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October 23, 1934: Francesco Agello's unbeaten speed record

His seaplane flew 86 years ago in Desenzano

A record still unbeaten almost nine decades later: this clarification would be enough to understand how incredible the feat of Francesco Agello on October 23, 1934 was, precisely 86 years ago. It was 2:56 pm on this distant autumn day when Agello completed four passes over the school in Desenzano with a Macchi-Castoldi MC-72 seaplane, equipped with a 2500 hp Fiat AS-6 engine that allowed him to record the sensational average speed of 709.202 kilometers per hour, never exceeded since then.

It was the same aircraft with which a year earlier he won the previous absolute world speed record near Lake of Garda, a record improved just a few months ago. But who exactly was Francesco Agello? Franco (as his friends called him) was born in 1902 in Casalpusterlengo and was enrolled in the telegraph engineers, only to realize that he preferred piloting airplanes. The patent was obtained in 1924, ten years before its primacy. The path taken on that October 23 is easy to say: from Manerba to Moniga del Garda there were four regulatory passages, well described by the newspapers of that time.

As noted by the press, Marshal Agello found himself facing unfavorable weather conditions, all under the watchful eye of the Aero Club of Italy's sporting commissioners. Italo Balbo, air marshal, was commissioned by Benito Mussolini to congratulate the man who was in effect a hero. In his short life (40 years), Agello obtained many awards, as he was decorated with the gold medal for aeronautical valor, in addition to the two bronze medals and the insignia of knight of the order of the Crown of Italy.

On November 24, 1942, during a test flight of a Macchi 202 Folgore aircraft, in Bresso (Milan), perhaps for having received the landing order from the control tower, while the aircraft piloted by Guido Masiero was authorized to take off , the aircraft piloted by Agello collided with it and both crashed to the ground with no escape.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency