Happy Birthday Sky Arrow!

July 13, 2012

20 Years and it doesn’t show

The day was still very hot at 18:28 on July 13, 1992 on a field nearby Ponzano Romano, in the Tiber Valley, North of Rome.  Capt. Giuseppe “Beppe” Arcangeli firewalled the throttle and, after a few seconds,  the Sky Arrow took to the sky.  It looked that simple, but it had taken nearly 3 years of development to make it happen.  At that time the aircraft, designed in response to a tender from the Italian Ministry of Scientific Research,  featured a soon to be replaced all-metal cantilevered wing and an 80 hp Rotax 912 engine.  Yet, the Sky Arrow was –and surprisingly still is – a very original and advanced design, with a 100% composite airframe, pushing configuration, flexible sensorial loading capacity, side stick control and that “glider-style” wrap-around canopy well known and appreciated from the Sky Arrow community.

That uneventful first flight was witnessed by a small group of workers, who immediately celebrated the event with the “Iniziative Industriali Italiane” founder and president, Mr. Furio Lauri.  Lauri, who passed away in 2002, was an Italian WWII flying ace who, after the war, became a successful lawyer and entrepreneur.  Strongly visionary, back in 1947 he had founded “Meteor”, an aerospace company which soon specialized in unmanned aircraft  for reconnaissance and eventually merged into “Iniziative Industriali Italiane”.

Today we celebrate the 20th birthday of the Sky Arrow under the new owning and manufacturing company, Magnaghi Aeronautica.   We all hope that this step will mark the beginning of a new era for the Italian tandem seater.

Sky Arrow’s maiden flight, on July 13, 1992

Sky Arrow’s second flight, on July 13, 1992