Thursday 8 July 2010

Answer to Question Time #104

There have been some very interesting answers to Question Time #104. Thanks to all who have commented.

Most of the respondents correctly identified I-AHDF as a Macchi MB 308, but no-one identified where the photo was taken. I understand that the photo was taken at Paraparaumu in the late 1990's.

The Macchi MB 308 was an all wooden sport aircraft that was manufactured in Italy from the late 1940's onwards. It was powered by a Continental C-85 motor and had an maximum all up weight of 642 Kg, which makes it quite close to a modern microlight. The MB 308 was one of the most prolific aircraft manufactured in Italy in the 1950's and many examples were used by Italian Aero Clubs.

I-AHDF (c/n 79/5852) was delivered on 21/11/47 to Marchese Francesco di Francia of Palermo (what a cool name!). It then went to the Italian Aero Club of Rome on 19/11/62, and then to Felice di Napoli, also of Rome on 27/12/92.

This leads to the New Zealand connection as Felice di Napoli imported it into New Zealand in the 1990's. Felice flew it as I-AHDF in New Zealand for some time before registering it as ZK-MDF to Sky Arrow NZ Ltd on 1/10/98 (Felice was also the importer of New Zealand's 3 Sky Arrows). ZK-MDF was registered to General Avia South Ltd in 10/99 and was cancelled on 17/9/02 as exported. Can anyone supply a better photo of ZK-MDF than the above which I copied off the internet?

The aircraft then turned up in Australia and and thanks to Matt we know that it had the registration VH-MBZ reserved for a while (in the link below). But it eventually was restored on the Australian microlight register as 24-5431 (the 24 signifies that is is a factory built aircraft). It flew again in Australia on 17/8/08, at Serpentine Airfield, WA. There is an interesting link to the aircraft at

I am afraid that I cannot award a chocolate fish for the first set of answers because no-one identified the location. However QW wins a chocolate fish for correctly advising where I-AHDF is now. Thanks for this, we have been able to add some more information to this interesting aircraft that was here for a while in New Zealand. If QW contacts Blue Bus on the email address in the Blog header I will see about delivering the chockie fish.


  1. 2 Questions in a row now. Email will be sent soon.

  2. I'm a bit late but I have a memory of this machine appearing in Classic Wings Downunder magazine and that it was based at Hood Aerodrome, so may I suggest that's where the photo was taken?