SIAI Marchetti S.205 and S.208

The S.205 was an effort of the SIAI Marchetti factory to enter the light aircraft market, after the chaos of post war Europe. The S.205 is an early 1960's design, by chief designer Alessandro Brena of SIAI Marchetti. The concept was a basic airframe fitted with a range of engines and either fixed or retractable landing gear. In a way it was an Italian answer to the Piper Cherokee, only less successful. The prototype first flew in May 1965. With production finished in the 1970's. It has FAA type certificate no A9EU.
The S.205 is an all metal low wing, single engine, four seater. Although some are converted to five seaters by adding a fifth seat, despite weight limitations.


- S.205-18/F with 180 hp Lycoming O-360 engine, fixed landing gear; approved March 7, 1966

- S.205-18/R same as -18/F, but with retractable landing gear; approved June 7, 1966

- S.205-20/F with 200 hp Lycoming IO-360 engine, fixed landing gear; approved June 7, 1966

- S.205-20/R same as -20/F, but with retractable landing gear; approved June 7, 1966

- S.205-22/R with 220 hp Franklin 6A-350 engine, retractable landing gear; approved June 7, 1966

- S.208 same as -22/R only with 260 hp Lycoming O-540 engine; approved May 24, 1968

- S.208A same as S.208 except for increased weight; approved June 17, 1974

A number of S.205-22/R, S.208 aircraft were converted to five seaters.

PH-AIL converted in 1973 to S.208 standard

About 65 S.205-22/R airframes were shipped to the USA, to be assembled by WACO at Syracuse, New York.
Initially marketed as the WACO Sirrus, later renamed as VELA S220. After the death of Mr.Berger, at that time the driving force behind WACO and Franklin and Jacobs, no additional S.205's were assembled in the USA.

In June 2010, 50 S.205 and 1 S.208 were registrated in the USA, may be halve of them are in airworthy condition.

I have the following production figures give or take a few:

34 S.205-18/F
35 S.205-18/R
12 S.205-20/F
126 S.205-20/R
88 S.205-22/R
88 S.208
?? S.208A

So I think just under 400 aircraft (379 ?) were built, although I am missing some aircraft. Registrated in some 27 countries in Europe, Africa, the America's and Australia, and in service with the air forces of Italy, Tunisia and Ethiopia.

This is only a small story about the SIAI Marchetti S.205 and S.208 aircraft.

S.205-18 engine front

S.205-20 engine front

S.205-22 engine front

Franklin engine, 220 hp

Lycoming engine, 260 hp

inspection panel removed on left hand side of the fuselage

looking thru this hole in the fuselage, the construction number plate can be seen mounted to a bulkhead,
aft of the aircraft battery

right hand fuel tip tank

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update: 2 apr2023.hhvdv