The aircraft was designed by Professor Luigi Pascale, professor of aeronautics at Naples University, and his influence over the marketing department is there to see in the P68B’s very clean aerodynamic shape. Six place, powered by two 200hp Lycoming 10-360’s, with room for 400lbs of passenger baggage. The aircraft is designed for optimum aerodynamic efficiency, and this combined with a simple but robust structure and its fixed undercarriage are factors that have endeared it to operators, who range from outback freight carrying outfits to third levels and executive users. The aerodynamic streamlining is demonstrated in the fuel economy; at optimum performance at 65 percent power (160 kts) the P68B can get through close on 900 miles at a fuel flow rate of some 15 gallons an hour. Entry to the aircraft is by a single door on the port side; simple enough for your average passenger but some-what small to load any freight. A baggage door is also provided on the starboard side.
The P.68 Victor first flew in May 1970 with two 200-hp (149-kW) 10-360 engines as the prototype of a six/seven-seat lightplane. The type has an unusual appearance, with a racy fuselage and swept fin/rudder assembly married to fixed tricycle landing gear (with attractive speed fairings) and a straight wing and tailplane.
With the Victor established in production and further development, Partenavia then collaborated with a West German company, Sportavia-Putzer, in the development of a patrol and observation version.
In 1980, turbocharging was added for a slight increase in speed and a significant boost in service ceiling.
The Observer has a new forward fuselage incorporating a Plexiglas nose that offers forward and downward fields of vision comparable with those of a helicopter. The first Observer flew in West Germany during February 1976, and aircraft emerged from the Italian production line from July 1980. Since that time small but useful sales have been made to several police and para-military air arms. The Italian police use the type with the ATAL video surveillance system developed in France by Aérospatiale.
The P-68C features a lengthened nose, oleo-type nosewheel strut, an integral fuel tank in each wing and other refinements. Some featured a crew door.
The certification RAI A-365 came from Registro Aeronautico Italiano for the P-68B, P-68C, and P-68C-TC.
AD’s include “Extended safe life” kit 68-038 (Spar Caps replaced) and Max takeoff weight increase kit P68-051.
The Partenavia P.68R's main wheels fold into the fuselage fairings with a speed gain averaging about eight knots. The version provided so little improvement over the standard that it never went into production.
Several versions of the P.68 are offered for military and paramilitary roles, including the P.68 Observer twin-piston-engined observation/surveillance aircraft, the AP.68TP-300 Spartacus for coastal patrol, troop transport, and medevac with two 240 hp Allison 250-B17C engines and underwing hard-points; and the AP.68TP-600 Viator, which is similar to the Spartacus but has a lengthened fuselage and a retractable undercarriage. The AP-68TP being jointly developed with Aeritalia.
The aircraft was manufactured by Taneja Aerospace in India, while Aerocosmos, which held the production rights, was purchased by Air Samanta in 1998.
Taneja Aerospace & Aviation Ltd in India undertook to set up a project for manufacture of P-68 aircrafts with three variants: P-68C (twin piston engine, non pressurised), P-68 C-TC (twin piston engine turbo Charged) and P-68 Observer (same as P-68 C-TC with forward and downward view equal to that of a helicopter). It has an empty weight of 1320 Kgs and payload of 764 Kgs, with a capacity to attain a maximum speed of 322 Kmph, 1550 ft./min rate of climb, landing run of 215 mtrs and an optimum cruising range of 2170 Kms at 12000 ft.
Vulcanair S.P.A of Naples, Italy, were manufacturers of Partenavia P68 aircraft in 2004. Vulcanair was converting one of its P68 Observer airframes to diesel power with an SMA engine. This was due to fly in September 2003 and if successful will be offered onto the light twin market.
More than 500 P68s had been built to 2003, of which some 35 are of the Observer variant for law enforcement and paramilitary use.
Engines two 200-hp (149-kW) Lycoming IO- 360-A1B6
Wing span 39 ft 4.5 in / 12.00 m
Length 30 ft 8 in / 9.35 m
Height 11 ft 1.75 in / 3.40 m
Wing area 200.2 sq ft / 18.60 sq.m
Gross wt. 4,321 lb / 1,960 kg
Empty wt. 2,822 lb / 1,280 kg
Max Speed 174 kts / 200 mph / 322 km/h at sea level
Max Cruise 165 kts
Initial climb rate 1,160 / 488 m fpm
Range 920 nm / 1,358 miles / 2,186 km
Service ceiling 20,000 ft / 6,095 m
P.68 Observer 2
Engines: 2 x 200 hp Lycoming IO-360-A1B6
Empty Wt: 2787 lbs
Gross wt: 4387 lbs
Useful load: 1600 lbs
Max Cruise: 175 mph
Max range: 900 sm
Engines two 210-hp turbocharged Lycoming IO-360C-1A6D
Gross wt. 4,387 lb
Empty wt. 2,866 lb
Fuel capacity 137-196 USG
Max Speed 190 kts
Max Cruise 175 kts
Initial climb rate 1,130 fpm
Range 1,040 nm
Ceiling 27,000 ft
Engines: 2 x 240 hp Allison 250
Empty Wt: 3415 lbs
Gross wt: 5787 lbs
Useful load: 2372 lbs
Max Cruise: 240 mph
Max range: 820 sm
AP 68 TP 600 Viator
Engines: 2 x Allison 250 B17C, 222 shp
Length: 35.761 ft / 10.9 m
Height: 11.811 ft / 3.6 m
Wingspan: 39.37 ft / 12.0 m
Wing area: 200.21 sq.ft / 18.6 sq.m
Max take off weight: 6284.3 lb / 2850.0 kg
Weight empty: 3616.2 lb / 1640.0 kg
Max. weight carried: 2668.1 lb / 1210.0 kg
Max. speed: 220 kts / 408 km/h
Landing speed: 70 kts / 130 km/h
Cruising speed: 170 kts / 315 km/h
Initial climb rate: 1929.13 ft/min / 9.8 m/s
Service ceiling: 25000 ft / 7620 m
Wing loading: 31.37 lb/sq.ft / 153.0 kg/sq.m
Range: 445 nm / 824 km