SIAI-Marchetti intended that this series of four seat light aircraft would provide it with a re-entry into the GA market.
When SIAI-Marchetti began work on the S-205, a modern four seat light aircraft design, in the mid '60s, the company intended to develop a series of aircraft with various powerplant and other options, such as retractable undercarriage and constant speed propellers. To this end the company was modestly successful, with several hundred S-205s and larger S-208s built, with most sold to European customers.
The first of three S-205 prototypes flew for the first time during 1965. This initial aircraft was powered by a 135kW (180hp) Lycoming O-360 and featured a fixed undercarriage. In production it became the S-205-18F (18 for 180hp, F for fixed undercarriage). The first production S-205-18F flew in February 1966 and deliveries commenced later that year. The model lineup was expanded to include the 150kW (200hp) fuel injected IO-360 powered and higher max takeoff weight S-205-20F, and the retractable undercarriage S-205-18R and S-205-20R. The most powerful member of the S-205 family was the S-205-22R. This aircraft was powered by a 165kW (220hp) Franklin 6A-350-C1 flat six and was also assembled in the USA by Waco as the four seat S-220 Sirius and five seat S-220-5 Vela.
Production of the S-205 initially ceased in 1975, although SIAI-Marchetti returned the S-205-20R to production from 1977 until 1980 to meet an order for 140 for the Italian Aero Club.
The S-208 is based on the S-205 but has a larger cabin with seating for five. First flown in 1968, it is powered by a 195kW (260hp) Lycoming O-540 and has retractable undercarriage, a third cabin window per side, optional tip tanks and strengthened structure. Deliveries commenced in 1968, and 44 were built for the Italian air force as S-208M. Production closed in 1975 and then resumed in 1977 alongside the S-205-20R until finally ceasing in 1980.
International Directory of Civil Aircraft
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