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The Vespa, helicopter and Abruzzo genius

Corradino D'Ascanio was a brilliant and versatile inventor: to him we owe the first helicopter and especially the legendary Vespa

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Engineer D'Ascanio was born in 1891 in Popoli, a small Abruzzo town, and his brilliant intelligence, talent, creativity and a passion for flight were immediately revealed.

From the first games as a boy grappling with the construction of a glider he never stopped trying, experimenting, designing technical solutions. He was responsible for dozens of patents in different fields, but it is the helicopter that he will devote more effort and research to that lasted until almost the end of his days. After ups and downs, a period spent in the United States, his return to Italy, several attempts, finally from his tireless research on 7 April 1925 he presented  the patent for the two coaxial propeller helicopter, with slow automatic descent device. He continued to study, trying to design solutions around vertical flight, so much so that even in 1972, aged 81, he presented Fiat with a new project.

HoweverImage the name of D'Ascanio is related to another product of his genius, the Vespa, the legendary two-wheeler known throughout the world, such a huge success that even today there are Vespa Clubs not only throughout Europe, but the United States, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, from Russia to Japan.

He came to this success by chance, he had always followed a very different field and had never even been on a motorcycle. However, Piaggio gave him the assignment to work on a motorcycle project. When, in 1946, he showed the prototype to Dr. Piaggio, the engineer Corradino D'Ascanio did not think it would have changed the habits of Italians offering them the chance to move around as they never had before. In fact, the Vespa soon became a symbol of freedom in post-war Italy, the reborn will to live, spreading rapidly among young people, but widely used by families for Sunday outings.

The success of the Vespa was suchImage that in ten years 1 million models were sold, dizzying numbers for those times.

Beautiful and innovative, the Vespa was and is a scooter that can be driven by all, even women.

For its 70 years, the Vespa was celebrated a bit everywhere, but especially in Popoli, where the Vespa Clubs came together from the most disparate locations as evidence of the vitality and relevance of the scooters designed by the brilliant D'Ascanio.

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