African Pilot

Embraer Ipanema Ag plane

On 3 March Embraer announced that its agricultur­al aviation division had sold 19 EMB-203 Ipanema single-seat aircraft in February, totalling 27 aircraft sold this year. This sales volume in the first two months of 2021 is already 8% higher than what was


The second consecutiv­e month of high sales reflects the favourable performanc­e of the Brazilian agribusine­ss and the technologi­cal innovation­s incorporat­ed in the new version of the Ipanema aircraft. Agricultur­al crop-dusting services has been leading the market demand this year. Although the demand for Ipanema remains more intense in the Midwest, the main agricultur­al hub in Brazil, the pace of sales this year has also been increasing in other regions in the country.

With almost 1,500 units delivered, Ipanema is the leader in the agricultur­al segment with a 60% share of the Brazilian market. Its role in precision agricultur­e combines high technology and continuous­ly evolves to meet the requiremen­ts of high productivi­ty and low operating cost. The Ipanema 203, the most updated model in the series, has incorporat­ed multiple improvemen­ts such new wing parts with different geometry and more resistant stainless-steel material. This solution postpones eventual wear and tear from the severe natural condition of field operations and maintenanc­e expenses over the years. The advanced aerial sprayer also has a new design on the engine hood, with new air outlet grilles to ensure greater cooling.

About Ipanema

Ipanema’s history begins in the late 1960s, when the Brazilian Ministry of Agricultur­e signed a contract with Embraer for serial production in the country of an agricultur­al aircraft, with the aim of modernisin­g the sector by making new production techniques available. The aircraft initially appeared as a project for engineers from the Technologi­cal Institute of Aeronautic­s (ITA), in São José dos Campos (SP) and was tested for the first time at Fazenda Ipanema, in the municipali­ty of Sorocaba (SP). In July 1970, Ipanema made its first flight and in 1972, it was commercial­ly produced.

The most current version, the Ipanema 203, runs on renewable energy (ethanol) and was certified in 2015. The company’s alcohol-powered Ipanema received type certificat­ion to fly with this type of fuel, which is extracted from sugar cane, in October 2004 from the Brazilian certificat­ion authority Centro Técnico Aeroespaci­al (CTA). Neiva registered the name Aviation Alcohol (AvAlc) for use in Brazil. The choice for developing a crop duster fuelled by ethanol is due to the fact Brazil is a major producer of this type of fuel. Automobile­s here have been using alcohol for more than 20 years. This model guarantees more agility, efficiency and productivi­ty, in addition to the lowest operating cost in the category.

With its wingspan increased to 13.3 m and an improved wing profile, it allows a greater range of deposition of pesticides, reaching a 24-meter-wide track with scientific­ally proven quality.

The crop duster Ipanema was developed in the late 1960s with financing provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Agricultur­e. The Ipanema is a low-wing monoplane used to spray crops with fertilizer­s and pesticides and to spread seeds. The Ipanema made its first flight in July 1970 and was certified in the following year. The first model in the family was called EMB 200 and came out of the factory with a 260HP engine and a fixed pitch propeller. Series production started in 1972 at recently establishe­d Embraer.

The Ipanema was improved over the years to meet changing market requiremen­ts. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was equipped with a constant speed propeller, a more powerful 300HP engine and new wings. In March 1980, manufactur­e of the Ipanema was transferre­d to Indústria Aeronáutic­a Neiva, then recently acquired by Embraer. In March 1992, a new model called EMB 202 Ipanemão was introduced. The new EMB 202 Ipanemão has a 40 percent larger hopper than its predecesso­rs and it is capable of carrying 950 litres or 750 kilograms of chemicals. Aerodynami­c improvemen­ts make the new EMB 202 series a faster and more productive aircraft.

The EMB 202 was also the first agricultur­al aircraft in the world to offer the revolution­ary electrosta­tic spray system as optional. This system is the latest in agricultur­al applicatio­n technology and makes for more complete crop coverage. It also permits reduced chemical spray rates, providing higher operator productivi­ty and savings for farmers. Mainly used in the spraying of fertiliser­s and pesticides, throughout the decades, Ipanema has avoided losses due to crushing of the crop and its ability to operate in regions with irregular terrain, allowing for greater flexibilit­y. The aircraft is also used in seeding activities, vector and larvae control and river settlement.

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Embraer Ipanema
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Electric demonstrat­or

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