About us
History

 
The present Alenia Aermacchi was formed on January 1, 2012 when the the various Finmeccanica aeronautics companies merged into a single corporate entity. Alenia Aermacchi is endowed with the rich heritage of almost 20,000 aircraft designed, built and maintained by its predecessor companies under famous names including Aeritalia, Alenia, Fiat, Macchi and Romeo.

The Aermacchi lineage dates to 1913. During the First World War, the Varese company built the fighters flown by the leading Italian aces and entered the seaplane business that eventually led to prestigious successes including the 1926 Schneider Trophy and the 1934 world speed record. Under Mario Castoldi, Macchi again excelled in fighters in the Second World War, with Macchi types accounting for one-fourth of total Italian aircraft production. After 1945 the company established a reputation as a leading manufacturer of trainers, including the jet trainers designed by Ermanno Bazzocchi. In 1997, Aermacchi acquired SIAI Marchetti, another famous name in aviation, and in 2003 it was in turn acquired by Finmeccanica.

The Alenia name was created in 1990, when Finmeccanica concentrated its defense and aerospace industries. The latter originated in the Turin area in 1916 with Pomilio and Ansaldo, which built the SVA reconnaissance biplane. The industry was consolidated by Fiat after the First World War. Under chief designers Celestino Rosatelli and Giuseppe Gabrielli, Fiat built some of the most iconic Italian designs including the CR.32 and CR.42 biplanes, the G.55 fighter and the G.91 family of light attack and trainer jets.

The Naples plants trace their history to Nicola Romeo. Widely remembered for his role in Alfa sports car business, in 1917 Romeo founded an airplane manufacturer in Naples. The company was later absorbed by Breda. Its Ro.41 biplane was the standard Italian advanced trainer throughout World War II. After the war it came under Finmeccanica as Aerfer and built the Sagittario II, the first Italian supersonic aircraft, designed by Sergio Stefanutti In 1966, it entered the aerostructures business producing DC-9 fuselage panels.

Aerfer and Fiat merged their aircraft businesses in 1969 to create Aeritalia. The concentration led to milestone programs such as the European attack aircraft Tornado, the ATR family and the AMX. Aeritalia was also a partner in the Boeing 767 since its inception and played a key role in the creation of the Italian space industry. Created in 1990, Alenia was immediately associated with Eurofighter and other advanced programs.

In 2002 Finmeccanica spun off its divisions as independent companies to create Alenia Aeronautica, and in 2003 it acquired Aermacchi. On January 1, 2012 all aeronautics companies were merged under the Alenia Aermacchi name.