Vintage planes in Brazil
Revista The Vintage Airplane - Fevereiro de 1981


Like some other large countries with partially developed areas, Brazil has had a dual attitude regarding the importance of aircraft since the beginning of this century.
There have been short periods of time when both private concerns and government-sponsored facilities have attempted to design and build aircraft. Since 1910 the ~military has assembled and operated imported planes and after 1930 several U. S. and German types have been built under license.


EAA member J.C.Boscardim and a Fleet biplane.
Fairchild PT-19 in background

In Rio de Janeiro, in 1914, the Brazilian Navy organized a naval aircraft facility where, with the help of a Mr. Horton Hoover, and others, many naval aircraft were constructed. This American individual is named because he remained in Brazil where he worked in an institute at the State University in Sao Paulo under Frederico Brotero making several studies, some of which had been contracted by the Navy.
The group designed and built various airplanes using native Brazilian materials such as wood, plywood and fabric. Wood was used for longerons, struts and propellers.
Between 1930 and 1950, this group known as the I.P.T. turned out some 2 dozen prototypes. The most prominent plane was a high wing monoplane similar to
the J-3 Cub, produced in 1934. This aircraft called the “Paulistinhas” was powered by a 3 cylinder, 45 hp engine and approximately 1,000 examples were manufactured.

By J.C.Boscardin EAA 127040, A/C 4376 Silveira Peixoto 1077
80,000 Curitiba Parana Brazil
Photos courtesy of the Author

1929 Curtiss Fledgling, a pionner Brazilian airmail plane

While this work was being done in Sao Paulo State, a Naval factory in Rio was assembling imported planes and manufacturing under license such types as the Focke Wulf FW-44 and FW-56. After the start of WWII production changed to Fairchild PT-19s and later to Fokker trainers.
The private aviation industry in Rio was represented by a naval shipbuilder, Henrique Lage who owned a sizeable facility and hired the French designer, Mr. Renee Vandaelle. By 1934 the serialized production of planes, the M-7 and M-9, designed by Guedes Muniz had begun. Mr. Muniz studied in France where he constructed one or two prototypes as a student. The M-7 and M-9 were biplane trainers powered by Gipsy engines.
In 1938-39 the Henrique Lage factory began to produce the HL series. The HL-1 was a Piper-like high wing monoplane and the HL-6 was a low wing aerobatic trainer. Even a single, light trimotor craft was built.
After 1945 there was a “house cleaning” program and many training and general use aircraft used during WWII were scrapped. Many good, vintage aircraft flyable condition were dismantled and the components simply disappeared. More than 2,000 airplanes distributed during the war effort to clubs and schools, were reduced to a few dozen. Planes like the FockeWulf Strosser were lost while some American Fleet 2’s and British Tiger Moths survived.

Some of the aircraft displayed in the Museu Aeroespacial
Campo dos Afonsos - Rio. On the left are the Santos Dumont 14 BIS
and Demoiselle, a Muniz M-7, a CAP 4 ans others

Nowadays it isn’t uncommon to see a PT-19 in use by an Aero Club as an aerobatic trainer. A single PT-22 is being flown by one of the clubs.
We were highly frustrated when governmental action resulted in the scrapping of two FW-44’s. We have succeeded in restoring a Fleet 2 and some gliders including a Kranich II which is one of the most gratifying of all to fly.
At one time during 1944 a Brazilian facility was producing one plane a day including a large number of Piper-like monoplanes, the M-7, a biplane trainer resembling Moths and Buckers, and the HL-6, a 2 place low wing aircraft with very good performance.
In 1960 we helped with the restoration of one of the last HL-6 aircraft. This gave us a good opportunity to evaluate its performance and other general characteristics. I think this plane constitutes the biggest interest for the foreign reader and 1 will try to obtain some figures. Examples of the HL-6 can be seen in two Brazilian museums, one in Sao Paulo and the other in Afonsos-Rio which also displays a flyable Curtiss Fledgling.
As late as 1950 there were some Ju 52’s, Weihe’s, and even a flyable Me 108 but they have since vanished. American types such as Wacos and Stearmans have deteriorated from abandonment mostly because of a lack of operable power plants.
Today we can only see a possible restoration project, some Aeronca Chiefs, 2 or 3 Luscombe Silvaires, a Bucker Jungmann or two, and perhaps 2 or 3 Tiger Moths.

A view inside the Museu Aeroespacial - Campo dos Afonsos - RIO.
The Curtiss Fledgling on the left is airworthy.