Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Falco's Aeronautical Legacy

F30 Italian sport plane: Aluminum version of Falco

Who is Stelio Frati?

He's a Milanese-born mechanical engineer and free-lance aeronautical designer who possesses a revered reputation among airplane enthusiasts as great as Enzo Ferrari has for race car aficionados.

Frati is best remembered for designing in the 1950 and 60s an aerobatical, hand-crafted, wooden plane (yes, wooden) plane called the Falco. He mastered the art of civil utility aircraft design. His two most famous were the F8L and SF260 (SIAI Marchetti).

The latter being a ground-breaking, three-seater fighter-training plane used all over the world breaking many speed world records along the way.

In addition, the Falco is considered to be the best-handling plane to ever grace the sky.

The elegant F8L (C-90 engine) , for its part, was virtually unbeatable in its racing class.

To be sure, the Falcos weren't the only planes he designed. Earlier in his career he designed, to name but a couple, the FM1 Passero (which was more of a glider with a top speed of 94mph),F4 Rondone and the two-seat monoplane General Avia F22. A plane used by the Dutch aerobatic display team.

Frati founded General Avia company in 1970.


In other aeronautical related info:

Aerobatic group flying in Italy.

The Fiat CR42:

From wiki: "The Fiat CR.42 was the last of the Fiat biplane fighters to enter front line service as a fighter, and represented the epitome of the type. RAF Intelligence praised its exceptional manoeuvrability, further noting that "the plane was immensely strong."

Only four are known to be still in existence.

Is there anything FIAT hasn't built?

Fix It Again Tony was a popular joke but no one can dispute FIAT's engineeting and design heritage. It does have a record of excellence.

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