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EMB-312 Tucano

The Embraer EMB 312 Tucano is a two seat turboprop basic trainer developed in Brazilmarker. The prototype first flew in 1980 and initial production units were delivered in 1983. The Tucano family of aircraft became one of Embraer's first international marketing successes, with 600 units produced. An improved variant was licence-produced as the Short Tucano for the United Kingdommarker's Royal Air Force.

Design and development

In 1978 the Brazilian state owned aircraft manufacturer Embraer started the design for a new basic trainer for the Brazilian Air Force, receiving a contract for two prototypes in December that year. The first prototype flew on 16 August 1980, with the second flying for the first time on 10 December 1980.Taylor 1988, p. 13.

The EMB-312 is designated T-27 in Brazilian Air Force (FAB) service. It is the aerobatic demonstration aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force Demonstration Squadron, the "Smoke Squadron" (Esquadrilha da Fumaça). The FAB purchased 133 AT-27 light attack versions. First exported to Honduras in 1984, the EMB-312 proved successful.

The upgraded EMB-312H "Super Tucano" was a losing contender in the USAmarker's Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) aircraft selection of the 1990s. Among the seven designs to enter, the Raytheon/Pilatus entry won, which became the T-6 Texan II. Embraer worked with Northrop, which merged with Grumman part way through the competition to become Northrop Grumman. The EMB-312H's design later served as a starting point for the EMB-314, dubbed the ALX, and adopted by the Brazilian Air Force as the A-29.

Operational history


On 27 November 1992, the aircraft were widely used by mutinied officers who staged a coup d'état against former President Carlos Andrés Pérez. The rebels dropped bombs and launched rockets against Police and government buildings in Caracasmarker. Several aircraft, along with OV-10 Broncos were shot down during the uprising by F-16s flown by loyalist pilots.


The Peruvian Air Force used the AT-27 for night bombing missions during the Cenepa War in 1995..

Drug busting operations

The aircraft, along with the Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, has been widely used for drug-busting operations in Central and South America.


EMB-312: The standard production model.
T-27: Two-seat basic training aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force.
AT-27: Two-seat light attack version for the Brazilian Air Force.
EMB-312F: 80 units sold to France of model with French avionics.
Short Tucano: 130 aircraft to RAF, plus 12 for Kenyamarker and 16 for Kuwait with a different, more powerful engine and custom avionics.
EMB-312H: a Northrop/Embraer developed prototype for USAF (JPATS) competition for an advanced trainer, from which derived EMB-314 EMB-314 Super Tucano (ALX) now in production for FAB.


Specifications (standard EMB 312)

See also




  • Endres, Gunther, ed. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, Fifth Edition. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2007. ISBN 978-0-00-725792-8.
  • Gunston, Bill. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes: The Development and Specifications of All Active Military Aircraft. New York: MetroBooks, 1995. ISBN 1-58663-207-8.
  • Gunston, Bill. Encyclopedia Of World Air Power. London: Crescent, 1987. ISBN 0-51749-969-X.
  • Taylor, John W.R. (editor). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1988-89. Coulsdon, Surrey, UK: Jane's Information Group, 1988. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.

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