The Sequioa Falco F.8L is a semi-aerobatic, side-by-side two seat low wing, single-engined, propeller driven
all-wood homebuilt aeroplane with a retractable tricycle undercarriage and sliding bubble canopy with fixed
windshield. The structure of the Sequoia Falco F.8L is built from laminated spruce bulkheads and the typically
Finnish birch plywood is used for the skin. The plywood is often softened with hot steam, formed over the various
structures and glued in place. The aircraft is rated for 6g positive and 3g negative. Back in 1955 the aircraft
was designed by the Italian designer Stelio Frati and the prototype Frati F.8L Falco I I-RAID (c/n 101) built by
Aviamilano flew first on 15 June 1955. From the day it first flew, the Falco has been called "the Ferrari of the air".
In the period 1955-1968 the F.8L Falco was built in Italy by Aviamilano then Aeromere and later Laverda. When in 1968,
production came to an end with 76 airframes built it was not the end of this fine design. In 1982, the Frati F.8L design
was adopted in the US and re-designed and coverted to kit form for homebuilding from kits or plans by Alfred Scott of
Sequoia Aircraft Company and David Thurston of Lake Buccaneer fame. The Falco F.8L was sold in kit or plans form for
amateur construction by the Sequoia Aircraft Company of Richmond, Virginia, until its closure in December 2014. in
the period 1984 - 2014 over 90 aircraft kits or plans were sold to home builders. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator
for all variants of the Frati F.8L is F8L.
Frati F.8L versions built:
- Aviamilano F.8L Falco I — Initial production model powered by 135 hp Lycoming O-290-D2B engine. 10 built by Aviamilano (s/n 102 - 111)
- Aviamilano F.8L Falco II — Improved model with a 150 hp Lycoming O-320-A2A engine. 10 built by Aviamilano (s/n 112 - 121)
- Aeromere F.8L III Falco America — Modified version of Series II cetificated to FAA CAR Part 3. 36 built by Aeromere (s/n 201 - 236)
- Laverda F.8L Falco IV Super — Similar to the F.8L III Falco America, with a 160 hp Lycoming O-320-B3B engine and constant speed propeller. 20 built by Laverda (s/n 401 t/m 420)
- Sequoia F.8L Falco — Homebuilt-kits; similar to the production aircraft but re-designed for homebuilding from kits or plans. 90+ built / sold by Sequoia Aircraft Corporation.
On 6 October 2018, the Sequoia F.8L PH-HGL (Hij Gaat Landen) was seen at Hoogeveen airfield. This Sequoia F.8L was built in 1996 by Ralph R. Braswell in
Mill Creek, Washington, and registered N360SF in the USA as the Braswell Falco F.8L s/n 001, with the A/W date given as 26 October 1996.
The amateur built aircraft was fitted with a Lycoming 41504 engine. On 15 February 2005, registration N360SF was cancelled as exported
to the Netherlands. On 1 April 2005, the aircraft was registered PH-HGL in the Netherlands as a Sequoia F.8L Falco and based at Hilversum
Airfield. Today, the airframe is fitted with a Lycoming O-360-A1D engine and constant speed 2-bladed propeller.