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The SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 was developed by Italy in the early 1960s as a light aircraft and has found favour with a number of militaries as a trainer with aerobatic capabilities. Currently in service with 20 militaries around the world, over 870 SF.260s have been produced to date. The SF.260 has been produced in both piston and turboprop versions with a number of retired examples finding their way in to civilian ownership. The type has appeared on film on numerous occasions having appeared in BBC's Top Gear and most notably an SF.260 is used to "shoot down" James Bond's Dakota in 2008's Quantum of Solace.
The Italian Air Force operated a fleet of 46 SF-260AM as their primary trainer since 1976. These aircraft have now been replaced by brand new modernised SF-260s designated as the F.260EA by Leonardo. The final SF-260AM was retired at Latina AB in 2007 when F.260EA deliveries completed.
A single SF-260AM will be appearing on static display at this year's Air Tattoo as part of our celebration of the Italian Air Force centenary.
Photo Credit: Luigino Caliaro