The new fighter of the Brazilian Air Force, F-39 Gripen E, flew on Thursday for the first time commanded by a Brazilian pilot. Major Aviator Cristiano de Oliveira Peres, pilot pilot of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) took off from the SAAB aerodrome in Linköping, Sweden for a flight over the Baltic Sea that lasted about 50 minutes to check the flight and piloting qualities of the aircraft.
Major Cristiano has been in Sweden since January undergoing a series of trainings in order to qualify him to pilot the new fighter, including several hours in Saab simulators, in addition to technical studies on the aircraft.
“The Gripen E FAB 4100 is still a prototype and took a lot of preparation time for that flight. But when I heard the landing authorization from the control tower, I was sure that all the effort was worth it. I decided to become a flight test pilot. I am grateful to the FAB for entrusting me with the mission of raising our flag in Swedish skies”, said the Brazilian pilot.
On the way to Brazil
The first Gripen of the Brazilian Air Force should arrive in the country in September by sea and will be placed in flight conditions from an airport in the state of Santa Catarina, in the southern region of Brazil.
However, this first fighter will not yet be delivered to the FAB. The unit, a FTI (Flight Test Instrumentation) test model, will be taken to Embraer’s headquarters in Gavião Peixoto where the flight test program will continue. Despite this, the aircraft will make a special presentation in the capital of Brazil on Aviator Day, on October 23.
According to the FAB schedule, the first operational Gripen E will be delivered from next year. The Air Force decided to designate it as F-39E Gripen and the two-seater model as F-39F. 36 aircraft were ordered, 28 of which were single-seater and eight two-seater models. The 1st Air Defense Group (1st GDA), based in Anápolis will be the first Brazilian squadron to fly with the new fighter jet.