Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Thursday, December 26, 2013

EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2013: Piaggio P180 Avanti II

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo aircraft catch the eye like the Piaggio Aero P180 Avanti II.  The concept of a "beautiful" or "sexy" airplane has been redefined by the sleek lines of the Italian design.  The spaceship-like shape has been appearing at more airports in the U.S. thanks to aggressive sales efforts by Piaggio America, located in West Palm Beach, Florida.

MPA (Piaggio Aero graphic)
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 Avanti II airframe is also employed in military special missions as the Multirole Patrol Aircraft (MPA) in partnership with Abu Dhabi Autonomous System Investments.  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. 

Hammerhead (Piaggio Aero graphic)
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 2013 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:   

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