Aermacchi AM.3

The Aermacchi AM.3 was the result of a joint venture between Aermacchi and Aeritalia (then Aerfer Industrie Aerospaziali Meridionali) in response to an Italian Army requirement for an aircraft to replace the Cessna L-19, and was initially designated the MB-335.

Aermacchi AM.3
Class Aircraft
Type Utility
Manufacturer Aermacchi
Origin Italy
Country Name Origin Year
Italy 1967
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Rwanda View
South Africa 1973 1992 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Aermacchi View

The AM.3 used the wing design of the Aermacchi AL-60 utility aircraft, strengthened to incorporate two hardpoints. The fuselage was a new design.

The first prototype, constructed by Aermacchi, flew on 12 May 1967, and it was displayed at the Paris air show in June that year. The second prototype, constructed by AERFER, flew on 22 August 1968, but the aircraft lost the Italian Army contract to the SIAI Marchetti SM.1019. Nevertheless, Aeritalia continued development.

The third prototype used a more powerful Piaggio-built Lycoming GSO-480-B1B6 in place of the original Continental GTSIO-520-C, and this variant was designated AM.3C

Pilot and observer are accommodated in tandem positions, and the craft features dual controls. Aft space is utilitarian, providing space for two stretchers or seat space for additional passengers. Additional configurations include freight transport.

Armament configurations are diverse, as well. Two standard underwing pylons were able to carry 170 kg (375 lb) of stores each. Typical armament includes machine guns, rockets, bombs and missiles. Reconnaissance packs could be fitted to, or inside of, the fuselage. Additional pylons were often added by customers.

Role Observation aircraft
Manufacturer Aermacchi
First flight 12 May 1967
Introduction 1973
Retired 1992
Primary users South African Air Force

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two, pilot and observer
  • Length: 8.73 m (28 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.73 m (38 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 2.72 m (8 ft 11 in)
  • Empty weight: 1,080 kg (2,381 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 1,700 kg (3,748 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming GSO-480-B1B6 piston engine, 253.5 kW (340 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 278 km/h @ 2,440 m (173 mph @ 8,000 ft)
  • Range: 990 km (619 mi)
  • Power/mass: 170 W/kg (0.10 hp/lb)


  • Up to 2 machine gun pods
  • Two 170 kg (375 lb) bombs, or four 91 kg (200 lb) bombs
  • Up to 4 smoke-rocket pods

End notes