Aermacchi was an Italian aircraft manufacturer. Formerly known as Aeronautica Macchi, the company was founded in 1912 by Giulio Macchi at Varese in north-western Lombardy. With a factory located on the shores of Lake Varese, the firm originally manufactured seaplanes.
After the Second World War, the company began producing motorcycles as a way to fill the post-war need for cheap, efficient transportation. In 1960, US business Harley Davidson motorcycles purchased 50% of Aermacchi's motorcycle division.
The remaining motorcycle holdings were sold in 1974 to AMF-Harley Davidson, with motorcycles continuing to be made at Varese. The business was sold to Cagiva in 1978.