The Partenavia P.68 is an Italian six-seat, twin-engined, high-wing monoplane built by Partenavia and later Vulcanair. Designed by Professor Luigi Pascale and originally put into production in 1972 and intended for private or business use but has also seen use as both a training and a transport aircraft. Originally named the Victor, although this name was not used for production aircraft. The P.68 Observer, which was an Italian/German development, has a transparent nose for use in police work and observation duties.
First flown on the 25 May 1970, the prototype P.68 was built at Arzano, Italy. Powered by two 200hp (149 kW) Lycoming I0-360 piston engines. Production of the P.68 started in 1972 at new facilities at Casoria with 14 pre-production aircraft. These were followed in 1974 by the P.68B with the fuselage lengthened by 6in (15.2 cm) to create more space in the cockpit. It was superseded in 1979 by the P.68C which had a lengthened nose to accommodate a weather radar. A turbocharged version (the P.68C-TC) was available in 1980. The type licence was obtained by Vulcanair and the P.68C is still in production by them.
With the help of Aeritalia development began of a nine-seat turboprop version, the first aircraft (an AP.68TP) first flew in 1978 using Allison 250 turboprops . Although the prototype had retractable undercarriage, production aircraft (named the Spartacus) had a fixed undercarriage. Later, a retractable undercarriage version was built as the Viator.
The German company Sportavia-Putzer modified the P.68 by replacing the nose section with a transparent structure, marketing it as an observation aircraft for law enforcement. Initially, Observers were simply conversions of existing aircraft, but later, they were entirely new aircraft built by Partenavia.
Published - July 2009
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