Professore Luigi Pascale, founder and guiding spirit of general aviation manufacturer Tecnam, died on Tuesday at the age of 93.
Prof. Pascale was not only the founder of the company, but one of the most innovative aviation pioneers of this age, producing from his fertile mind not only the Tecnam range, but also the Partenavia P68C, ancestor of the current Vulcanair.
"It is with great sadness that we announce today the passing of my uncle prof. Luigi Pascale," said his nephew Paolo Pascale. "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 a native of Naples, Italy, whose passion for aviation began during the 1930s when he and his brother Giovanni “Nino” won many model plane races. The brothers' first aircraft, the P48 Astore, first flew on the 2 April 1951.
At the time the Professor Luigi had just graduated with a Master Degree as a Mechanical Engineer and started his career at the University of Naples as assistant of legendary Italian aviator Professor Umberto Nobile, the very same man who flew an airship to the North Pole.
Pascale founded Partenavia in 1957 and began building general aviation planes "for everyone". Aircraft such as the P64 Oscar and P66 became bestsellers and firm favorites as training aircraft, and led to his innovative 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.
At the time of his death, Prof. Pascale was still President and Chief Preliminary Design Officer at Tecnam. His final design, the 11-seat P2012 Traveller, is still in development.