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Embraer/FMA CBA 123 Vector

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,


CBA 123 Vector
Role Light business aircraft or
19 seat regional airliner
Manufacturer Embraer/Fábrica Militar de Aviones
First flight 18 July 1990
Status Retired
Number built 2
Unit cost >USD$5 million

The Embraer/FMA CBA 123 Vector was a 1990 turboprop aircraft designed for regional flights, to carry up to 19 passengers. The program arose from a partnership between the Brazilian company Embraer and the Argentine company Fábrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) (now named Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina SA). The project was an advanced turbopropeller aircraft for its time, including advanced technology in avionics, aerodynamics, and propulsion.

Design and development

By 1985, economic integration of South America seemed to be in progress with advances in the negotiations of Mercosur between the Brazilian and Argentine governments. In 1986, as a way of encouraging partnership between both countries, an agreement to develop a Brazilian-Argentine aircraft was signed between Embraer and FMA. The name "CBA" stood for "Cooperación Brasil-Argentina" (Spanish), and "Cooperação Brasil-Argentina" (Portuguese), meaning Brazil-Argentina Cooperation.

The costs and workload of the project were divided between Embraer (67%) and FMA (33%). The aircraft was designed as a high technology turboprop aircraft, fully certified under USA FAR 25, including Garrett TPF351-20A engines and propellers in pusher configuration to increase passenger comfort, wings with supercritical airfoils, FADEC system for engine control, plus EICAS and EFIS avionics systems. The "Vector" name was chosen by an international competition including more than 6,000 proposals.

The first prototype of the Vector flew on 18 July 1990, and the flight occurred with no problems. The official presentation on 30 July 1990 was attended by Brazil President Fernando Collor de Mello and Argentine President Carlos Menem.

Program cancellation

Unfortunately for Embraer and FMA, the high technology which would ensure the success of the CBA 123 was one of the reasons of its demise. The final unit cost of the aircraft — US$ 5 million — was too high to be absorbed by the market. Also, new investments from the Brazilian Government became unavailable due to the political crisis caused by the impeachment of Collor de Mello.

The CBA 123 Vector project, which cost US$ 300 million, was therefore cancelled, with only two prototypes built. Although a failure, the project gave Embraer maturity to work with new technologies, which led to the development of the successful Embraer ERJ 145 family of jets. Some of these new technologies on the CBA 123 were described in the Federal Aviation Administration certification of the aircraft: "This airplane incorporates a number of novel or unusual design features, such as digital avionics including, but not necessarily limited to, an electronic flight instrument system (EFIS), attitude and heading reference system (AHRS), engine indication and crew alerting system (EICAS), and full authority digital engine control (FADEC), which are vulnerable to lightning and high-intensity radiated fields (HIRF) external to the airplane. In addition to these novel or unusual design features, the Model CBA-123 also incorporates other unrelated novel or unusual design features. Those features will be the subject of separate notices of proposed special conditions.


General characteristics


External links

See also

Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Published in July 2009.

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