DescriptionThe SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 (now Leonardo SF-260) is an Italian light aircraft which has been commonly marketed as a military trainer and aerobatics aircraft.
The SF.260 was designed by Italian aircraft designer Stelio Frati, while production work originally performed by Milan-based aviation manufacturer Aviamilano. On 15 July 1964, the first prototype performed its maiden flight (then designated F.260). Shortly thereafter, responsibility for production was transferred to SIAI Marchetti, who had purchased the rights to the design; manufacturing continued to be performed by this firm until the company was bought by Aermacchi in 1997.
The SF.260 has been largely sold to military customers as a trainer and light combat aircraft. In addition, there have been limited civil sales to private operators; during the late 1960s, the type was marketed in the United States under the name Waco Meteor. Armed military versions, sold as the SF.260W Warrior, proved to be popular with smaller air forces, which could arm the type for use in the close air support role. Both piston-powered and turboprop-powered models have been developed.
The SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 is a low-mounted cantilever wing monoplane, complete with a retractable tricycle undercarriage. It has been often praised for its sleek lines and sporty aesthetic appearance, while maintaining function as well, possessing jet-like handling as a result. The construction is typically known for having a high level of worksmanship, while exterior is extensively flush-riveted to reduce drag, except for a few locations such as the flaps and some fairings. The SF.260 has a compact, dense structure which possesses ballistics similar to a jet aircraft, and is approved to perform aerobatic manoeuvres. In comparison to most single-engine aircraft, it possesses superior power loading and above average wing loading.
The pilot and up to two passengers (or pilot and one student in trainer versions) are accommodated under a broad, extensively glazed canopy. The pilot, who accesses the aircraft via purpose-built walkways along the wing, would be typically seated on the right-hand side of the cockpit; military pilots are trained to control the aircraft using their right hand on the stick and their left on the throttle.
For more details of the development, design, operational history and 17 variants, click here.
Specifications below are for the SF260M variant.
- Crew: 2 Capacity: 1 pax
- 7.1 m (23 ft 4 in)
- 8.35 m (27 ft 5 in) over tip-tanks
- 2.41 m (7 ft 11 in)
- Wing Area:
- 10.10 sq m (108.7 sq ft)
- Wing Loading:
- 119 kg/sq m (24 lb/sq ft)
- Empty Weight:
- 755 kg (1,664 lb)
- 1,200 kg (2,646 lb)
- Fuel Capacity:
- 235 l (62 US gal; 52 imp gal) usable ; maximum (armed variants) 395 l (104 US gal; 87 imp gal) usable
- 1 × Textron Lycoming O-540-E4A5 / Textron Lycoming AEIO-540-D4A5 6-cylinder air-cooled horizontally-opposed piston engine, 190 kW (260 hp)
- 436 km/h (271 mph, 235 kn) Maximum speed: 333 km/h (207 mph, 180 kn)
- Cruise Speed:
- 300 km/h (190 mph, 160 kn) at 75% power at 1,500 m (4,900 ft)
- Stall Speed:
- 137 km/h (85 mph, 74 kn) flaps and landing gear up 126 km/h (78 mph; 68 kn) flaps and landing gear down
- 1,650 km (1,030 mi, 890 nmi) 2 crew, with maximum internal fuel including tip-tanks
- Takeoff Dist.:
- 384 m (1,260 ft), to 15 m (49 ft): 606 m (1,988 ft)
- Landing Dist.:
- 345 m (1,132 ft), from 15 m (49 ft): 606 m (1,988 ft)
- Rate of Climb:
- 7.617 m/s (1,499.4 ft/min)
- Service Ceiling:
- 4,665 m (15,305 ft)