|1983 Partenavia P.68C
N3832Q (sn 274)
Photo taken Aug. 2009
Omak, WA USA
The Partenavia P.68 is an Italian six-seat, twin-engined, high-wing monoplane built by Partenavia and later Vulcanair. Designed by Professor Luigi Pascale and originally put into production in 1972 and intended for private or business use but has also seen use as both a training and a transport aircraft. Originally named the Victor, although this name was not used for production aircraft. The P.68 Observer, which was an Italian/German development, has a transparent nose for use in police work and observation duties.
First flown on the 25 May 1970, the prototype P.68 was built at Arzano, Italy. Powered by two 200hp (149 kW) Lycoming I0-360 piston engines. Production of the P.68 started in 1972 at new facilities at Casoria with 14 pre-production aircraft. These were followed in 1974 by the P.68B with the fuselage lengthened by 6in (15.2 cm) to create more space in the cockpit. It was superseded in 1979 by the P.68C which had a lengthened nose to accommodate a weather radar. A turbocharged version (the P.68C-TC) was available in 1980. The type licence was obtained by Vulcanair and the P.68C is still in production by them.
With the help of Aeritalia development began of a nine-seat turboprop version, the first aircraft (an AP.68TP) first flew in 1978 using Allison 250 turboprops . Although the prototype had retractable undercarriage, production aircraft (named the Spartacus) had a fixed undercarriage. Later, a retractable undercarriage version was built as the Viator.
The German company Sportavia-Putzer modified the P.68 by replacing the nose section with a transparent structure, marketing it as an observation aircraft for law enforcement. Initially, Observers were simply conversions of existing aircraft, but later, they were entirely new aircraft built by Partenavia.
P.68 - Initial production version, 14 built.
P.68B - P.68 with fuselage lengthened by 6-inches and six-seat ineterior, 190 built.
P.68 Observer - Modified P.68B with fully glazed nose, over 21 built or modified.
P.68C - P.68B with longer nose and integral wing fuel tanks, over 114 built.
P.68C-TC - P.68C fitted with 200hp Lycoming TI0-360-C1A6D turbocharged engines.
P.68R - P.68B with retractable undercarriage, one built.
P.68T - P.68R with lengthened fuselage, larger tail and Allison 250-B17B turboporops, four built.
AP.68TP - First turboprop powered prototype. First flew on the 11th of September 1978. Original designation P.68 Turbo.
AP.68TP-100 - Second turboprop powered prototype.
AP.68TP-300 Spartacus - P.68T with fixed undercarriage, over 13 built.
AP.68TP-600 Viator - Spartacus with retractable undercarriage, lengthened nose and stretched fuselage, over 6 built.
Spartacus RG - Fitted with a retractable undercarriage.
Spartacus -10 - stretched version of the Spartacus RG.
The ICAO designator for all versions with piston engine as used in flight plans is P68, for the versions with turboprops it is P68T
Crew: 6 or 7
Length: 31 ft 4 in (9.55 m)
Wingspan: 39 ft 4½ in (12.00 m)
Height: 11 ft 1¾ in (3.40 m)
Wing area: 200.22 ft² (18.60 m²)
Empty weight: 2,711 lb (1230 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 4,387 lb (1990 kg)
Powerplant: 2× Lycoming I0-360 flat-four piston, 200 hp (149 kw) each
Maximum speed: 199 mph (320 km/h)
Range: 1,305 miles (2100 km)
Service ceiling: 19,200 ft (5850 m)