EMBRAER EMB-312 Tucano
|TRAINER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Brazil / EMBRAER|
Work on the development of a new basic trainer for the Brazilian air force began in January 1978, the product of a design team led by Ing. Joseph Kovacs. A contract for two prototypes and two static test airframes was awarded to the company by the Brazilian Ministry of Aeronautics on 6 December 1978. Given the company designation EMBRAER EMB-312 and known to the Brazilian air force as the T-27, the type was named Tucano (Toucan) on 23 October 1981.
A conventional-looking cantilever low-wing monoplane of light alloy construction, the EMB-312 has retractable tricycle landing gear, enclosed cabin accommodation for two in tandem seated on Martin-Baker ejection seats, and power provided by a Pratt & Whitney Aircraft of Canada PT6A turboprop engine.
The prototype flew for the first time on 16 August 1980 followed by a second on 10 December. A third, built to full production standards, flew in August 1982 and initial deliveries to the Brazilian air force were made in September 1983.
Ordered by the FAB to replace the Cessna T-37, the type has since found world acceptance and by the middle of 1991 over 350 had been delivered out of 376 firmly ordered, with a further 86 on option. Tucano customers are the Brazilian air force (128), Honduras (12), Egypt (54), Iraq (80), Venezuela (31), Peru (20), Argentina (30), Paraguay (6) and Iran (15).
An uprated version was ordered by the UK government in March 1985 to replace Jet Provosts in the Royai Air Force and 130 are currently in production as the Shorts Tucano T.Mk 1, with 15 more on option. The extensively developed version features a strengthened airframe and significantly enhanced performance endowed by an 820kW Garrett TPE331-12B engine, and has itself attracted orders from Kenya (12) and Kuwait (16). The first Shorts-built Tucano flew in December 1986, deliveries to the RAF began in June 1987, and about 60 had been built and delivered by mid-1991.
Tucano T.Mk 1: basic trainer version developed and built by Short Brothers in Belfast, in collaboration with EMBRAER. One-hundred-and-thirty, each powered by a Garrett TPE331-12B engine driving a Hartzell four-bladed propeller, ordered for RAF.
Tucano T.Mk 51: Twelve Shorts-built armed aircraft ordered by Kenyan air force in 1988 for weapons training. First example flown in October 1989 and delivered in 1990.
Tucano T.Mk 52: Sixteen Shorts-built basic trainers ordered by Kuwait air force in February 1989 for delivery in 1991.