Aviation Historian 11
G.Alegi - Frati's First Fliedgling
A Sparrow reborn - Carlo Murelli’s Passero was built from scant information over a 12-year period and first flew in August 2006. It is seen here fitted with a 40 h.p. Simonini engine, spatted wheels and a two-piece wing. Many of the parts required to complete the new Passero had to be reverse-engineered from other CVV types.
The as-yet unflown F.M.1 on display at the Milan Fair in April 1947, during which several new types made their debuts following the lifting of the Allied ban on private flying in Italy. The Passero went on to make its maiden flight on November 2 the same year.
The F.M.1 made its first flight from Venegono, the Macchi company airfield near Varese. Its 20 h.p. MB.2 engine was created by Macchi chief designer Ermanno Bazzocchi, also a Polytechnic graduate, and derived from that of his Macchitre three-wheeled van. The Passero was later fitted with a more powerful Continental A65 engine.
Most photographs show the F.M.1 sporting the civil registration I-MOVO, reflecting the model company's role in its construction. The registration was reserved when construction of the Passero was started, but the aircraft never received a Certificate of Airworthiness, so it was not taken up. Note the sole trim tab fitted to the port aileron only.
The sole Movo FM. 1 at Milan-Linate airfield. The well-dressed man adjusting the engine provides scale for the diminutive Passero and highlights the type’s short wingspan, ill-suited to a motor-glider.
This original general arrangement drawing of the F.M.1 Passero, signed by Stelio Frati, is dated September 18, 1948, some two years after construction on the aircraft had started. Frati always built from a limited number of drawings, solving problems as they arose. When Carlo Murelli decided to build a second F.M.1, he had very few drawings to work from.
A young Stelio Frati with the prototype Ambrosini GF.4 Rondone in its l-RAIA test markings. Frati later earned his wings in his own F.8 Falco.