This Marchetti was designed by Mr. Stelio Frati of Siai Marchetti (now owned by Alenia Aermacchi of Venegono, Italy). The IAC ordered ten of these machines in 1975 to replace the very capable D.H. Chipmunk T.MK22 and Hunting Provost T.MK 53 for elementary and basic training roles. These planes were well equipped as a light attack fighter and weapons trainer including either two 7.62 CPMG or two pods of 68mm SNEB rockets. It is flown from the right seat to facilitate jet transition training with a Hands-On-Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS) arrangement. After 24 years of steady service the SF260s were replaced by the Pilatus PC-9M.
The SF260 is both spirited and nimble owing to a well harmonized design, light weight (1783 lbs dry) and a Lycoming IO-540-D4A5 powerplant. Rolls are crisp and effortless with minimal rudder input, economy cruise is 155kts, fast cruise is 180kts, clean stall is 70kts and Vne dive speed is 235kts. N230AP is still in great shape with slightly more than 4000 hours on the frame (1300 hours since IRAN). It is particular good in turbulent weather and stiff cross-winds as a result of its high wing loading and 25kts demonstrated cross-wind component. It flies when most planes won’t!
We consider ourselves custodians and caretakers of this aircraft, being proud to maintain its heritage as an IAC trainer. Former IAC airmen are always welcomed to fly if we have the good fortune to cross paths. Blue skies to you and a tip of the hat to the Irish Air Corp for letting us fly your Warbird and for the many friendships that have been made as a result.
|Registration Number||Date of Manufacture|
|Light Attack Fighter & Trainer||Marchetti|
|Siai Marchetti SF260WE – Irish Air Corp.||27 ft.|
|Overall length:||Empty weight:|
|23 ft.||1783 lbs.|
|Gross weight:||Fuel capacity:|
|2867 lbs||62 US Gal.|
|Oil capacity||Engine type:|
|12 qts.||Lycoming IO540A4D5|
|Propeller type:||Max Speed|
|Hartzell 2 blade||235 Kts Vne|
|Rate of Climb||Cruise Speed|
|1800 fpm||180 kts.|
|Service Ceiling||Number of Crew|
|7.62 CPMG; 68mm SNEB rockets||2 wet hard points @ 660 lbs each|
|Number Built||Number Surviving|
|10 IAC models||6|
This aircraft is original in all respects including paint and avionics, with the exception of adding Bose ANR headsets, GAMI’s, and EGM and restoring the orange tips. An avionics upgrade is pending.
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