The design of this Brazilian aircraft began with Frenchman Max Holste as IPD/PAR-6504 working in a team led by Ozires Silva at Centro Técnico de Aeronáutica. Intended as a light transport for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), three prototype YC-95 aircraft were built and the first flew on October 26, 1968.
The state company Embraer (Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA) was created in 1969 to manufacture the Bandeirante. The first production aircraft flew in August 1972.
The first aircraft entered airline service in April the following year. The Bandeirante ('Bandit') includes variants for 7, 12, 15 and 18 seat passenger versions, aerial photography, maritime patrol, convertible passenger-freight, and a 21-seat commuter.
The last Bandeirante was delivered in 1990 to the Brazilian air force, but the type has remained popular due to its reliability and economy.