Embraer EMB121 Xingu

Using the knowledge gained with the development of the Bandeirante the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer created a twin turboprop business and air taxi aircraft. This model EMB121 Xingu has the wings and engine nacelles of the EMB110 mated with a new fuselage and T-tail. The result is a rather squatty looking aircraft. Other characteristics are single wheels on all landing gear legs, squared off rectangular cabin windows and a ventral fin.

The Brazilian air force was one of the first customers of the Xingu. They gave it designation VU-9.

Different versions

The different versions of the Xingu are only recognised by the number of blades on the props.

EMB121A, EMB121AA & EMB121AN

The EMB121A was the first production version, which has three bladed props. The French air force and navy were a major customer of this variant, which were designated EMB121AA and EMB121AN respectively. They are based on the EMB121A, but custom-made for the Armée de l' Air and Aéronavale.

An EMB121AN of the French navy. Note the three-bladed propellers.


The second version has uprated engines which drive four bladed propellers, which is thus the way to recognise it.

The props with four blades makes this an EMB121A1.

The Brazilian Xingus were originally built as EMB121A, but later updated to EMB121A1. The designation remained VU-9.

Confusion possible with

Beech F90 King Air

beech f90 1

The Xingu is similar in appearance to the T-tailed King Air models, all with a T-tail, low wings and two turboprops in the wings. Especially the King Air F90 could be a source for confusion as it has about the same size as the Xingu. However, cockpit and cabin windows are different and the main landing gears each have two wheels compared with one on the EMB121.

Piper PA-42 Cheyenne III

pa 42 720

Some Piper Cheyenne versions also got a T-tail, making them more similar in appearance as the Xingu. However the PA-42 is easily distinguished from the Embraer by the large rectangular cabin windows.