Embraer’s neighboring Brazilian planemaker, Desaer confirmed this week during the LABACE Air Show the first customer for the twin-engine turboprop ATL-100. The aircraft in its early stages of development was ordered by AGS Logística from Brazil, which signed a purchase intention agreement for two aircraft with an option for three more.
“AGS is a company that transports sensitive cargo. About 80% of our business revolves around aviation. With the ATL-100 we will be able to serve more locations throughout Brazil, especially airports without large infrastructure, and in less time, ” said the company’s CEO Alexandre Gulla.
The logistics company will operate the freighter version of the ATL-100, which is designed to carry up to 2,500 kg of cargo. “The aircraft has unique characteristics in this segment, such as the rear door with an access ramp. This facilitates loading and unloading operations in poorly structured airports as it does not require special ground equipment, ” said Evandro Fileno, managing partner of Desaer.
The ATL-100 is a commuter category aircraft also called “utility aircraft” in Brazil. By definition, this is a segment restricted to aircraft with turboprop engines, capacity for up to 19 passengers, maximum takeoff weight of around 8,600 kg and no pressurized cabin.
Desaer’s design also includes some features that increase aircraft performance and operational possibilities, such as the high wing and fixed landing gear. This profile is ideal for heavy duty aircraft such as landing and taking off from semi-prepared runways of dirt or grass – or even locations without any runway.
Created by former Embraer employees, Desaer is installed at Incubaero, an incubator of Brazilian aeronautical companies and projects. The company’s plan is to turn the ATL-100 into reality over the next four years.
“We will start building the first prototype in 2021, which should take about six months to complete. Then comes the certification phase with the Brazilian civil aviation agency (ANAC), which can take up to two years,” said Fileno, who estimates the cost of the ATL-100 project at about $ 80 million.
Replacement for the Embraer Bandeirante
The name ATL-100 is a Portuguese acronym for “Light Transport Airplane”. According to manufacturer data, the model is designed to fly at a top speed of 430 km/h (and cruise speed of 380 km/h) and will have a range of approximately 2,000 km (or about 570 km fully loaded). The aircraft is also priced: $ 5.5 million.
One of Desaer’s goals is to operate in markets that were abandoned by Embraer in the past. In this sense, the company guarantees to have the ideal product to replace the old Bandeirante turboprops in service with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).
“Bandeirante should reach the operational limit from 2022 and soon they will need a replacement. The ATL-100 can replace it by offering superior performance because it is a more modern design,” Filemo said.