• Nov 19, 2007
Like their competitors, Ferrari uses advanced aerodynamics to keep their cars on the ground. But what if they flipped their technology upside down to create an aircraft? The result could very well be this, the Piaggio P180 Avanti II.

Beyond the usual correlation between the automotive and aeronautical industries – especially evident in six-figure sportscars and in formula motor racing – the ties between Piaggio Aero and Ferrari run far deeper. Piaggio, which sponsors the Scuderia, is chaired by Enzo's heir and company vice-chairman Piero Ferrari. The aircraft pictured is the one Ferrari uses to shuttle their executives and star drivers around Europe, if not the world, to unveil new cars, win grands prix and cut ribbons on everything from theme parks to retail stores. Interestingly, instead of jet propulsion, the Avanti II uses backwards-mounted turboprops. With a 450 mph top speed, it's the fastest turboprop in the world. It has a 1,800-mile range and 41,000-ft maximum cruising altitude but uses 30% less fuel than a comparable jet.

Of course this isn't the first time the prancing horse has appeared on an aircraft. The logo, legend has it, was emblazoned on the plane of Italian WWI flying ace Count Francesco Baracca, whose mother presented it to Enzo Ferrari after reportedly being impressed by his driving style while racing towards the checkered flag at the Salvio circuit in 1923. Whether the legend is true or not, the plane makes a more suitable canvas for the Ferrari logo than a Segway scooter.

[Source: Piaggio Aero via Luxurylaunches.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      Bob WIlliams
      • 7 Years Ago
      As a (thankfully) former Ferrari owner, I can tell you that I would NEVER fly in ANYTHING made by that company. It's the only car I've ever owned that has locked me out, suffered complete brake failure and been driven to the shop as often as to the mall.
      laiconna
      • 7 Years Ago
      This should be interesting. They already make a great muscle car, the plane should be just as competetive. For thos who can afford it, this should be great.
      http://www.blackplanet.com/laiconna
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines."
      --Enzo Ferrari



      • 7 Years Ago
      how is that the same?

      ps i found a cool car blog http://www.tengears.com
      James Peters
      • 7 Years Ago
      While a very novel concept, the canard design will never be viable in mainstream production. It is iheritely dangerous and cannot recover from a stall or flat spin. I doubt it could recover well from a power dive either. Neat looking but dangerous.
        James Peters
        • 7 Years Ago
        @James Peters
        Actually Canard is a design and not the small elevator placed at the front of the plane on this ill gotten design. Placing the elevators on the front spoils lift and efficiency of the main wing placed on the back. Why do you suppose that this design was abandoned by the earliest pioneers of flight? The first canard was the Wright Flier and it was a terrible design as is this one. The only reason it is able to be partly stable is because of byros and computer control. You will not see me in one for sure. Even hydroplanes (race boats) abandoned the canard design as inheritly dangerous because of instability. BTW Canard means Bastard and that's exactly what this design is.
        James Peters
        • 7 Years Ago
        @James Peters
        Sorry - GYRO
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is exactly the same as the Wright Flyer. A canard configuration describes having the elevators in front of the wing. This aircraft has it, so did the Wright Flyer.
      Edward Daly
      • 7 Years Ago
      And the Phoenix Suns win again
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, so I guess you've never seen the Wright Flyer before
      • 7 Years Ago
      If I remember correctly Beechcraft built an aircraft very similar to this about 20 yrs ago. I never saw one on the ground but occassionally one in the air on approach to the local airport,had a very distinctive sound.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Beechcraft Starship. It was like this, but even better looking and is about 20 years old now!

        http://www.bobscherer.com/Pages/Starship.htm

        The plane is amazing. It's sad there are so few around now.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Burt Rutan designed the Beech Starship in the mid '80's with certification in the late '80's. The plane wasn't commercially successful and was withdrawn from the market (most of the aircraft were leased).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beechcraft_Starship

        BTW - a Piaggio is based out of Buttonville airport in Richmond Hill (a northern suburb of Toronto). It has a very distinct sound which is easy to pick out as it passes overhead. Neat looking plane.

        "The P.180 makes a distinctive square wave noise when passing overhead, similar to the Beech Starship, due to wing wake and engine exhaust effects on the propeller. It is relatively noisy compared to most turboprop aircraft."

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piaggio_P180_Avanti
      • 7 Years Ago
      I thought the world record for fastest turboprop was held by the TU-95 Bear bomber? It lists a 575 MPH top speed.
        • 7 Years Ago
        They probably mean in current production or something. As far as I know, the TU isn't being made anymore. And yeah, it was friggin fast for a huge prop plane. And LOUD.
      Edwin Townsend
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have room for a RED one in the driveway !
      • 7 Years Ago
      I FEEL LIKE THIS LAME ARTICLE SHOULD BE IN SOME MECANICS MAGAZINE OR SOMETHING...AND IT LOOKS WAY TOO EXPENSIVE...JUST WHAT WE NEED WITH RISING GAS PRICES AND WAR FUNDING!!!
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