Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

Italian Cessna Bird Dog

I noticed this advert today, claiming that the plane was stored in Italy for over 50 years before assembly. Anybody know if this was an isolated incident? I have seen similar situations with military motorcycles in Europe, and it makes one wonder if there were more e.g. unused Cubs etc that may have come to light over time.

local copy 1
local copy 2

Maybe it was stored with the Burmese Spitfires? I doubt Italy would have kept it in a box for that long without the box disappearing. If anything, remaining stateside in a box is more credible. The pictures are taken in the US (not that it means much).


There are analogous and well known cases with Italian military motorcycles, sold off new in the last 20 years, and that’s what makes this more credible to me. In those cases the Government ordered more than they needed, presumably to support industry. In the Bird Dog case I’d guess that as with Aeronautica Militare Piper Cubs they were supplied nearly free of charge to the Italians and they might have taken all they could get, regardless of need.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 10 Dec 20:29

The Italians bought (& paid) 44 of them in the early 60es, all serving with the Army’s Aviazione Leggera from day one. Considering they even used some airframes to put together the SM1019 prototypes, I highly doubt one spent 30 years “not assembled in a container”.

Last Edited by T28 at 10 Dec 21:26

T28 wrote:

all serving with the Army’s Aviazione Leggera

That’s correct, they were Italian Army, not Air Force.

Bird Dogs were in production from 1950 to 1959, not counting the new ones made from parts in the last few years. A guy local to me had one of those, a very nice plane similar to what he flew in the USAF, and recently sold.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 10 Dec 22:09

Turns out they’re pretty well inventoried.

2955 (c/n 305M-0001) to Italian Army as MM61-2955, later EI-39. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0001, became I-EIAU.

2958 (c/n 305M-0004) to Italian Army as MM61-2958, later EI-19. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0004. Became I-EIAV.

2959 (c/n 305M-0005) to Italian Army as MM61-2959, later EI-24. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0005. Became I-EIAJ

2960 (c/n 305M-0006) to Italian Army as MM61-2960, later EI-30. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0006, became I-EIAN.

2961 (c/n 305M-0007) to MM61-2961 Italian Army as EI-22, later became N3234K, and later N305SU.

2962 (c/n 305M-0008) to Italian Army as MM61-2962, later EI-18. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0008. Became I-EIAH.

2963 (c/n 305M-0009) to Italian Army as MM61-2963, later EI-36.

MM61-2964 EI-27 Regal Air conversion with c/n 0009. Became I-EIAW.

2965 (c/n 305M-0011) to Italian Army as MM61-2965, later EI-13.Regal Air conversion with c/n 0011. Became I-EIAF.

2966 (c/n 305M-0012) to Italian Army as MM61-2966, later EI-15. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0012. Became I-EIAG.

2967 (c/n 305M-0013) to Italian Army as MM61-2967, later EI-33.

MM61-2968 EI-11 crashed 27.01.77

Regal Air conversion with c/n 0013. Became I-EIAQ.

2969 (c/n 305M-0015) MM61-2969 to Italian Army as EI-16. Became N3234P

2972 (c/n 305M-0018) MM61-2972 EI-34 from N619SB to N841CP Dec 2001.

2973 (c/n 305M-0019) to Italian army as MM61-2973, later EI-35. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0019. Became I-EIAX

2974 (c/n 305M-0020) to Italian Army as MM61-2974, later EI-49. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0020. Became I-EIAY.

2975 MM 61-2975 EI-1 trasformed into the first SM-1019

2976 (c/n 305M-0022) to Italian Army as MM61-2976, later EI-17. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0022. Became I-EIAZ.

MM61-2977 EI-28
2978 (c/n 305M-0024) to Italian Army as MM61-2978, later EI-42.

MM61-2980 EI-31
Regal Air conversion with c/n 0024. Became I-EIBG.

2981 (c/n 305M-0027) to Italian Army as MM61-2981, later EI-32.Regal Air conversion with c/n 0027. Became I-EIAP.

2982 (c/n 305M-0028) to Italian Army as MM61-2982, later EI-37. Regal Air conversin with c/n 0028. Became I-EIAS

2983 (c/n 305M-0029) MM-61-2983 EI-2 after Italian service went to Malta as 9H-ABC, but w/o when
groundlooped. Remains stored at Aviation Museum, Ta-Qali, Malta

2984 (c/n 305M-0030) to Italy as MM61-2984, later EI-5. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0030. Registration I-EIAD reserved for Aero Club d’Italia Jun 2004, now taken up.

MM61-2985 EI-29

2986 (c/n 305M-0032) MM61-2986 EI-25 to civil registry as N320DA, but with N619SB reserved.

2987 (c/n 305M-0033) to Italian Army as MM61-2987, later EI-20. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0033. Became I-EIAI

2988 to Italian Army as MM61-2988 EI-23. Reported in scrapyard at Siena, Italy Mar 1981.

2990 (c/n 305M-0038) MM61-2990 EI-26 to civil registry as N119AJ

2991 to Italian Army as EI-4. Reported in scrapyard at
Siena, Italy Mar 1981.

MM61-2992 EI-

MM61-2993 EI-8

MM61-2994 EI-7

2995 (c/n 305M-0043) to Italian Army as MM61-2995, later EI-44. Regal Air conversion with c/n 0043. Became I-EIBK.

MM61-3000 EI-14

3001 (c/n 305M-0051) to Italian Army as MM61-3001 EI-10. Later became N90212.

MM62-12280 EI-38

MM62-12281 EI-12

MM62-12282 EI-9

fusoliera EI-21 in carico sezione MAM di Viterbo per addestramento specialisti nel 1976

EI-43 con MM che finisce con 9

3007 (c/n 305M-0058) to Italian AF as MM61-3007, but they may never have used it. Went ca 1972 to Thai AF as T2-38/16.

3020 (c/n 305M-0073) to Italian AF as MM61-2020, but they may never have
used it. Went ca 1973 to Thai AF as T2-40/16.


Here’s the FAA registration for the one that’s for sale. First registration in 2001 and listed as an Air Repair plane, i.e. one of the ‘new’ ones. I bet you there’s some thread that links it to Italy, people don’t generally make things like that up out of thin air, and it would be interesting to know what it is.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 10 Dec 22:19

I had the impression that the ones that became the SM1009 were specially built for that purpose.

Yes, the SM1019 was a “new” plane, in that is was not built out of an undone L19. Both the L19, and the SM1019 are great to fly! Get type training on the SM1019 though!

Home runway, in central Ontario, Canada

This link provides a bit of history on the SM.1019.

Designed for the Italian Army by Siai Marchetti to replace the Lycoming powered Aermacchi AM.3C, which itself had replaced the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog in the forward air control and liaison duties roles, the prototype was first flown on 24 May 1969. This was a re-manufactured Cessna O-1 modified to take an Allison turboprop engine. The prototype became known as the SM.1019. On 18 February 1971 a similarly converted O-1 was flown as the second prototype, and it became known as the SM.1019A.

Interesting that a turboprop derivative of the Bird Dog replaced what replaced the piston engined Bird Dog.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 14 Dec 05:24
11 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top