Piaggio P.1HH HammerHead unmanned aerial system conducts successful test flight

The new P.1HH HammerHead, a multi-purpose MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) drone based on the Piaggio P-180 Avanti twin-engine turboprop plane has conducted a successful test flight from Trapani airbase, in Sicily, on Nov. 14.

The UAS (Unmanned Aerial System), unveiled earlier this year, is designed to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions and believed to be capable of flying up to 45,000 feet for more than 16 hours.

Italy plans to purchase 10 such drones for reconnaissance and immigration control.

Image credit: Finmeccanica

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Cool. It will make a great weapons platform as well. It’ll be able to carry way more than any other drones out there. I just love the design since I first saw it years ago. Italians know art. My wife is Italian and cooks a mean lasagna as well as other great Italian food. I’ve gained about 100 pounds since we met.

    • I think it would be quite difficult to use it as a weapon platform: external weapons are to be carried with pylons under the wing or the fuselage. But its wing is very thin, plus the position of the engines is particular and placing pylons directly under them…mmmh quite an engineering problem ; furhermore there’s no under-fuselage room for pylons+weapons because of the short struts of the landing gear.

      You can carry them in a weapons bay, but again, because of the gear (and overall because of its orignal use as a business aircraft) this plane has the belly very close to the ground, how can you load it in an easy way?
      just my opinion..

  2. I wonder if it has the same weird noise of the manned version… I think so, and that will make it instantly recognizable.

    • Yup! Didn’t the Cessna Starship make the same distinct sound. I only heard a Starship fly once.

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