Brazilian Air Force auctions three F-5 fighter airframe

Purchased used from Jordan in 2009, aircraft were partially refurbished but never flew in Brazil

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) auctioned off three Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighter airframe this week. The aircraft, registration FAB 4878, 4880 and 4884 were purchased by Aerosuporte company for around $ 29,000.

Stored in a FAB maintenance area in São Paulo, the three fighters are part of a batch of 11 second-hand aircraft purchased from Jordan in 2009. However, the aicraft never flew in Brazil although they received active designations.

Only the fuselage and some parts of wings and stabilizers were part of the offer, which had prices starting at just over $ 5,000 to $ 11,000 – in 2009 the 11 fighters cost $ 21 million.

One of the fighters, registration 4878, was manufactured in 1978 and received the highest offer, while the other two planes were assembled in 1980. They went through revitalization work about seven years ago, but ended up not being completed by the FAB.

Brazilian Air Force F-5 airframe offered at auction (Joao Emilio)


The Air Force had hired Embraer to modernize these supersonic jets to the F-5M standard, with new avionics similar to those installed in older units. Only four F-5E and three F-5F (two-seater) ended up being completed.

FAB former fighter pilot

Aerosuporte is a consulting company based in Rio de Janeiro whose CEO is Mario C. S. Moreira, a former fighter pilot in the Brazilian Air Force. It is not known what the fate of the airframe will be, but it is possible that it must have been acquired by some Northrop fighter operator represented by the Brazilian company and who is looking for spare parts.

In any case, the cells of the deactivated F-5 will only be delivered to buyers who present the “End User Certificate” provided by the US government, where the planes were manufactured.


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