Professor Luigi Pascale, the founder, president and chief designer at Tecnam Aircraft, died March 14, 2017, after a brief illness. He was 93 years old.
Luigi “Gino” Pascale was a native of Naples, Italy, whose passion for aviation began during the 1930s. He and his brother Giovanni, won many model plane races.
The two brothers’ first full-sized aircraft, the P48 Astore, first flew on April 2, 1951.
At the time Pascale had just graduated with a Master’s 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 an assistant to Professor Umberto Nobile. Nobile was also an outstanding aviation character, undertaking the first expedition to North Pole with an airship.
Earning his pilot’s License is 1951, Pascale designed and built a number of competition winning race planes, including the P55 Tornado.
Founding PARTENAVIA in 1957, he began building general aviation planes. Aircraft such as the P64 Oscar and P66 became bestsellers and firm favorites as training aircraft and led to his P68 light twin design.
In 1986 the two Pascale brothers founded Tecnam, and Professor Pascale’s first design, the P92 has now flown 200,000 hours with over 2,500 in service worldwide.
With Partenavia and Tecnam, more than 7,000 aircraft have been delivered worldwide.
His last design, the Tecnam P2012 Traveller is being flight tested.
Pascale received numerous accolades and award,s including the Paul Tissandier diploma from Federation Aeronautique Internationale, the Aeroplano d’Argento and the Flieger Magazin Award. Last year Seconda Università of Naples (SUN) conferred on Pascale its highest accolade, an Honorary Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering.