1908 - 1926
Conte Carlo Nicolis di Robilant
1927 - 1930
Conte Paolo Thaon di Revel
1930 - 1934
1934 - 1938
Conte Antonio Farini
1938 - 1946
1946 - 1950
1950 - 1970
Barone Piero Casana
1974 - 1978
1978 - 1986
1986 - 1990
1990 - 1994
1994 - 2000
2000 - 2002
2002 - 2017
Antonio (Pino) Gulotta
27th April 2017 - 31th July 2020
from 19th december 2020 to today
It would need a great amount of time and space to list all the events and the people who have contributed to the History of the Aero Club from 1908 until the present day.
I would like, however, to conclude by recalling, with a short biography, of the Presidents covering the period from the foundation until the present day.
A former pupil at the Royal Military Academy of Turin, Montù studied at the Turin Polytechnic University, gaining a degree in Electrotechnical Engineering.
In 1909 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in the ranks of the Liberal Party.
He enjoyed a rapid military career, being promoted to Captain in 1911, Colonel in 1916 and General in 1918.
In 1908 he organised the first aeronautical exhibition in Italy by Léon Delagrange and then promoted the constitution of the sat (Società Aviazione Torino), becoming its first President, a role he held until July 1926. In that year, the sat began its transformation into an Aero Club, under the Special Commissioners Hon. Baron Carlo Emanuele Basile who was followed by Count Paolo Thaon di Revel.
In 1911 he organised the expedition of the “Voluntary Aviators in Cirenaica”.
In his life he was President of:
A military officer by career, he became a Brigadier General in the Novara Lancers.
As a young man, he studied painting under the Torinese artist Marco Calderini, and maintained this passion for painting, water-colours in particular, all his life. Today, paintings of his fetch ever-increasing sums. From 1946, when he retired from the Army, he worked extensively as an illustrator.
In 1917, he married Anna Engelfred, and their first son, Maurizio (1918-1942) became a pilot with the rank of Lieutenant in the Italian Air Force, decorated with the Slver Medal during the war in Greece, but shot down during the war in the African desert.
Carlo Nicolis di Robilant was President of the Aero Club from 1927 until 1930.
Thaon di Revel had a degree in Commercial Science, and was appointed as “Podestà” of Turin in 1929 until 1935.
He was elected as Senator of the Kingdom in 1933 and became Minister of Finance (1935-1943).
A keen sportsman, he gained an Olympic Gold Medal in the Team Sword event in Anversa (1920) and was Italian Champion in 1920 and 1921.
On 25/1/1923 he married the Countess Maria Angelica Salvi del Pero di Luzzano in Turin.
He was President of the Organizing Committee both for the Winter Olympics in Cortina (1956) and the summer Olympics in Rome (1960).
After having retired from public life, he was nominated an honorary member of the cio.
He was President of the Aero Club Torino from 1930 to 1934.
Born into a family of industrialists, in 1927 Sartirana was awarded a degree in Engineering from the Turin Polytechnic University. He was nominated as the “Podestà” of Turin in 1935, a position he held until 1938 during which, availing himself of the aid of Professor Luciano Jona, started to administratively restructure some of the societies in which the Munipality had a stake.
He married Teresa De Vecchi by whom he had two children.
He died at the age of 64 in Montecarlo, where for many years he had been in charge of the French branch of the Caffarel chocolate company.
He was President of the Aero Club Torino from 1934 to 1938.
The scion of a noble family - one of the Italian Risorgimento’s main protagonists, Luigi Carlo Farini, was a relative of his - he gained his degree in Electrotechnical Engineering from the Turin Polytechnic then in 1927 married Silvia Bellia.
His pilot’s brevet was awarded at the Mirafiori airfield, crowning his passion for flight, to which he dedicated his entire life.
A founder-member of the Avio Linee Italiane, he became its Managing Director, developing a network of international routes for the first time in Italy.
As an officer pilot of the Regia Aeronautica he took part in the Spanish Civil War, and in 1938, on his return, he was elected to the Presidency of the Aero Club Torino.
During the Second World War, he was a pilot with the cai (Corpo Aereo Italiano) in Belgium, undertaking a number of missions.
Later, he took part in the campaign in Greece, followed by supply missions to the Italian troops in Tunisia.
