In aviation circles, the span of time between the two World Wars is remembered as the Golden Age. A global race to speed, range and performance records pushed the limits of technology and pegged countries and manufactures against each other. It was a great run for Italian engineering too, culminating with the 1934 Schneider Trophy speed record that Francesco Agello established on a Macchi MC 72. His 709 km/h (440 mph) remains the fastest speed ever attained by a piston engine seaplane.
As an an aeronautical engineer, I was very excited to learn that, on June 12, 2009, Maurizio Cheli established another speed record and aviation milestone on an Italian built craft. Continue reading