to the aircraft
of the Fokker-Team-Schorndorf
AERMACCHI MB 308
The Aermacchi MB 308 was originally designed back in 1938 as a tailgragger sports plane, having all-wood construction and a cantilever wing. Because of the outbreak of WWII, no serial production of this neat little "two-seater" plane was launched.
During WWII the company of Aeronautica Macchi at Varese in Italy was well known for their powerfull single-seat pursuit fighter planes with all-metal construction that fought in the mediteranian theatre and northern Africa where they were supported by the German Luftwaffe.
After the war ended the MB 308 was finaly put into production as a sports and travel airplane and was offered to the new Italian Airforce as a basic trainer. Its role as a military trainer was short-lived, however, and the MB 308 was used primarily as a dispatch plane.
The prototype of this airplane seen here made its maiden flight in January 1947. Its performance was very promising for an aircraft of this class.
The civil version was originally powered by the 60 HP engine built by the Italian company of CNA. Later Aermachi switched to the more powerfull and relatively easy-to-get engines built by Continental that became available in large numbers after the war. Later the power was increased to 85 HP and subsequently to even 90 HP.
Because of the clean aerodynamic lines and its cantilever single-spar wing, the plane successfully participated in many European flying circuits and races. Other versions included a three-seater and a seaplane on floats that have both been flown by several flying clubs around Europe.
Seaplane version of the MB 308 as used with several flying and boat clubs in Italy.
For races some of the planes have been modified to improve the aerodynamical behaviour of the plane.
In the middle of the fifties several companies enquired for license contracts at Aermacchi in Varese. Among others there was the company of SIEBEL in Germany and the company of GERMAN BIANCO in Argentinia. While at GERMAN BIANCO licensed production was soon established and started, negotiations with SIEBEL in Germany failed. But during these negotiations, the aircraft was certified in Germany and issued data sheet No. 700 ( Gerätekennblatt Nr. 700 ).
The plane proved to be good and sporty, with gentle flying characteristics.Although production was relatively simple, because of its all wood construction, it did not compete in the marketplace against the metallized airplanes from the United States Of America.
Production of licensed aircraft took place at GERMAN BIANCO of Argentinia, while negotiations with the German company of SIEBEL failed. In the course of these negotiations however, this photograph was taken that shows the plane carrying the Siebel company name.
The company test pilot of GERMAN BIANCO used to demonstrate the performance of the plane to good advantage.
The MB 308 TODAY:
Today there are not many of these planes around. Here we see a gathering of some of them.
Of those planes that still fly today, the one owned and flown by Andrea Rosetto of Italy should be mentioned foremost. Andrea is the head of Italy´s Historical Aircraft Group of Italy and restored in 1 1/2 years of hard work to restore the MB 308 that formerly was also owned by German WWI fighter ace and pioneer pilot Hans Bertram. He brought the plane back to the stage as it was used with the Italian newsreal company INCOM.
I-NCOM, that was flown in the meantime as D-EJUP and then D-EJCH in Germany, now is reborn as it was flown after the war in Italy by the newsreal company INCOM for aerial filming.
Contemporary shot of I-NCOM. It is the 74th built plane of that type.
The oldest MB 308 that is still flying belongs to the Fokker-Team-Schondorf, piloted by Achim Engels. The plane is the 10th of this type built in early 1948 and the only one that has an almost complete set of the original equipment found in the early serial production run. Worthy of special note here is the lack of all electrical equipment. No position lights, no beacons, no starter.... Another exceptional feature about this MB 308 is the use of remains of instruments from the production of fighters during WWII, including an ASI of 450 km/hr! The only modifications that have been made are the installation of a radio, and the modernization of the original oil temperature gauge, which occured at some point in its history. The plane elsewise has even its original fabric on that it was covered with 60 years ago. Yes, it was tested and still is in airworthy condition.
Disassembly of the plane before it is transported over the Alps by road.
Upon arrival, the entire family starts immediately to clean the plane from the dust that accumulated during the travel.
A proud new owner, Achim Engels, just before one of the very first starts. Inspection and certification of the plane in Germany under the new callsign D-EAZA was carried out in Germany by the LTB Sammet at Heubach Airfield.
The 62 year old engine runs perfectly smooth.
Kurt Helesic - our photographer - and Achim Engels high above the valley of the river Rems.
Some impressions of our 61 year old Diva.
We also love to visit small airshows, such as this one at Hirzenhain. Look at the background" Famous "OLD CROW" stands besides our MB 308.
Refueling in the field The man helping is Lothar Pierburg of historic-aircraft-portraits.
Always exciting - and for some among the crowd unbelievable -, why and how such a "modern" plane is hand started. But -as previously stated - no electrical components!!! This is a great advantage, in that there is no starter that can break.
Some clips of videos showing the airplane:
You may also search for "Aermacchi MB 308" on www.YouTube.com
All air to air shots shown on this side have been taken by Kurt Helesic. As a photo plattform another rare vintage plane was used:
Marco Scheuerlein and his SF 23 "Sperling" of 1959.
Achim Sven Engels
73547 Lorch - Germany
Tel. ++49 7172 915577