Nothing Flies like
Ask a Falco pilot about the plane and chances are most of what you'll hear is about the handling. It's inevitably what people talk about--read any flight report on the Falco--and it is the thing that is most special about the Falco.
This is no happy accident of fate. When Stelio Frati designed the Falco over 30 years ago, his primary design goal was to create an aerobatic aircraft with light, precise, harmonious controls. To the joy of pilots ever since, he succeeded.
Slide into the seats of a Falco, grasp the control sticks lightly in your fingers and move the stick about. There's almost no friction. No play at all. You can tell, even before the plane starts to roll, that the controls are light.
Start the engine, and you are in for an assault on all pre-conceived notions of what aircraft handling is about. Even the engine controls are smooth, operating Teflon-lined control cables. Taxi out and discover the precise ground handling. The aircraft turns exactly when you push on the rudder, yet it's not too sensitive.
Charge down the runway, lift into the air, and you're into another world. It's a whole new sky in a Frati airplane. The handling is so sensuous and the controls are so light that you twist and roll and frolic in the sky like a baby lamb in a spring meadow. You'll find out right then and there why Stelio Frati airplanes are so special and why the designer is so revered. Nothing flies like a Frati airplane, and the Falco is the most sensuous of them all.
"All of Frati's designs are variations on a single theme; they all resemble each other, and each is instantly recognizable as 'a Frati.' They are finished as smoothly as mirrors, as though needless drag were more evil than the devil. They have the feel of tiny fighters, for you sit under a fighter pilot's sliding teardrop canopy, gripping a fighter pilot's stick, and the thing will be halfway round an aileron roll even before you've entirely made up your mind to do one. There is no superabundance of room in a Frati airplane, and they are all extremely noisy, but you will come down from your first flight in one with an unbelieving stare. It is much like the first time you ever drove a Ferrari; a damnation of all lesser vehicles for eternity. For the controls are so light, so delicate, the visibility so like falling free through space, and the airplane's stability even in turbulence so arrow-straight and intransmutable that you feel a fool for not knowing that light airplanes could be like this."
Go back to The Falco