Brazilian Airframes Look to Break Into U.S. Market
By Marino Boric, EAA European Correspondent
April 12, 2013 - Two manufacturers from Brazil, Wega Aircraft and Novaer Craft, presented new aircraft this week at the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Lakeland, Florida.
Wega Aircraft wants to break into the experimental/amateur-built market and showed two of its sleek Wega 180 airplanes at Sun 'n Fun this week. The planes flew some 4,400 miles in three days (with four stops) from the company's factory in Palhoca, Santa Catarina State, Brazil, to Lakeland.
The Wega 180 is a modern, two-place, high-performance aircraft with aerobatic features claiming a high (190-knot) cruise speed in a comfortable, ergonomic cabin. The all-carbon fiber Wega is actually made of two major structural pieces: the fuselage and the one-piece wing that attaches to it with four screws.
Wega Aircraft was founded in 2006 by Jocelito Carlos Wilder, who is an aircraft mechanic and avid aviator. His company currently manufacturers Wega 180 and 210 components and kits. Several details of this aircraft, such as the empennage and the wing, are reminiscent of aircraft designed by the famous Italian designer Stelio Frati, namely the Falco. Wilder met Frati just before the famous designer passed away three years ago.
The aircraft's clean design, together with the retractable gear, helps Wega to reach cruise airspeed of 190 kts powered by a Superior Air Parts 180-hp XP-360 engine. Range is 1,200 nautical miles, with a fuel capacity of 57 gallons and flight endurance of six and a half hours. The two finished airplanes that flew to Lakeland are for sale - $250,000 apiece - and kit pricing has not been determined.
Novaer Craft announced the development of two new carbon fiber airplanes, the T-Xc Pilgrim and the U-Xc Stardream. The projects are well underway and the company hopes to have an example at AirVenture this year or next year.
The company hopes to have Brazilian certification in 2015, followed by EASA and FAA certification, said Heitor Serra, Novaer's director of operations, at a Sun 'n Fun press briefing. Serra revealed both models will be based on a same airframe/wing combination, but will be manufactured differently to sustain different load/performance envelopes.
The two-seat T-Xc Pilgrim is designed as a military and civilian aerobatic trainer capable of up to +6g and -3g with a maneuvering speed of 150 knots. The specs also call for a top cruise speed of 208 knots. A 315-hp Lycoming AEIO-580-BIA engine, specifically designed for aerobatics, will power the Pilgrim.
The same engine will be mounted in the four-place U-Xc Stardream, although the "U" version will fit into the utility category with lower structural load demand. Predicted top cruise speed is 205 knots with a maximum weight 1,473 pounds, including a useful load of 873 pounds of payload and 100-gallon fuel will allow four adults in the cabin.
The expected useful load also includes air conditioning and 140 pounds of baggage. The company did not release any pricing information. Novaer headquarters is located near Embraer in Brazil.