After more than 40 years of uninterrupted production, the aircraft continues being a best-seller: in 2012, 66 Ipanemas were sold to customers in Brazil and the Mercosur community, for an increase of 12% over the previous year (58 airplanes). The forecast for this year is that 70 aircraft will be delivered.
“The perpetuity of the Ipanema program is based on its reliability and efficiency,” says Fábio Bertoldi Carretto, Embraer’s Sales Manager for the Ipanema. “Over the years, improvements and advances have been incorporated, aligned with the needs and demands of customers, which has ensured the aircraft’s leadership position in its market segment.”
The commemorative aircraft is the eighth delivered to Fort Aviação Agrícola, since 2007, when the company was founded, with headquarters in the city of Rio Verde, in outstate Goiás.
“We work only with Ipanema airplanes, because we opted for a nationally built aircraft which is more appropriate for the working conditions and climate found in Brazil,” states Clertan Alves Macedo, Executive Director of Fort Aviação Agrícola, which has recently become the first company in its segment to receive ISO 9001 certification in the country’s Midwest. “Furthermore, we chose models powered by ethanol, which has a smaller environmental footprint, higher work output, and lower operating cost.”
The Ipanema was the first aircraft produced in series in the world to leave the factory already certified to fly on ethanol (hydrous ethanol), which is the same fuel used in automobiles the model has been available since 2005. This alternative source of renewable fuel, derived from sugarcane, reduced its environmental footprint, lowered operating and maintenance costs, and improved the overall performance of the aircraft, making it more attractive to the market. Today, about 40% of the fleet in operation is powered by ethanol, and approximately 80% of the new airplanes are sold with this configuration.
The leader of the agricultural aviation market in Brazil, with a 65% share, is used mainly for spraying fertilizers and pesticides, thus avoiding losses due to crushing the crops, while making operations more flexible. It can also be used to spread crop seeds, fight fires, seed rivers, and fight pests and larvae. The main crops that have demanded the use of the airplane are cotton, sugarcane, citrus fruits, eucalyptus, corn, soy, and coffee.
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