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October 2008 - number 10

Two Government Ministers flying

aboard the M-346

Interview with the New

Chief Pilot Quirino Bucci

In-Flight Simulation

Air Culture Courses on MB-308


The Aermacchi M-346 is the new genera-

tion dedicated Advanced and Lead-In
Fighter Trainer, designed to be superior to
all existing products in its class. High thrust
to weight ratio approaching 1 to 1, vortex-
lift aerodynamics and re-programmable,
full authority, quadruplex fly-by-wire flight
control system, give the M-346 flying qual-
ities close to modern frontline fighters and
improve its teaching effectiveness.The twin
engine solution provides high safety stan-
dards, and the design philosophy reduces
acquisition and operational costs. M-346:
the ideal platform for next generation
Integrated Training Systems.
Giovanni Pasqua

Giancarlo Naldi

Gregory Alegi
Alessandro Bianchi Editorial p. 2
Ezio Bonsignore
Carmelo Cosentino
Baldassare Catalanotto
Carmelo Cosentino
Paolo Gianvanni
Giancarlo Naldi
Two Ministers Flying the M-346 p. 4
Gabriele Sgarbi
Paolo Gianvanni
The Wing Consulting S.r.l.
Via Chiana, 87
00198 - Roma
In-Flight Simulation p. 8
Gabriele Sgarbi e Alessandro Bianchi

MRB Consulting
Via Roberto Bracco, 42
00137 Roma Whats in a Name? p. 16
LAYOUT Gregory Alegi
Copy Service
Largo Somalia, 28
00199 - Roma
Well Begun... p. 22
Giancarlo Naldi
Renografica S.r.l.
Via Seragnoli 13
40138 - Bologna

A Passion Born Among the Classroom p. 28
MAGAZINE Gregory Alegi
Pubblicata da
Via P. Foresio, 1
21040 Venegono Superiore Air Culture Courses on MB-308 p. 32
(Varese) Baldassare Catalanotto
Tel. +39.0331.813111


Meeting Mr Marchetti p. 40
n.407/14 may 1982
Ezio Bonsignore

Aviation update p. 44
Paolo Gianvanni


The M-346 LRIP00.

Photo by AMW

Pre-series M-346 aircraft

2 Photo by AMW
Carmelo Cosentino
Chef Executive Officer of Alenia Aermacchi

he more advanced Armed Forces increasingly seem be orienting themselves towards

T outsourcing the training process. They are requesting services such as power by the
hour be supplied, with an active participation by the industry in management of the ac-
tivity according to a form of the Private Finance Initiative. This is the case for Singapore
where an important bidding competition is currently being held for the advanced training of its pilots.
In order to prepare itself to win this competition and also, more generally speaking, to assert the
validity of its products, Alenia Aermacchi is setting up partnerships of absolute excellence in the techni-
cal-commercial field. This requires the definition of a clear strategy in alliances that gives advantages to
the main players in the sector but which, at the same time, considers that the request for integrated trai-
ning services implies the need for collaboration, both on a global and strategic basis and on a local and
opportunistic basis. This is happening in perfect accord with our Group Leader which, to position itself bet-
ter on the international scene is, in fact, creating a global territorial position and dimension for itself.
Aermacchi has achieved a globalized ante-litteram reality, thanks to its recent and not-so-recent histo-
ry. As far as the Market and Clients are concerned, and without having international fame on the order of
Finmeccanica, the Company already had developed greatly successful products which were sold in signifi-
cant quantities all over the world. This is evident when one considers the MB-339 (with its 235 airplanes pro-
duced to date), the MB-326 (almost 800 aircraft, also built on license) and the SF-260 which today is part of our
catalogue of outstanding products (more than 900 units have been sold).
It must be emphasized that, as far as our partners are concerned, the Company has established international
collaboration on all continents (which include the South Africa, Brazil and Australia). The Company has always
sought out partnership with the principal component Suppliers (engines, avionics, simulators, etc.) of the World.
This internationalization continues: this is continually shown by the most recent contracts (Malaysia, Nigeria, The
Philippines and Libya) and visits which are made almost on a daily basis by foreign delegations arriving in Venegono
from all over the world to try out our aircraft in flight.
The policy of alliances extends itself also to the world of suppliers. In fact, it is our intention to transform the rela-
tionship with our suppliers as much as possible to more advanced forms of partnership.
Alenia Aermacchi promotes integration and synergy to the utmost, together also with other Finmeccanica Group
realities, in particular with equipment and systems suppliers. The airplanes are the platforms filled with extraordinary
quantities of systems and equipment: products such our as our advanced M-346 trainer represent true driving forces for
the other Group companies. For example, on the M-346 there are
avionics systems from Galileo Avionica, flight control instruments
and systems from Alenia SIA and communications equipment from
Selex Communications. Simulators have been chosen from an allian-
ce between Galileo Avionic and CAE, the world leader in the sector.
For the operational version of the aircraft, we are furthermore conside-
ring installing the radar products of Selex.
I am convinced that with the M-346, which is certainly the most advan-
ced project in our history and which is foreseen to be the best product in its
category, Alenia Aermacchi today has greater opportunity and potential than
ever before with the support and the strength of the Finmeccanica Group.
And, so, observing our experience, the results achieved in the past
and the players on the field, one cant help but feel optimistic about the
future of the M-346 and, all considered, the Alenia Aermacchi company it-
self. This is a firm that could not survive without this airplane but also can-

not identify itself solely and passively with it. This is a company which must
continue into the future to maintain a complete selection of aircraft as a for-
midable asset for instilling loyalty among its Clients and as a distinctive ele-
ment in promoting the Aermacchi brand throughout the world.

