Aermacchi was an Italian aircraft manufacturer. Formerly known as Aeronautica Macchi, the company was founded in 1912 by Giulio Macchi at Varese in north-western Lombardy as Nieuport-Macchi, to build Nieuport monoplanes under licence for the Italian military. With a factory located on the shores of Lake Varese, the firm originally manufactured a series of Nieuport designs, as well as seaplanes.
After the Second World War, the company began producing motorcycles as a way to fill the post-war need for cheap, efficient transportation.
In 1960, US business Harley-Davidson motorcycles purchased 50% of Aermacchi's motorcycle division. The remaining motorcycle holdings were sold in 1974 to AMF-Harley-Davidson, with motorcycles continuing to be made at Varese. The business was sold to Cagiva in 1978.
The company later specialised in civil and military pilot training aircraft. In July 2003, Aermacchi was integrated into the Finmeccanica Group as Alenia Aermacchi, which increased its shareholding to 99%.
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