Major Aviator Cristiano de Oliveira Peres, test pilot at the Brazilian Air Force, 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. The unique moment was filled with great responsibility, but also with pride and satisfaction.
“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.
Since his arrival in Sweden, Cristiano has conducted several professional 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.
Among the main advantages of Gripen E, Cristiano highlights the flight control system in the aircraft. It has been developed in a way that makes piloting very easy, requiring low workload from the pilot. The pilot can turn all his attention to manage the tactical systems in the aircraft to fulfil his mission.
“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.
According to Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics, this is yet another moment of celebration within Saab: “The Gripen Programme continues to progress according to schedule and soon the first Brazilian aircraft will arrive in Brazil.”