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Following slump, Argentina's FAdeA aims to reinvigorate design and production

A digital rendering of FAdeA's IA-100 trainer aircraft. (FAdeA)

Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA) is preparing to build the first IA-100 basic trainer, the manufacturer's first new aircraft type in 40 years. The project had been on hold since the 2016 flight of a demonstrator.

Engineer Juan Vidal, head of the IA-100 programme, told Janes that of the IA-100's 2,300 anticipated parts, design has been completed on 1,800. Around 400 parts have been constructed for the prototype.

β€œWe have all the tools to assemble minor surfaces, [the] rudder, horizontal stabilisers, flaps, and ailerons, and recently received the tools for the final assembly of a wing. We are waiting to receive the moulds for the other wing and fuselage, which will be the most complex components,” Vidal said.

Eighty-five percentage of the IA-100's parts are to be built of pre-impregnated carbon fibre, a technology FAdeA adopted to build components for the Embraer KC-390.

Vidal said that while the Embraer work gave the company experience with composite materials, adapting its own parts for serial production had caused delays – experienced personnel had moved on since designing the IA-63 in the 1980s and training replacements have caused delays.

β€œThe design is being conducted in sequence, starting with the horizontal empennage and moving surfaces. Those designs have been released. We are missing designs for about 10 part numbers on the wing before we release it and the fuselage for production, but we are advancing everything and prioritising the release of the parts that will be manufactured first.”

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