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First Brazilian Air Force pilot takes to the skies on Gripen E fighter

Brazilian Air Force Gripen E
Photo: Saab

Brazilian Air Force Major Aviator Cristiano de Oliveira Peres, test pilot at the Brazilian Air Force, recently became the first Brazilian pilot to fly the country’s first Gripen E fighter aircraft.

Major Aviator Cristiano de Oliveira Peres had his much-deserved reward in the late afternoon of August 20th; flying over the Baltic Sea for 49 minutes with the first Brazilian Gripen. Since January 2020 he has been located at Saab in Linköping, Sweden, where he has gone through various tests and flown both Gripen and in the simulators.

Brazil is buying 36 Gripen E and F models of aircraft under a contract from 2014. Gripen E deliveries will start in 2021 and Gripen F in 2023.

“It is a big responsibility to be part of such an important project for the Brazilian Air Force. It is the dream of any test pilot to make an experimental flight with an aircraft, and I am honoured to be part of this moment,” says Major Aviator Cristiano.

Photo: Saab

Since his arrival in Sweden, Cristiano has conducted several drills, such as qualifying in a 9G centrifuge, conversion training with Gripen D, and training for specific flight test techniques for Gripen. It has been a major learning curve for the pilot, who also stressed out the importance and the positive impact of interaction with his colleagues during the training.

Cristiano is now in the final stages of his training and will soon join the Gripen Flight Test team in Linköping, as a representative of the Brazilian Air Force. With all the knowledge acquired, he has already participated in the operational evaluation process of the aircraft, which will soon arrive in Brazil.

“Gripen will take our pilots to a very high operational level in the future. It has been developed to meet the requirements of the Brazilian Air Force, which means that we will have state-of-the-art equipment and sensors,” Major Aviator Cristiano added.