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The SIAI-Marchetti S.205 was designed in 1964 as a light general-purpose aircraft made of metal with a single engine and space for four people. A larger version was developed with a more powerful engine and landing gear with space for an extra passenger, this version was called the S.208. In total 620 S.205s and 120 S.208s were built before production ended in 1980. The civilian version of the aircraft has been used in over 27 nations yet only 3 militaries acquired it as a basic trainer.
Italy acquired a militarised version of the S.208 called the S.208M by SIAI-Marchetti but known by the Italian Air Force as the U.208M. The type differs from civilian S.208s through different avionics, less fuel and double cockpit doors. The U.208 also has the capability to be used as a glider tug.
The Italian Air Force will be sending a pair of U.208s for static display at this year's Air Tattoo as part of our celebration of their centenary. Both aircraft have been painted in a very bright colour scheme to celebrate the anniversary and are being provided by 60° Stormo from Guidonia near Rome. Photo Credit: Marco Papa