Procaer Picchio

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F.15 Picchio
Procaer Picchio Fisa F15A F-BULT.JPG
Procaer F.15A Picchio
Role Utility aircraft
National origin Italy
Manufacturer Procaer, General Avia, HOAC
Designer Stelio Frati
First flight 7 May 1959
Primary user Private Pilot owners
Number built c.50

The Procaer F.15 Picchio (Italian: "Woodpecker") is an Italian-designed light utility aircraft.

Design[edit]

The Picchio was developed in Italy in the late 1950s as a further development of Stelio Frati's Falco and Nibbio designs. Like its predecessors, the Picchio was a conventional low-wing cantilever monoplane of exceptionally clean lines, with retractable tricycle undercarriage. Early versions of the Picchio shared the same wooden construction as the earlier designs, but had a thin aluminium skin over the top of their plywood skins. The F.15E and F.15F, however, were all-metal.

Production[edit]

Production of the early, wooden Picchios was carried out by Procaer in Milan, but in the mid 1960s, Frati established General Avia as his own factory to build his designs, commencing with the F.15E. Only a few examples were built, however, and the design lay dormant until revived by an Austrian company, HOAC in the mid 1990s. HOAC arranged to have the two-seat F.15F model built at the JSC Sokol plant in Niznij Novgorod, but ran out of money, leaving Sokol with unsold airframes in various states of completion.

Operational history[edit]

The Picchio was primarily intended for operation by private pilot owners and the design was exported to several European countries as well as being purchased by Italian individuals. Several are still airworthy (2012).

Variants[edit]

Procaer F.15B Picchio at Milan Linate Airport in 1965
  • F.15B - similar to F.15A but with larger-span wings and fuel tanks relocated from fuselage to wings (20 built by Procaer)
  • F.15C - version with Continental IO-470 engine and tip tanks (1 built)
  • F.15D - proposed version similar to F.15B with Franklin engine (not built)
  • F.15E - all-metal version of F.15B with Continental IO-520K engine (1 built by General Avia)
  • F.15F Delfino - two-seat version of F.15E with bubble canopy (1 built by General Avia)


Specifications (F.15B)[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1961–62[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Capacity: 3 passengers
  • Length: 7.50 m (24 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.90 m (32 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 2.80 m (9 ft 2½ in)
  • Wing area: 13.30 m2 (143.2 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 695 kg (1,532 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,150 kg (2,535 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-360-A1A horizontally-opposed four-cylinder aircooled piston engine, 134 kW (180 hp) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 310 km/h (193 mph)
  • Cruising speed: 250 km/h (155 mph)
  • Range: 1,600 km (990 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 5,180 m (17,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 5.1 m/s (1,000 ft/min)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Taylor 1961, pp. 107–108.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 417. 
  • Taylor, John W. R. (1961). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1961–62. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company. 
  • Simpson, R. W. (1995). Airlife's General Aviation. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing.