The Aerfer Ariete was a sleek-looking prototype aircraft developed
in Italy in the late 1950s. It was a development of an earlier aircraft,
the Aerfer Sagittario 2, and featured a dual-engine setup designed
to improve performance.
The single-seat Aerfer Ariete (Italian for Ram) first flew in 1958.
It was designed to be a precursor to a mass-production fighter aircraft.
It was primarily powered by a Rolls-Royce Derwent 9 turbojet engine,
but a second, smaller Rolls-Royce Soar turbojet was also installed
to provide additional thrust either during climbs or high-speed maneuvers.
This second engine used a retractable intake located just ahead of
the tail, and it vented through the rear exhaust.
Top speed of the Ariete was 675 mph and it had a service ceiling of
39,360 ft (12,000 m). The proposed armament for the aircraft was a
pair of 30 mm HDD-825 cannons.
Two examples of the Aerfer Ariete were ordered, in the end only one
was completed in time for test flights. During the initial round of
testing the Ariete failed to live up to expectations. Briefly the
prototypes were considered for a comprehensive redesign for the "Leone"
project, which would have seen the smaller jet engines replaced with
a more powerful rocket motor. But this idea never went further than
the planning stage.
The second of the two Aerfer Arietes built, designation MM569, still
exists and is on display at the Aeronautica Militare air museum in