aircraft per month.

The company is still looking to expand its capitalization, but is not limited to the domestic market. “Today we are open to anyone who wants to invest in the company, and we are talking to European, Asian and Middle Eastern groups,” says Fileno.

Competing aircraft are old

The aviation segment Desaer intends to explore with the ATL-100 is expected to grow over the coming years.

Most models in this category are old. They are aircraft whose designs date back to the 1960s and 1970s and have been modernized, but despite the updates, they are nearing the end of their useful lives.

Few competitors

Currently, utility aircraft for up to 19 passengers have few projects underway worldwide. Among their advantages is the fact that they do not need flight attendants to be operated, and are not pressurized, as they fly at low altitudes, which saves on the development of several systems.

The ATL-100 would have SkyCourier as its direct competitor, from the North American Cessna, manufacturer of the Caravan. Both designs are very similar, both in size and in passenger and cargo capacity.

Rear ramp is one of the advantages

One of the advantages of the ATL-100 in relation to the foreign model is the rear access ramp. This enables quicker container loading and even passengers with mobility restrictions.

According to the company, 12 purchase intentions have already been signed, 7 from Uruguay and 5 from Brazil. Desaer has another 6 projects under development, among them passenger transport models and a Light Sport Aircraft model.

Source: UOL

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