My Favorite Airplanes: Piaggio P.180 Avanti

Piaggio P.180

I’ve always had a love for airplanes so here is the start of my favorites collection.  This is the Piaggio P.180 Avanti from Italy.  It’s a pusher prop design with 3 lifting surfaces including forward canards.  The design offers near jet performance with turboprop efficiency – it’s also the world’s fastest turboprop business aircraft.  The usual ‘flying tube’ aircraft body has been replaced with an unconventional, non-cylindrical, low drag fuselage giving the airplane a catfish-like appearance. Unlike the equally attractive composite Beech Starstip, the Avanti is fabricated from more conventional aluminum.  Even on the ground, this airplane has a beautifully fluid appearance. And when the recent Miami Vice movie needed a stylish airplane – it was the Avanti that the drug lords traveled in! The airplane also has a very distinctive sound.  Last summer, I heard a loud airplane overhead that sounded different – more of a ‘barking’ in the noise.  I looked up and it was an Avanti cruising overhead. I later learned that the pusher prop design lends itself to this unique sound – not surprising given an airplane that is unique in so many ways. If you live in the Michigan area, Flagship Private Air operates a P.180 out of Ann Arbor. So if you are looking to fly in this amazing airplane, here is your chance!avanti