Brazil is close to concluding certification flight trials on what may be the world’s first military aircraft fuelled by ethanol.

São José dos Campos-based Centro Técnico Aeroespacial (CTA), Brazil’s certification authority, expects to conclude flight trials in October of a converted Neiva T-25A trainer. Employing a modified 300hp (225kW) Lycoming IO-540-R1D5 engine that powers the T-25A, the CTA will certificate the use of ethanol for the military trainer.

The Brazilian air force plans to convert its entire T-25A and T-25C fleet – numbering about 90 aircraft – at an estimated cost of $27,000 per airframe. Embraer delivered the first ethanol-fuelled Ipanema in March and has booked 100 orders for the upgrade. Work on an ethanol-fuelled trainer dates back to 1984.

Source: Flight International