South American Eagle

Tony Butler shares the story of the twin- engine I.A.e 30 Ñancú – and how it was too little too late for piston power

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The prototype Ñancú awaiting paint at Córdoba. Like its predecessor, the type had an uncanny resemblance to a de Havilland product, notably the DH.103 Hornet.
PHOTOS ROLLS-ROYCE HERITAGE TRUST • FUERZA AEREA ARGENTINA HISTORICAL RECORDS • SANTIAGO RIVAS • HUGH COWIN

Following World War Two, many Italian and German aeronautical designers moved to Argentina for the chance to continue working in their chosen field. At the time the country’s aircraft industry was in a fledgling state. However, one prototype produced soon after the war was an advanced piston-engined fighter from the Instituto Aerotécnico( I.A.e), the I.A.e 30 Ñancú. The name was derived from an indigenous Patagonian eagle.

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