Aerotec Uirapuru T-23
With the end of World War II (1939–1945), a group of Brazilian Air Force officers, led by General Casimiro Montenegro Filho, with the collaboration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), outlined a strategic plan for the development of the aircraft industry in Brazil. After observing the huge difficulties faced by previous initiatives to implement industries in the sector, they realized that the priority must be on the training of high-level human resources, capable not only of absorbing technological knowledge, but also of pursuing solutions that could be adapted to the national context. Thus emerged the idea of creating an aeronautics engineering school and an aeronautics technology research center, which would be accomplished with the founding of ITA – Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (Aeronautical Institute of Technology) in 1950, and CTA – Centro Técnico de Aeronáutica (Aeronautical Technical Center – currently called the General Air & Space Technology Command) in 1953, both in São José dos Campos (state of São Paulo).
From then on, ITA and CTA would collaborate immensely to disseminate technologies that would provide support for the creation of countless companies in the aeronautics sector, such as Embraer itself. However, before certain initiatives could gain notoriety, such as the case of Aerotec, which was established in 1962 by ITA alumnus Carlos Gonçalves, along with the aeronautical engineers Wladimir Monteiro Carneiro and Michel Cury.
Conceived by Aerotec and designed by Carlos Gonçalves and José Carlos de Sousa Reis, the Uirapuru was a plane with simple and functional lines. Before it was named Uirapuru, it was called Model 122 and, later, A-122. The prototype performed its maiden flight on June 2, 1965. In October of 1967, Aerotec signed a contract for the initial sale of 30 planes to the Air Force Ministry. The prototype was changed, receiving a more powerful engine to meet the Ministry’s requirements, and the first two pre-series planes flew in January and April of 1968, having been named T-23 by the FAB.
The Aerotec Uirapuru T-23 was intended for basic instruction at the Air Force Academy (AFA), although a version for civil pilot instruction was also produced, which would be used in civilian flying clubs. Aerotec produced a total of 130 Uirapuru planes, 100 of which were sold to the Brazilian military market. In 1974, 18 planes were sold to Bolivia, and in 1975, 10 were sold to Paraguay.
In 1979, FAB asked Aerotec to modernize the T-23. The 45 remodeled planes were called the T-23B. The Uirapuru planes were deactivated by the FAB in the late 1980s and donated to interested flying clubs.
|Metallic monocoque structure, low-wing cantilever, fixed tricycle landing gear, completely metallic. Two-seat, side by side.|
Aerotec A-122A (military version – T-23)|
A-122B (civilian version)
|Engine A-122A||Lycoming 0-235-C1, 108 hp;|
|Engine A-122B||Lycoming 0-320-A2B, 150 hp (1967)|
|Weight (empty)||515 kg|
|Total Weight||840 kg|
|Maximum Speed||240 km/h|
|Cruise Speed||210 km/h|
|production||A-122: 2 planes produced; A-122B: 12 planes produced.|
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