In April 1943, while leading his squadron, he was attacked by British fighters over the Channel of Sicily. Despite being serously wounded, he managed to make a difficult emergency landing, saving both the aircraft and the crew. For this exploit, he was proposed for the Military Silver Medal for Gallantry.
Following the war, he renewed his interest in civil aviation, becoming part of the “Centro Trasporti Aerei” which in 1955 saw him committed to a project for a helicopter service between Turin, Milan and Genoa as a consultant on behalf of fiat and Alitalia. He was later appointed as Italian representative to iata.
Dedicating himself to avant-garde means of transport, he founded, and was the first president of Elivie, the first company in Italy to operate regular helicopter services between Naples, Ischia and Capri.
In the ’70s, as the representative of the Bristol Corporation, he was the md of the first company in Italy to operate regular passenger hovercraft services in the gulf of Naples.
He was later accorded the honourary title of “Pioniere dell’Aviazione Civile” (Civil Aviation Pioneer).
Count Farini was President of the Aero Club Torino from 1938 tol 1946.
Balbis was an Economy and Commerce graduate, becoming an important figure in Piemontese financial circles.
In 1926, with a number of associates, he founded the “Bank of Vigone”. This successively changed its name to “Bank of Vigone, Rosso, Balbis and Rabbia” in 1933, then was further renamed as the “Balbis, Guglielmone, Villa Bank”, following a partial buy-out by new partners Teresio Guglielmone and Gianfranco Villa.
In 1952 this was merged with the “Banca Torinese”, already owned by Francesco Balbis and Senator Teresio Guglielmone. The fusion resulted in the origin of the Torinese “Balbis and Guglielmone Bank”.
He was President of the Aero Club Torino from 1946 to 1950.
Agnelli was one of the great Italian industrialists, the main shareholder and President of fiat and also President of the riv company for 25 years.
He was the second of seven children born to Edoardo Agnelli and Princess Virginia Bourbon del Monte. Universally known as “Gianni Agnelli”, he was also fondly known by his nickname “the Advocate”.
He married Mariella Caracciolo dei Principi di Castagneto in the Castle of Osthoffen in Strasbourg. The couple had two children, Edoardo and Margherita.
After an instruction course at the Cavalry Application School in Pinerolo, he joined a motorised regiment and was initially sent to the Russian front and from there to North Africa.
He gained his degree in Jurisprudence from the University of Turin in 1943.
In 1945 he was elected Mayor of Villar Perosa (near Pinerolo).
In 1947 he became President of the Juventus Football Club.
He travelled widely, mainly to famous places, meeting with many of the International jet-set. His friendship with John Fitzgerald Kennedy went back to that period.
In the summer of 1952 he was the victim of a terrible motor accident in which his right leg was seriously damaged, risking amputation.
He was President of the Aero Club Torino from 1950 to 1970.
Son of a wealthy family, Casana ran a company producing fire-fighting equipment.
The dean of Torinese pilots, he had frequented the airfields at Mirafiori, Venaria Reale and Aeritalia and continued to fly right up to the end of the 1990’s in his “historic” lm-5 Aviastar with the markings i-pier (built in 1947 by Francis Lombardi).
He was awarded his brevet for powered flight in 1932, and his gliding licence (No. 36) in 1937. That same year, he founded the Gliding Section of the Aero Club Torino.
He was a highly capable pilot, distinguishing himself both in air sports and during the 2nd World War, as a night-fighter pilot.
He was the first President of the fivv (the Italian Gliding Federation).
In 1953, he officially started the gliding school at Aeritalia.
He was the president of the Aero Club Torino from 1970 to 1974 and honorary president of sagat, the management company of Turin’s Caselle airport during the 90’s.
Although he held a degree in Jurisprudence, Viano never became an advocate, applying his management talents in large companies, first with the Savigliano Ferroviaria, then as Personnel Director for Lancia followed by a similar post at fiat Mirafiori.
He was President of the Aero Club Torino from 1974 until 1978.
Owner of a small company on the outskirts of Turin making sofas and chairs, Marchisio renounced this to dedicate himself to flying.
In 1978, with venture capital supplied by Carlo De Benedetti (Olivetti), Giovanni Valla (petrochemicals) and Gaetano De Rosa (fata) he founded the air taxi company “Eurofly”, becoming its ceo. This was successively acquired by Ing. C. Olivetti & C. SpA, in conjunction with Alitalia and San Paolo Finance SpA in 1989 with the aim of transforming Eurofly into an air charter company.
He died in May 1988 at the controls of a Agusta a.b. 206 helicopter (i-flye) which struck a high-tension cable over the Stura river near Lanzo during a aerial filming flight on behalf of the Rai.
He was President of the Aero Club Torino from 1978 to 1986.
Edoardo was the son of Gianni Agnelli and Mariella Caracciolo dei Principi di Castagneto and was initially seen as the logical successor to his father as the head of the fiat company. However, he displayed little interest in material things, dedicating more and more of his time to philosophical and spiritual themes.
His father tried to interest him in some of the many family-related interests, among those being a brief period on the Board of Director of Juventus, and, with the support of councillors Vittore Catella and Piero Casana, he was voted in as President of the Aero Club Torino, a position he held between 1986 and 1990.
He died tragically in November 2000.
Balzano was a brilliant entrepreneur in the metal-mechanical field.
He gained his pilot’s licence at 37 years of age, then went on to take a helicopter pilot’s licence.
Extremely fond of racing, he took part in many Italian competitions, winning three regularity races, and in 1980, with his siai-marchetti sf.260, participated in the “Paris-New York-Paris” race with his friend Gipo De Maria, where they came 2nd.
In 1987, once again with Gipo De Maria and also Gigliola Paci Scorta, he took part in the “Paris-Beijing-Paris” speed race with a twin-engined Piper Aerostar.
He was President of the Aero Club Torino from 1990 to 1994.
Ruspa was a multifaceted entrepreneur, an innovator and successful businessman both in the automotive and leather goods fields.
A car racing enthusiast, during the period 1970-72 he took part in various races, including a Targa Florio.
Moved by curiosity, he adventured into the world of aircraft and remained fascinated with it, to the extent that despite being well over 50 years of age, he studied for and obtained his pilot’s licence in 1997.
In 1995 he organised the Italian gliding championships and on June 2, 1996 organised a great air show.
In 1995, in the northern area of the field, he had a 3 hole practice golf course built. This enjoyed a certain amount of success with golfers and the public.
Also in 1995, the airport was registered within the Piedmont Region’s civil defence plan, and in 1998 under his presidency a convention with the Region was signed for the installation of the 118 (Emergency) helicopter service.
In October 1996, to meet the changing needs of air traffic, he undertook the total renovation of the control tower, which was enlarged, raised and equipped with operating offices, subsequently loaned to enav.
He was President of the Aero Club Torino from 1994 to 2000.
Villa gained his degree as an electronics engineer from the Turin Polytechnic University and is a very successful entrepreneur in the production of electronic equipment.
As a young boy he was enthralled by aeromodelling, constructing his first glider when he was only 12. Years later, his contact with real aircraft saw various flights in gliders unknown to his parents, who were against this, mainly due to the fact that his uncle, an officer in the Air Force, had been killed during the war. It was only from 1985 that he gained his pilot’s licences with the Aero Club Torino.
Although he had come late into the world of flight, he dedicated himself to it with passion and enthusiasm. In 1994, he was elected to the Governing Body of the Aero Club Torino, with responsibility for powered flight, then in 2000, at the end of Renzo Ruspa’s presidency, took on the new role as President, an office which he held until 2002.
Gulotta is a successful entrepreneur and the founder of euroheat, a leading company in the field of electrical resistances for moulds for the production of plastic goods.
Initially a model aircraft maker, he became interested in flight in 1980 and obtained his glider pilot license in 1981.
He was elected to the Executive Council of the Aero Club Torino in 2009 and was appointed Vice-President (2009-2017).
On April 27, 2017 he was elected President of the Aero Club, which he held with intelligence and full merit until his premature departure on July 31, 2020.
Graduated in electronic and biomedical engineering, he is a successful entrepreneur as the founder of the Teslamed and One Technology companies operating in the field of medical devices and aesthetic medicine.
He approached flying in 1985 by practicing hang gliding and VDS and then later joined the Aero Club Torino in 2015 where he obtained the glider pilot licence.
He joined the Board of Directors of the Aero Club Torino on 24 April 2017 where, and as of from 28 March 2019, he assumed the position of Vice-President.
On December 19, 2020 he was elected President of the Aero Club, a position which he still holds today.
Go to the Tables