The Brazilian Navy VF-1 "Falcões" (Hawks) - 2000

The VF-1 Falcões Table of Content:
  • 2000 - - - The VF-1 Falcões patch courtesy of Lieutenant Commander Claudio Mello, Brazilian Navy.

  • 2000 - - - Falcões (Hawks in Portuguese)

Date Type First Received - - - - - - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
The VF-1 "Falcões" Heritage:
  • August 23, 1916 - - - Brazilian Naval Aviation established.
  • October 2, 1998 - - - VF-1 Falcões established.
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Assumed Command - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Commanding Officer
Date - - - - - - - - - - - - Location:
VF-1 Falcões Photograph Album
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  • 1822:
    The Brazilian Navy established with Brazil's independence.

  • April 29, 1911:
    The first Brazilian navy pilot was Lieutenant Jorge Henrique Moller, receiving his wings in France.

  • August 23, 1916:
    Brazilian Naval Aviation was officially established by Presidente Wenceslau Braz.

  • 1956:
    Brazil purchased the aircraft carrier HMS Vengeance from Great Britain and renamed the boat Minas Gerais (A-11).   The boat was used with Brazilian Navy helicopters as Brazil did not have fixed-wing carrier aircraft.

  • 1997:
    With United States cooperation Brazil negotiated a $70 million contract with Kuwait for the purchase of twenty A-4KU Skyhawks and three TA-4KU Skyhawks for operation from the 20,000 ton aircraft carrier Minas Gerais (A-11).   The A-4KUs, modified A-4Ms and TA-4Js delivered to Kuwait in 1977, were among the final Skyhawks built by Douglas.   They were selected by Brazil because of low flight time, excellent physical condition, and a favorable price tag.
    An artist's concept of the Brazilian Navy aircraft carrier Minas Gerais with two AF1 Skyhawks flying overhead in projected Brazilian colors.
    Digitalized graphic by "Fotodisk Multimidia" from Lieutenant Commander Claudio Mello, Brazilian Navy.

    The single-seat Kuwait A-4KUs, re-designated AF1, and the two-seat trainers TA-4KU re-designated AF1A were shipped by sea from Kuwait arriving in Brazil in early September 1998.   The Skyhawks were placed in overhaul maintenance where they were significantly upgraded.

    Photograph by Bill Walker

  • October 2, 1998:
    Brazilian Naval Aviation Squadron VF-1 Falcões was established on the 82nd Anniversary of Brazilian Naval Aviation, at São Pedro d'Aldeia. Naval Air Base São Pedro da Aldeia is 185 km. north of Rio de Janeiro. It is the principal Brazilian Navy Air Base.
    The São Pedro d'Aldeia VF-1 Falcões establishment ceremony parading the single seat AF1 Skyhawk BuNo. N 1001 painted in a temporary color scheme.   Please notice the AF1 Skyhawk in the background is still painted in Kuwaiti markings and colors.
    Photograph by Ronaldo Lucas and from Lieutenant Commander Claudio Mello, Brazilian Navy.

  • October 2, 1998:
    Kuwaiti AF1 and AF1A Skyhawks were officially added to the Brazilian Navy's inventory.   Supporting infra-structure and aircraft maintenance programs were in place.   Training Brazilian Skyhawk pilots was conducted in both Argentina and the United States, the latter by Training Squadron Seven (VT-7) at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi.
    Prior to the decision to acquire the Kuwaiti aircraft, operation of fixed-wing assets in the Brazilian military had been the domain of the Brazilian Air Force.   Since purchase of Minas Gerais in 1956, Brazil's carrier aviation had been limited to helicopter operation.   The newly acquired Skyhawks represent the Brazilian Navy's first opportunity for fixed-wing aircraft carrier operations.

  • January 5, 2000:
    The Falcões AF1A (two seat) Skyhawk in permanent markings and colors is operational.

    AF-1 Falcões single seat

    AF-1a Falcões dual seat
    Operational color scheme and markings courtesy of "FCM Decals," a Brazilian decal manufacturer.
    Graphic by Valter Sousa Andrade.

  • May 26, 2000:
    Brazilian Navy VF-1, Falcões AF1 Skyhawk BuNo. N 1007 piloted by Lieutenant Jose Vicente de Alvarenga Filho, Brazilian Navy took off from São Pedro d'Aldeia Naval Air Base, Brazil.   This was the first solo flight of a VF-1, Falcões AF1 Skyhawk and the first fixed-wing flight by a Brazilian Naval Aviator since 1965.
    Lieutenant Jose Vicente de Alvarenga, Brazilian Navy is a native of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He is a 1990 graduate of the Brazilian Naval Academy where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering.   During advanced Strike Training with Training Squadron SEVEN, Meridian, Mississippi, he earned a United States Navy E for bombing accuracy.   Lieutenant Alvarenga carrier qualified September 30, 1999 in the TA-4J Skyhawk on board the United States Ship GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN-73).   Lieutenant Alvarenga was the last VT-7 Student Naval Aviator to trap in the TA-4J Douglas Skyhawk on a United States Ship.   He is also the last VT-7 Skyhawk Student Naval Aviator to be winged.   Lieutenant Alvarenga is now the first Brazilian Naval Aviator to fly solo in the AF1 Skyhawk.

  • September 11, 12 and 13, 2000:
    In the first sea period aboard Brazilian Navy Ship Minas Gerais, Brazilian Navy AF-1 Skyhawks N-1004, N-1006, N-1007, N-1008 and N-1012 conducted flight operations in the South Atlantic. Brazilian Navy Skyhawks were flown by:
    • Lieutenant Jose Alvarenga Brazilian Navy;
    • Lieutenant Marcos Araujo Brazilian Navy;
    • Lieutenant Fernando Villela, Brazilian Navy;
    • Lieutenant Commander Gustavo Vignale, Argentine Navy;
    • Lieutenant Craig Ziemba, United States Navy Reserves.
    • The LSO for the evolution was Commander Curt "Potsie" Francis, United States Navy retired.
    Official Brazilian Navy photos.

  • January 18, 2001:
    The first ever AF-1 Skyhawk N-1006 traps aboard Brazilian Navy Ship Minas Gerais A 11. After a little more than two years from purchase a Brazilian Navy Skyhawk and Brazilian Navy pilot succesfully catapulted and trapped from Minas Gerais during flight operations in the South Atlantic. This was the very first jet trap aboard Minas Gerais - click for story. AND Please see the photgraph album for more pictures. Official Brazilian Navy photos from Claudio Mello, Bill Sower and Rodrigo Bendoraytes.

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Award - - - - - - - - - Inclusive Dates:

Information for the Brazilian Navy VF-1 Falcões web page is provided by:
  • Valter Sousa Andrade.
  • Rodrigo Bendoraytes.
  • FCM Decals.
  • Rafael Pelizzon Ferreira
  • Captain Wynn Foster, United States Navy retired.
  • Fotodisk Multimidia.
  • Commander Curt Francis, United States Navy retired.
  • Harry S. Gann.
  • Ronaldo Lucas.
  • Lieutenant Commander Claudio Mello, Brazilian Navy.
  • Felipe Canto Miranda.
  • Brian K. Shaune.
  • Bill Sower.
  • Max Tollens.
  • Ronnie Whamond.

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