Today in History – May 19, 1958 – Aerfer Sagittario 2, 1st Italian prototype fighter to break the sound barrier in controlled flight

19 May 1958 – “The Aerfer Sagittario 2 (Italian for Sagittarius) was a prototype all-metal single-seat lightweight fighter aircraft built in Italy by Aerfer, intended to serve as an interceptor or light tactical support aircraft.

First flown in 1956, it became the first Italian aircraft to break the sound barrier in controlled flight when it reached Mach 1.1 during a dive from 13,725 m (45,000 ft).

The Sagittario 2 was based on the earlier Sagittario, which was itself a development of the S.7 piston-engined training aircraft that went into service with the Italian Air Force in small numbers.

A small all-metal aircraft, the Sagittario 2 had its jet engine mounted in the nose, with the exhaust underneath the mid-fuselage. The wing and tail surfaces were highly swept. The cockpit was moved forward of its position on the Sagittario’s predecessors and equipped with a bubble canopy. A tricycle undercarriage was fitted, with the nose gear retracting under the engine.

Development continued as the Ariete.”(1)

Source: (1) Wikipedia

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