In 1951 some airclubs requested the Department of Aeronautics (Secretaría de Aeronáutica) that a two-seater, side by side sports glider should be built. Its development was assigned to the Instituto Aerotécnico (I.Ae.), in Cordoba. The design team was led by Professor Reimar Horten, who was a pioneer in the design of tailless flying wing planes. His project H.XVc was submitted to the Department of Aeronautics, and was assigned the denomination I.Ae.41 "Urubú" (meaning “owl” in mapudungun). Production at the FMA was limited to 5 planes, and the first flight was in 1953.
In September 1956, after a proposal from the “Dirección de Fomento de la Aviación Civil” (Civil Aviation Directorate), a crossing of the Andes Mountain Range (“Cordillera de los Andes”) with sailplanes was attempted. The gliders chosen were the I.Ae.41 Urubú, towed by a Morane-Saulnier, and a Slingsby Sky glider, towed by a Stearman. Pilots Hans Scheidhauer (Urubú) and Claudio Dori (Sky) flew from San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina) to Paraje Ensenada (Chile). The flight lasted 3 hours, crossing over: Cerro Otto, Cerro Catedral, the Tristeza branch of Nahuel Huapi lake, Puerto Blest, Cerro Tornador, Laguna Fría, Lanín Volcano, Cerro El Puntiagudo and Cerro Osorno.
The I.Ae 41 was a wooden aircraft, similar in general to the preceding I.Ae. 34 Clen Antú but with a spacious twin-seater side by side cockpit. Its design incorporated lessons learnt from its predecessor and it had improved aerodynamics, showing better handling in turbulent conditions. Its tandem landing gear had more efficient shock absorbers.