Piaggio Douglas PD-808

Technical Specifications
Name : PD-808
Family : Executive Jet
Manufacturer : IAM Rinaldo Piaggio
Nation : Italy
Production Year : 1964
Length : 12.85 m
Span : 13.20 m
Height : 4.80 m
Wing Area : 20.90 m²
Empty : 4830 kg
Maximum Take-off :  8165 kg
2 Rolls Royce (Piaggio) Viper 526 Turbojet
2 x 1967 kg Thrust
Maximum Speed : 852 km/h
Range : 2128 km

The Piaggio PD-808 is an Italian business jet built by Costruzioni Aeronautiche e Meccaniche Rinaldo Piaggio (now Piaggio Aero Industries) of Genoa. It was designed as a joint venture between Piaggio and Douglas Aircraft of Long Beach, CA signed in 1961. The agreement stated that Piaggio would develop the civil versions of the aircraft and Douglas the military versions.
Originally named PD-808 “Vespa Jet” (from the renowned scooter produced by Piaggio) the basic design work was carried out by Douglas and the prototype was built at the Piaggio factory of Finale Ligure.
The PD-808 is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with tip-tanks, originally powered by two rear-mounted Bristol Siddeley (later Rolls-Royce) Viper 525 turbojets. It has a retractable tricycle landing gear and a cabin for two pilots and six-passengers.
The first Viper 525 powered prototype (with Military Serial MM577) first flew on 29 August 1964, this was followed by a second Viper 525 powered prototype MM578 and two more civil demonstrators I-PIAI c/n 503 and I-PIAL c/n 504 powered by Viper 526 more powerful engines.
The company tried to raise interest from commercial operators (including offering a General Electric CJ-610 engine variant) with no success. In 1967 the merger between Douglas and McDonnell ended the cooperation with Piaggio and unfortunately too, on 18 June 1968 one of the demonstration aircraft I-PIAI crashed in bad-weather when it flew into the side of Mount Jaizkibel, near San Sebastian, Spain, killing all six on-board including the Italian businessman Lino Zanussi. The commercial destiny of the Vespa Jet was over.
The only interest was from the Italian Air Force, which placed an order for 20 aircraft (plus the two prototypes) powered by Viper 526 turbojets for VIP, training, ILS calibration and EW roles. They served till May 2003.
The PD-808 of Volandia is the fourth prototype n/c 504 which bore the civil registration I-PIAL and for many years was used by Piaggio as company executive plane, till its retirement at the end of the Eighties. Later it was used as source of spare parts for the ItAF fleet and then preserved inside the Genoa factory envisaging to turn it into a gate guardian. This project never became reality, so the PD-808 was presented by Piaggio Aero Industries to Volandia in 2017 and here exhibited in September 2020 after restoration into its original colours and markings.

kids & family
Simulator area
Pic-Nic Area

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