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S.208 of the Italian Air Force
Role Liaison and glider-towing aircraft
Manufacturer Aermacchi
Designer Alexander Brena
First flight 1965
Status Out of production In service
Primary users Aeronautica Militare
Tunisian Air Force
Produced 1966-1980
Number built approximately 620 S.205s and 120 S.208s
Variants SIAI-Marchetti S.210

The SIAI-Marchetti S.205 is an Italian four-seat, single-engine, light airplane, manufactured by Savoia-Marchetti. The S.205 made its maiden flight in 1965. The Italian Air Force employs a version called S.208.


The S.205 was the brainchild of the SIAI-Marchetti head designer Alexander Brena in 1964. Brena wanted to make a light, general-purpose aircraft, which led to the S.205. The aircraft was all-metal, low-winged, single-engined and provided space for four persons. Further development led into the S.208, which had a 260 hp engine, retractable landing gear, and 5 seats. Other planned, but never realized versions were the S.206 and S.210.

The first produced aircraft, the S.205-18F, flew in the February 1966 and deliveries began the following year. Production ceased in 1975, but between 1977 and 1980 a further 140 S.205-20Rs were produced to satisfy an order emitted from the Italian flying club AeroClub Italia.[citation needed]

Approximately 65 fuselages were transported to the United States, to be assembled in Syracuse, New York by the Waco Aircraft Company. Initially the aircraft was called WACO Sirrus (4 -seat) and later VELA S220 (5-seat),[citation needed] but with the death of Mr. Berger, the president of the company, the assembly of the S.205 came to a halt in the USA.

Operational historyEdit

The Italian Air Force acquired 45 aircraft for use as liaison, glider-towing, and training aircraft. 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 some fuel tanks. The first 4 delivered aircraft were S.205s, but were later converted into S.208s.

Two aircraft were also sold to Tunisia, who used them for pilot training.[1]


basic version, metal, single-engine four-seat airplane, the F version had a fixed undercarriage, while the R version had a retractable undercarriage. It was offered with three different engines:
S.205 F/R-18: Avco Lycoming O-360
S.205 F/R-20: Avco Lycoming IO-360-A1A
S.205 F/R-22: Franklin 6A-350C1
6-seat version, never realized
5-seat version with a 260 hp engine and a retractable undercarriage
military version for the Italian Air Force
agricultural version, also used as an aviation-ambulance.
twin-engine version.



The aircraft has been registered in some 27 countries in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Australia.


Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopia
Flag of Italy.svg Italy
Flag of Tunisia.svg Tunisia

Specifications (S.205-20/R)Edit

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1966–67[2]

General characteristics
  • Crew: Pilot and three passengers
  • Length: 8.00 m (26 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.86 m (35 ft 7½ in)
  • Height: 2.89 m (9 ft 5¾ in)
  • Wing area: 16.09 m² (173 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 7.04:1
  • Empty weight: 740 kg (1,630 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 1,250 kg (2,755 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Avco Lycoming IO-360-A1A air-cooled flat-four piston engine, 149 kW (200 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 280 km/h (151 knots, 174 mph) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 255 km/h
  • Stall speed: 87 km/h (47 knots ,54 mph) (flaps and gear down)
  • Range: 1,500 km (809 nmi, 930 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,380 m (17,650 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 4.4 m/s (865 ft/min)

See alsoEdit


  1. SIAI-Marchetti S 208
  2. Taylor 1966, pp. 100–101.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1966–67. London:Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1966.

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