Paolo Gianvanni

t is normal practice in the

I aerospace industry for Institutional

representatives to visit the
industrial sites in order to look over
the latest products of national
companies. This reflects not only the
conscientious response to ones
political duty to be informed of
national progress but also represents a
tangible, strong gesture of official
support for the industries participation
in the international markets. For the
most part such occasions involve a
visit to the company plant and facilities
and specifically prepared meetings
with company officials. But, on 21
September, in Venegono things were
quite a bit different with the two
Government ministers the Minister of
Defence Ignazio La Russa and Minister
of the Interior Roberto Maroni who
flew aboard the M-346.
This somewhat unusual event was
encouraged by Minister Maronis
familiarity with the programme: the
Minister lives in Lozza, which is a short
distance away from the Alenia
Aermacchi factory facilities, and he has
officially followed every phase of the
programme, participating in the various
presentations and ceremonies. But his
ties go even further, in that his wife

Two Minist
Emilia works at the aeronautical firm.
The two Gover nment Ministers
were received by Aermacchi President
Giorgio Brazzelli and CEO Carmelo
Cosentino, in addition to the top
management of Finmeccanica,

the M
President and General Manager Pier
Francesco Guarguaglini, Giorgio
Zappa, Filippo Bagnato and Lorenzo
Borgogni, and Alenia Aermacchi CEO
Giovanni Bertolone.
Pier Francesco Guarguaglini
stressed in his remarks the Italian Air
Forces interest in purchasing 15 M-
346 aircraft, an order that will represent Minister of Defence Ignazio La Russa a
an important calling card in launching
the product on the world market and
capturing, according to Aermacchis
Maroni were guests of Alenia Aermacc
estimation, about one third of the
worlds market for advanced trainers
sitting at the controls of the M-346 du

Ministers La Russa and Maroni presented
the photo of their flight on the M-346 by
Engineers Cosentino and Guarguaglini.

Photo by AMW

over the next 25 years. Minister La

Russa seconded this idea when he
confirmed that delivery of the trainer to
the Air Force has never been in doubt,
in spite of the recent budget cuts in
Defence. The fund allocations for the
trainers seem certain to be included in
the next Budget, probably through the
Ministry for Economic Development
which will sign the contract.
The President of the Varese
Province, who worked as an engineer
for six years in Aermacchi, noted that
the aeronautical sector is a symbol of
excellence for the area: The
technically-advanced manufacturing
sector is our strong point - not services
or the new economy; in this field no
developing countries can ever compete
with us. This is a reality that those
responsible must consider in
supporting the aeronautical sector
which employs upwards of 6,000
people, including the nearby Agusta
The Air Force offers full
collaboration. The Experimental Flight

ters Flying
Division has conducted an intensive
test programme at its Pratica di Mare
facilities of a prototype to evaluate
performance limits and flying
characteristics, in addition to onboard
avionics and engines. The Air Force

considers the M-346 to be an excellent
choice for transition from a basic flight
trainer to an operational aircraft,
particularly in a moment in which
operational airplanes have reached
such a high level of complexity and
cost while Defence budgets are

and the Minister of the Interior Roberto continually being reduced. The M-346
is considered to be an advanced trainer

and so would be deployed with the Air

chi when they experienced the thrill of Forces 61st Wing as a Fourth Phase
trainer which serves beyond
uring a particularly memorable flight accreditation as a Military Pilot.
Officially designated pilots selected for

Paolo Gianvanni

The two Ministers receiving a model of

the M-346 with its new red livery.

Photo by AMW

further training in combat air tactics are

detained by the 61st Wing for this
phase in order to perform a series of
additional, specifically designed
operational missions (low-altitude
navigation, formation flying tactics, firing
range, in-flight refueling, interception)
considered to be standard pre-
operational requirements.
The M-346 will gradually be
absorbed by the Air Force in this
phase currently being accomplished
by the MB-339CD which, while
performing satisfactorily in this role,
belongs to an older generation.
Without a doubt, the M-346 is more
powerful, versatile and able to offer
training that is better finalized for the
a i rc r a f t t h a t t h e p i l o t s w i l l f l y
Going back to the event at
Venegono, and after a meeting lasting
about an hour with the directors of
Finmeccanica and Alenia Aermacchi,
our two guests visited several
divisions of the Company and met
their managers. A briefing about the
aircraft followed and, at 11 oclock,
having put on their flight suits, the two
ministers got aboard the trainers.
Minister Maroni climbed aboard the
f i r s t re d - l i v e r i e d p re - s e r i e s p l a n e
together with Commander
Cecconello, while Minister La Russa
took his position aboard the second
prototype with Chief Test Pilot Quirino
Bucci. Their take-off occurred at 1130
hours, and for 35 minutes the two
M-346s manoeuvred in the airspace
between Lake Como and the
Upon landing, the comments were

Minister La Russa shown proudly returning

from his flight on the M-346.

