Grand Champion Falco Passes 1750 Hours At AirVenture

Falco F.8L, as sleek and fast today as when it was completed decades ago.

When David and Tamera Nason completed their beautiful Ferrari red Falco F.8L in June of 1999, they had no idea of the adventures their little craft would bring them. Now, over two decades later, they sat next to N277DT in front of Homebuilt Headquarters at AirVenture 2023, chatting with admirers and reminiscing about the 1750 hours they have spent in the cockpit.

Dave first brought his Falco to Oshkosh (they didn’t even call it AirVenture then) in 2000. He promptly won a Silver Lindy as Reserve Grand Champion for homebuilt aircraft. Dave continued to refine the Falco, eventually earning Grand Champion status in 2006.

David and Tamera Nason with their Italian sports plane.

The sleek retractable Falco cruises at 212 mph at 23” manifold pressure, 2450 rpm and 9,500 altitude, burning only a little over 8 gallons per hour. Dave and Tamera have traveled far and wide, to California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Tennessee and, of course to Oshkosh, Wisconsin scores of times. They really enjoy visiting family and attending Falco community fly-ins across the country.

Many newcomers to amateur built aircraft may not be familiar with the Falco F.8L. The fully retractable, all wood construction results in light weight and remarkable performance. One look at the sleek lines reveals that the Falco has an Italian heritage, originally from SIAI-Marchetti.

The Falco’s sleek lines are timeless.

The Falco’s drawings and construction manual are legendary for their completeness (there are 9 pages devoted solely to paint jobs). Amazingly, the passage of time has placed both documents in the public domain and they are free to view and print on the internet. Craig Gunder, of Gunder Restoration, is the keeper of the Falco Flame, making some parts and offering advice to builders. More information can be found here:

Recently, Dave took over a Falco project from a friend with health problems and is now back in the wooden airplane building business. He could not be happier.


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