Piaggio Developing Special Mission Avanti for Italy
Piaggio Aero Industries is developing a special version of the P.180 Avanti for the Italian air force intended for navaid flight inspections. Private firm Norwegian Special Mission will supply its Unifis 3000 inspection terminals for the reconfigured airplanes, due to enter service in 2010. Italy’s Aeronautica Militaire 14th Stormo is providing four Avantis from its fleet for upgrades with the flight inspection gear. The positioning system is described as a hybrid, using image processing from an onboard camera system integrated with an inertial reference unit and GPS receiver. That gives the operator the ability to calibrate without the need to land or rely on ground equipment. Piaggio said other governments are expressing interest in the special-mission version of the Avanti.