The Italian Riviera amphibian was
originally designed and flight-tested by Nardi S.A. per Costruzioni
Aeronautiche under the designation FN.333.
Nardi FN.333 Protoype
Photo: JAWA 1953-54
The Nardi concern was established by the four Nardi
brothers in Milan in 1933. Their first product, the FN.305,
first flew in 1935. The Nardi factory at Loreto was almost
completely destroyed during WW2. After the war, their new
factory was built at Aeroporto Forlanini, Milan. In addition to
aircraft manufacture, the company also specialized in production of
wheels, brakes, retractable landing gears, hydraulic and electric
aircraft controls, fuel pumps, armament installations and aircraft
Nardi's first post war aircraft
was the FN.333 all-metal three seat amphibian. The first prototype
FN.333, I-KISS, made
its maiden flight on 4 December 1952, powered by
a 145 hp Continental fan-cooled engine. The
production development model FN.333-S was planned to have four seat, a 225 hp Continental
C125 engine and have folding wings.
The outer sections of the wings were to fold in two halves, one
section folding upwards and the other folding downwards with the wing
tip floats, to give stability on water.
Original FN.333-S design with folding wings.
Photo: JAWA 1953-53
This idea was, however, never carried out.
However, the second Nardi built prototype
did have a more powerful engine and a fourth seat, and made its first
flight on 8 December 1954. The
development of the FN.333 was very slow at Nardi, and the third Nardi-built
did not fly until 14 October 1956, this time with a 240 hp Continental