Brazil's strong demand for helicopters has now spread to the kit-built market.
Goiânia-based Stoco Aviação, unveiled the first Hummingbird 206L assembled in Brazil at the Latin American Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition last month. The Hummingbird is designed by Florida-based Vertical Aviation Technologies, which has signed Stoco as a new dealership in Brazil.
The four-seat 206L, which is powered by a fuel-injected Lycoming IVO-435, is expected to be certificated by Brazil's national aviation regulator (ANAC), within weeks. The company fabricates nearly half of the components in Brazil, and plans to eventually source the majority of the aircraft from within the country.
Brazil boasted a fleet of 1,654 helicopters at the end of 2011, a 10.6% increase from the previous year, but still lacks an indigenous helicopter design industry.
EADS-owned Helibras completes final assembly of Eurocopter helicopters - mostly the AS350 Ecureuil - in Itajubá.