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IPE close to concluding two-seater certification

Brazilian manufacturer targets sports and training markets for short take-off aircraft

IPE Aircraft (formerly Instituto Paranaense de Estruturas) is concluding certification trials of the IPE-06A short take-off and landing light aircraft, which had its first flight in May last year. Based in Curitiba in southern Brazil, IPE Aircraft developed the IPE-06A in partnership with US investors. With production scheduled to start next year, short-range plans forecast a monthly production rate of four aircraft by mid-2006.

With reinforced glassfibre covering a steel tube truss and wood fuselage and wing frames, the prototype flew with a 115hp (85kW) Lycoming O-235-C engine. Customers may also selectthe higher-rated 180hp O-360-A powerplant.

João Carlos Boscardin, IPE Aircraft chief executive, says the IPE-06A is aimed at domestic and international sports and training markets. Brazil's civil aviation agency - which sponsors nearly 100 of the country's flying clubs - is seeking an affordable trainer and sports aircraft with low costs.

Boscardin says that because of its 1,200km (650nm) range, 97kt (180km/h) cruising speed and shoulder-mounted wing, IPE Aircraft believes that the IPE-06A is well suited to perform environmental surveillance duties with local state and federal environmental protection agencies.

Despite strong local applications, Boscardin believes that the USA has the potential to be the leading market for the aircraft, which has a maximum take-off weight of 800kg (1,762lb).