Schneider Trophy special: Epilogue: The final word on speed
Italian test pilot Warrant Officer Francesco Agello, in the Macchi MC.72, 1934
After initial disappointment when the craft was unable to compete in the 1931 Trophy - which Britain went on to win permanently - Agello set an absolute speed record of 440mph (709 km/h) on 23rd October 1934.
The MC.72 had claimed the lives of two pilots back in 1931. Agello was left as the only qualified pilot after his comrade, Lieutenant Stanislao Bellini, died in a (different) training aircraft in 1933.
This record remains the fastest speed ever attained by a piston engine seaplane. After the flight, the MC.72 was never flown again.
(art from Speedbirds. thanks)