The Aero Experience welcomes Air Associates of Missouri and Air Associates of Kansas as our sponsors for coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013 beginning later this month. In the meantime, we still have some interesting images from EAA AirVenture 2012 to share. Our first pick is the Piaggio P180 Avanti II, the spaceship-like, pusher turboprop 6-7 passenger executive, charter and special mission aircraft that stands out wherever it sits.
|By Fred Harl|
The northwest Italy-based Piaggio Aero Industries, whose slogan is aptly "Fly Different," has a long history in the aeronautics industry, dating back to 1915 when Rinaldo Piaggio added aero engines to his railroad projects. He and his sons expanded the business in later years to include Vespa scooters and aircraft, culminating in the P180 in 1990. The company also produces the P166 light utility aircraft and performs manufacturing and maintenance of aircraft engines. The newest program, the P1HH Hammerhead Unmanned Aerial System, is based on the Avanti II airframe and is designed to perform long-range patrol and electronic surveillance missions. Piaggio Aero Industries investors have included the Ferrari family, and currently include the Abu-Dhabi-based Mubadala Aerospace and the British Tata Ltd. Today, Piaggio America, based in West Palm Beach, Florida, handles U.S. sales and service for North American customers.
The P180 Avanti II (Avanti meaning "forward") arrived early in the week of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 and was displayed outside the Piaggio Aero tent. The sleek but roomy cabin design, combined with the pusher turboprop configuration, provides comfortable travel at 450mph for 1500 miles at 30,000 feet at much less cost than a comparable jet. Here is a walk-around tour of the Avanti II: