Professor Luigi Pascale, who started two aircraft companies and designed many aircraft including the Tecnam range, died earlier today.
Tecnam Aircraft has announced that Professsor Pascale, its founder, president, and chief preliminary design officer, died unexpectedly after a brief illness.
“It is with great sadness that we announce today the passing of my uncle, Professor Luigi Pascale,” said Paolo Pascale, CEO of Tecnam.
“He was incredibly proud of Tecnam and all of its employees, and we will all miss him greatly. His drive to excellence, determination, can-do spirit and commitment to our company will inspire and stay with us always.”
Luigi ‘Gino’ Pascale was 93 years old and a native of Naples, Italy. His passion for aviation began during the 1930s when with his brother Giovanni ‘Nino’ they won many model plane races. The two brothers built their first aircraft, the P48 Astore, which flew on 2 April 1951.
At the time, Professor Luigi had just graduated with a Master Degree as a Mechanical Engineer (the Department of Aeronautical Engineering was created later by the Professor Pascale himself), and started his career at the University of Naples as assistant of Professor Umberto Nobile, an aviation pioneer who made the first expedition to North Pole with an airship.
Professor Pascale gained his pilot’s licence in 1951, and designed and built a number of competition winning race planes including the P55 Tornado.
He founded Partenavia in 1957 and began building General Aviation planes ‘for everyone’. Aircraft such as the P64 Oscar and P66 became best-sellers and firm favorites as training aircraft, and led to his innovative P68 light twin design.
In 1986 the two Pascale brothers founded Tecnam. Professor Pascale’s first Tecnam design, the P92, has now flown 200,000 hours with over 2,500 in service worldwide. Partenavia and Tecnam have delivered more than 7000 aircraft worldwide.
Professor Pascale’s last design, the Tecnam P2012 Traveller, is set to transform regional commercial aviation and is currently being flight tested.
Professor Pascale has received numerous accolades and awards including the ‘Paul Tissandier Diploma’ from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), the ‘Aeroplano d’Argento’ and the ‘Flieger Magazin’ Award. Last year Seconda Università of Naples (SUN) has conferred on Professor Luigi Pascale, its highest accolade, an Honorary Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering.