Information Source :|
Below information are from : - Siai Marchetti S205 S208 Monografie Aeronautiche
Italiane by Claudio Tatangelo 1991, - Avio data 2 by Aviabooks sas 1991 - Hendrik Van Der Veen Siai Marchetti
www.siai-marchetti.nl web site, Siai
Marchetti documents -
Notes and memoirs from retired Siai Marchetti people
Short history of the project:
The S.205 was an effort of the SIAI Marchetti factory to enter the light
aircraft market, after the chaos of post war Europe. The S.205 is an early
1960"s design, by chief designer Alessandro Brena of SIAI Marchetti .
With the S205 project Siai Marchetti objective was to build an aircraft family
of light general purpose aircrafts, complimentary with the amphibian FN 333
Riviera and the two seater F250
by Stelio Frati (produced as SF260). The project
was driven by utility concepts as : low purchase and maintenance costs, strength
and solidity (honeycomb panels, load factor +3,8 -1,52) , wide and
The new family should have been an alternative to the North American general
aviation products in the 4 to 6 seater aircraft segment .
The S205 aircraft
low-winged, single-engined and provided space for four persons , available in the
fixed and retractable landing gear versions, powered with 180, 200 or 220 HP
engines. Further development led into the S.208 , which had a 260 hp engine,
retractable landing gear, and 5 seats. The S210
twin engine prototype first flew
on February 1970, a production batch of ten aircrafts fuselage were started, but
never completed due to the "bad" new company strategy.
Other planned, but never
realized version was the 6 seats single engine S.206 . The S202 "bravo"
seats trainer project, sold by Siai Marchetti to the Swiss company FFA in the
late 60s, has got a lot of communalities by the S205 platform.
In a way the S205 was an Italian
answer to the Piper Cherokee, only less successful mainly due to low further
developments and low marketing efforts .
The project started on November
1963, the prototype (S205 18F I-SIAK)
first flew the 4th of May 1965.
Deliveries of all versions 18F, 18R, 20F 20R and 22R begun the following year. The
first S208 prototype (I-SIAC)
flew on the 22nd of May 1967.
Production finished in the 1974 (S205) and 1975 (S208), but between 1978 and
1980 a further batch of 40 S205-20R were produced to satisfy an order issued by
the Italian flying club "AeroClub d"Italia" .
Approximately 65 fuselages were shipped to the United States, to be assembled in
Initially the aircraft was called WACO Sirrus (4 -seat) and later VELA S220
(5-seat) , but with the death of Mr. Berger, the president of the company, the
assembly of the next 65 S.205 batch came to a halt in the USA. Mr. Berger
had a project to assembly and sell the S210 twin engine under the "Nova" name,
who unfortunately never realized. S205 has FAA type certificate no A9EU.
Marchetti and S205/S208 facts and curiosities:
S205 first official presentation in june 1965 at Paris air
S205 assembly plants under license + maintenance services
in: USA (Waco) , South Africa (Patterson Aircraft) and Spain (Aisa)
Average monthly production 8-12 units, in the first 4
production years 390 S205/S208 were produced and delivered by the Italian
45 S208 produced for the Italian Air Force , liaison and
glider towing purposes. The military version, called S.208M, differed from
the civil version through its avionics, its two doors for the cockpit, the
possibility to mount a hook to tow the gliders and the lack of tips fuel
tanks. The first 4 delivered aircraft were S.205s, but were later converted
S208 produced for Tunisian (2) and Ethiopian Air Force (4 ?) , training and utility
Siai Marchetti Asmara maintenance center , Asmara flying school
(Ethiopia) , S205 20F
20 S208 sold to the Ethiopian airlines mainly for initial
training and aerotaxi services
Silvano Galli (Siai
Marchetti test pilot) from 1967 to 1970 opened 9 landing strips in Dahalac
archipelago on the red sea . "He sais , he used the S208 to carry people and
materials to build the new airfields, eradicate trees and plants from
the future runway with it" .
Siai Marchetti customer and training center for the European
nordic countries established in Charleroi-Gosselies (Belgium)
Siai Marchetti technical
assistance flying squad (servizio tecnico assistenza), they traveled to the
customer airport to assist you about product problems . During a
certain period I-SIAK was used for that .
Siai Marchetti established the "S-club" to sponsor training,
maintenance , exchange of experience and travels among pilots (several
formation flights were organized in the Mediterranean area and in the north
of Europe) .
Siai Telex , factory magazine
Siai Marchetti has a
smart marketing approach ,
1972 Roma-Tokyo commemorating the 1920 Ferrarin and Masiero
first European to Japan flight (pilot Panvini Rosati with S205 I-SJAB)
2001 Roma Tokyo formation flight ( S205: I-SJAB and I-VRST) Roma-Tokyo Raid Site link
In the 80s Siai Marchetti (bought by the Italian state)
stopped all general aviation production, except for the SF260, mainly to
honour the military requests
reduce production costs the vertical stabilizer is one half
of the horizontal stabilizer, just rotated in vertically
prototype was not stable at crusing speed, the chief engineer
did a quick and dirty fix just pulling the control cables, so if the nose
wheel was centered the tail was not and viceversa. Then it resulted
one of the most stable single engine piston aircaft and the quick fix
ended to be the final solution.