The Nardi concern was established by the four Nardi
brothers in Milan in 1933. Their first product, the F.N. 305, first
flew in 1935. The Nardi factory at Loreto was almost completely
destroyed during WW2. After the war, their new factory was
built at Aeroporto Forlanini, Milan. In addition to aircraft
manufacture, the company also specialized in productionm of wheels,
brakes, retractable landing gears, hydraulic and electric aircraft
controls, fuel pumps, armament installations and aircraft accessories
Nardi's first post war aircraft was the
FN.333 all-metal three seat amphibian. The first prototype FN.333,
I-KISS, made its maiden flight on 4 December 1952, powered by a 145 hp
Continental fan-cooled engine.
The production development model FN.333-S was planned to have four
seat, a 225 hp Continental C125 engine and have folding wings. The outer sections of the wings
were to fold in two halves, one section folding upwards and the other
folding downwards with the wing tip floats, to give stability on
Original FN.333-S design with folding wings.
This idea was, however, never carried
out. However, the second
Nardi built prototype did have a more powerful engine and a fourth seat,
and made its first flight on 8 December 1954. The development of the FN.333 was
very slow at Nardi, and the third aircraft did not fly until 14 October
1956, this time with a 240 hp Continental O-470-H engine.
In March 1959 S.I.A.I.-Marchetti acquired the
manufacturing rights from Nardi, and started the manufacture of a first
series of 10 Rivieras, at their
plant in Sesto Calende, Varese near Milano (Italy). The first S.I.A.I.-Marchetti
manufactured Riviera was rolled out in February 1962, and by January 1963
four aircraft had been delivered to customers. The production version now had a
250 hp Continental IO-470-P engine, with fuel injection.