Piaggio PD.808

The Piaggio PD.808 was an Italian business jet built by Piaggio. It was designed as a joint venture between Piaggio and Douglas Aircraft Company of Long Beach, California, United States.[2]

The prototype Piaggio PD.808 at the 1966 Hanover Air Show wearing Italian Air Force markings
Role Business & military jet
Manufacturer Piaggio Aero
Designer Douglas Aircraft Company
First flight 29 August 1964
Introduction November 1966
Primary user Italian Air Force
Number built 24
Unit cost
$350,000-$400,000 in 1961[1]

Design and development

Originally named the PD.808 Vespa Jet the business jet was designed in a joint venture between Piaggio and the Douglas Aircraft Company.[2] The basic design work was carried out by Douglas and the prototype was built at the Piaggio factory at Finale Ligure.[3]

The PD.808 was a low-wing cantilever cabin-monoplane with tip-tanks and powered by two rear-mounted Bristol Siddeley Viper 525 turbojets. It has retractable tricycle landing gear and was originally designed with a cabin for a pilot and six-passengers.[2]

The first Viper 525-powered prototype (with Italian Serial Number MM577) first flew on 29 August 1965, this was followed by a second Viper 525 powered prototype and two civil demonstrators.[3]

The company tried to interest commercial operators (including offering a General Electric CJ-610 variant) the only interest was from the Italian Air Force as a liaison, training and radar calibration aircraft with an order for 25.[3] The Italian Air Force aircraft were powered by Viper 526 turbojets.[4]


  • PD-808VIP: VIP transport.
  • PD-808TA: navigation trainer.
  • PD-808RM (radiomisure): radio calibration, four-built
  • PD-808GE (guerra elettronica): aircraft modified for Electronic warfare, PD-808GE1 entered service in 1972, the PD-808GE2 in 1977.
  • PD-808TF: Proposed turbofan-powered version. Not built.



Accidents and incidents

On 18 June 1968 one of the demonstration aircraft I-PIAI crashed in bad-weather when it flew into the side of Mount Jaizkibel, near San Sebastian, Spain, all six on-board including the Italian-business Lino Zanussi and the Piaggio chief test pilot Davide Albertazzi were killed.[6]

Aircraft on display

  • MM62015 – PD-808GE on static display in Lucca, Tuscany. It was previously operated by the Italian Air Force.[7]

Specifications (PD.808)

Data from ,[8] Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide[9]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1/2
  • Capacity: 6-10 pax
  • Length: 12.85 m (42 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 13.2 m (43 ft 4 in) over tip tanks
  • Height: 4.8 m (15 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 20.9 m2 (225 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 6.25
  • Airfoil: root:DES 0010-1·1-40/11° (modified) ;DES 0008-1·1-40/9° (modified)
  • Empty weight: 4,830 kg (10,648 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 8,165 kg (18,001 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 1,935 l (511 US gal; 426 imp gal) in wing integral tanks plus 1,792 l (473 US gal; 394 imp gal) in 2 wing-tip tanks
  • Powerplant: 2 × Rolls Royce Viper Mk526 turbojet engines at 3,330lb/f each


  • Maximum speed: 852 km/h (529 mph, 460 kn) at 5,945 m (19,505 ft)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.85
  • Cruise speed: 722 km/h (449 mph, 390 kn) at 1,250 m (4,100 ft)
  • Stall speed: 167 km/h (104 mph, 90 kn) at 5,902 kg (13,012 lb) landing weight
  • Never exceed speed: 788 km/h (490 mph, 425 kn) (0.85M above 4,260 m (13,980 ft))
  • Range: 2,128 km (1,322 mi, 1,149 nmi) with max fuel, 381 kg (840 lb) payload and 45 min fuel reserve
  • Service ceiling: 13,715 m (44,997 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 27.5 m/s (5,410 ft/min) at sea level and 7,176 kg (15,820 lb)
  • Wing loading: 390.6 kg/m2 (80.0 lb/sq ft)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.0036 kN/kg (0.37 lbf/lb)


  1. Sweeney, Richard L. (August 1961). "Douglas Aircraft Wings for Transport Supersonic and Space". Flying Magazine. Chicago, Ill.: Ziff-Davis Pub. Co. p. 24.
  2. "Vespa-Jet". Flight International. 8 March 1962. p. 367.
  3. Simpson 1991, pp. 232-233
  4. "Vespa-Jet" (PDF). Flight International. 8 August 1968. p. 367.
  5. "Piaggio PD.808" Aeronautica Italiana
  6. "PD-808 Crash" (PDF). Flight International. 4 July 1968. p. 27.
  7. "Airframe Dossier - DouglasPD-808, s/n MM62015 AMI, c/r I-PIAY". Aerial Visuals. AerialVisuals.ca. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  8. Taylor, John W.R., ed. (1975). Jane's all the world's aircraft, 1975-76 (66th annual ed.). New York: Franklin Watts Inc. pp. 137–138. ISBN 978-0531032503.
  9. Rendall, David (1995). Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide. Glasgow, UK: HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 505. ISBN 0-00-470980-2.

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