Aermacchi F-260

  • CountryItaly
  • TypeTwo seat trainer and high performance light aircraft
  • PowerplantsSF-260A & C - One 195kW (260hp) Lycoming O-540-E4A5 flat six piston engine driving a two blade constant speed prop.
  • PerformanceSF-260A - Max cruising speed 345km/h (186kt). Initial rate of climb 1770ft/min. Service ceiling 21,370ft. Range with max fuel 2050km (1107nm). SF-260C - Max speed 347km/h (187kt), max cruising speed 330km/h (178kt). Initial rate of climb 1790ft/min. Service ceiling 19,000ft. Max range 1490km (805nm).
  • WeightsSF-260A - Empty 700kg (1543lb), max takeoff (aerobatic) 1000kg (2205lb), max takeoff (utility) 1102kg (2430lb).
  • DimentionsSF-260A - Wing span over tip tanks 8.40m (27ft 7in), length 7.02m (23ft 0in), height 2.60m (8ft 6in). Wing area 10.1m2 (108.5sq ft). SF-260C - Wing span 8.35m (27ft 5in), length 7.10m (23ft 4in), height 2.41m (7ft 11in). Wing area 10.1m2 (108.7sq ft).
  • CapacityTypical seating for two side by side, plus rear seat capable of seating one adult or two small children.
  • ProductionOver 860 SF-260s have been built (750 by SIAI-Marchetti) of which approximately 170 built for civil customers.

The SIAI-Marchetti SF-260 is perhaps the most loved two seat trainer intended for military use. Designed by Stelio Frati, (an Italian who also designed many other popular aircrafts) and developed in the postwar era of the sixties, it did not sell in huge numbers.

Flown initially by the firm Aviamilano as F-250, it made use of 185kW (250hp) Lycoming O-540 powered engine until full acquisition of production by SIAI-Marchetti. Initially under license, SIAI-Marchetti undertook full responsibility for deployment of the aircraft. It was now flown on a 195kW (260hp) O-540 powered version.

The first aircrafts to be manufactured for civil use were the SF-260 and SF-260A. These were sold as the Waco Meteor in the US. However, by 1974, the SF-260B, an improved version designed for military use and featuring a stronger undercarriage, a redesigned wing leading edge and a taller fin replaced the models. A further increase in span wing led to the development of the SF260-C which later gave way to the E and F versions with military being the only customer.

The SF-260TP powered by a 260kW (350shp) Allison (now Rolls-Royce) 250-B17D turboprop is in production since the eighties but again only for military use. However, it was granted a civil certificate by Italy and may pave way for a civil version.

The SF-260’s civil version is a famed classic with its unique features being its clean aerodynamic lines, retractable undercarriage and a powerful engine.

Aermacchi acquired SIAI-Marchetti in 1997 but the aircraft is still sold as the F-260, with a relatively lower production rate fulfilled by military orders.

Pictures of Aermacchi F-260