Brazil-based major aerospace group Embraer has reported that, during the 12 months ending September 30, its agricultural aviation division had sold twice as many of its EMB-203 Ipanema aircraft as it had during the previous 12 months (ending September 30, 2020). Fifty of the crop-sprayers were delivered during from October 2020 to September 2021.
This 100% jump in sales reflected the strong performance of the Brazilian agricultural sector during 2020 and 2021, and the strong confidence this had engendered in the industry for 2022. The EMB-203 was the latest version of the Ipanema (which is named after an historically-important farm in Brazil and not after the famous Rio de Janeiro beach), and September saw the delivery of the hundredth EMB-203.
“The Ipanema is a great ally for Brazilian agribusiness with its efficiency, productivity, cost-effectiveness, and robustness, as agricultural aviation is an essential tool for the country,” affirmed Embraer Agricultural Aviation head Sany Onofre. “We are pleased with the results we’ve seen this year and with each new delivery, our confidence regarding the outlook for the coming years grows.”
The original version of the Ipanema, the EMB-200, entered production in 1982. Since then, some 1 500 of all versions of the aircraft have been delivered. Over this period, the design has been continuously evolved, to incorporate new technology and cut operating costs. From 2005, fully-certified ethanol-fuelled versions of the Ipanema have been available, making it the world’s first mass-produced aircraft to be powered by renewable energy.
The EMB-203 model is fitted with the most modern agricultural aviation technologies. The various models of Ipanema collectively account for 60% of Brazil’s total aerial spraying aircraft fleet.
A modified EMB-203 is serving as the testbed aircraft for Embraer’s electrically-powered flight technology research and development programme. The electrically-powered Ipanema, fitted with an electric motor from another Brazilian group, WEG, and batteries from Portuguese energy company EDP, started its flight test campaign in August.