Bob Pond, who owns the first production Piaggio P.180 Avanti, has ordered a new Avanti II to replace it. He plans to add the superseded airplane to the 25-plus aircraft in the Palm Springs Air Museum in California, which he founded in 1996 after retiring as CEO of Advance Machine Co.
Pond flew in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and the museum houses his collection of aircraft from that conflict, including a P-51 Mustang, a P-38 Lightning, a B-17 bomber and a P-40 Warhawk. Pond still flies them and has logged more than 22,000 hours in over 60 years of flying. “I really like the Piaggio P.180; it has served us well,” Pond said. “My wife is Italian, so this airplane holds special meaning for us. We’re looking forward to flying together in our new Avanti II.”