Photo by AMW

enthusiastic: An unforgettable
experience said Minister La Russa,
complimenting Aermacchi and its
pilots for their extreme professiona-
lism demonstrated throughout the
development of the M-346.
The event concluded with an
impressive demonstration of the two
planes being flown by the same pilots
who had taken our distinguished
guests up for a ride.
The guests were treated to the
flying demonstration from the terrace
facing the flight line, and they were
a b l e t o f u l l y a p p re c i a t e t h e
manoeuvres and technical charac-
teristics of the two aircraft which were
p u t t h ro u g h t h e i r p a c e s t o t h e
maximum. When the show ended, the
two Ministers were each presented
with a model of the M-346 dressed in
its new red colour.

Photos of Minister Maroni (upper photo)

and Minister La Russa (lower photo)
without oxigen mask aboard the M-346s.

Photo by AMW


Gabriele Sgarbi
Alessandro Bianchi

From training req
hanges in political,

C economical and military

scenarios have for ced
national forces to review their
strategic tasks and, subsequently, to
rationalize their resources. In the same
period aircraft performance, in terms of
platform energy and airborne-systems
complexity, increased the tremendously
demanding higher pilot skills, particularly
system and weapons skills. Many Air
Forces have undertaken an intense
reorganization in order to achieve
significant cost reduction whilst
maintaining a high level of preparation.
Two phenomena can be observed:
reduced defence budget allocation
implies that maintaining the same level of
operational personnel skills has to be
achieved with less resources, leading to
an extensive revision of present training
programs and syllabus while, at the same
time, defining specific attributes
(methodologies, technologies and so on);
the constant evolution of ever more
dynamic military operations and new
international threats (such as terrorism)
requires that the training of military forces
be far more versatile and technologically
Modern training is no longer a matter
of just performing the correct manoeuvre
but rather managing aircraft systems
while performing the correct manoeuvre
under stress conditions imposed by the
external environment.

The M-346 vaunts ET2S technology which

satisfies the new LIFT standards required
by future 4th and 5th generation fighters
entering service.

Photo by AMW
ht Simulation
uirements to system capability
Today the combat pilot has to be (Situational Awareness). multinational forces;
trained to develop the following skills: Other logistics and economical increasingly rigid air traffic rules that
operate in every kind of natural factors also play an important role: restrict military flight operations.
environment; costs related to flight activity; A valid solution able to satisfy actual
manage different kinds of threats limited airspace for flight training pilot training demands, whilst respecting
(airborne, seaborne and ground-based) activity; the imposed budget limitations, is the
manage multiple threats; limited availability and/or versatility simulation of the tactical environment
operate in Multinational and Joint of suitably-equipped tactical training onboard the aircraft, called In-Flight
Operations; areas; Simulation or Embedded Tactical Trai-
acquire and maintain an overall view logistical costs to organize ning System (ET2S).
of the evolving tactical scenario multiplayer missions for the training of The proof of what is mentioned above



Gabriele Sgarbi
Alessandro Bianchi


is that all major air forces in the world are usage, the ET2S allows the Instructor Standards for Operational Conversion
introducing the ET2S as a mandatory and Pilot to design and plan different Tactical Unit (OCU) pilot training. This, in turn,
fundamental requirement in training Scenarios. The complexity of the Tactical implies a higher Output Standard to be
phases. Scenario can be tailored to best meet achieved at graduation from a Lead-In
The fundamental idea is to train the the Students Pilot Learning Curve in Fighter Training (LIFT) Course.
Student Pilot on the aircraft (referred to relation to the Training Objectives Participation in the Eurotraining program,
as the Ownship) by simulating a envisaged by the Syllabus. sponsored by European Air Chiefs
synthetic Tactical Scenario where Alenia Aermacchi has been the (EURAC) throughout Advanced European
simulated entities, called Computer forerunner in ET2S since the Jet Pilot Training (AEJPT), has allowed
Generated Forces or CGFs (e.g. Fighters, implementation of the Embedded Alenia Aermacchi to gain a greater
Anti-Aircraft Artillery, Frigates, etc) Simulation in the MB-339 CD for the knowledge of these subjects. The whole
behave as hostile, neutral or friendly Italian Air Force and, later, participating M-346 design concept is a response to
forces, according to their doctrine. Each in the WaSiF program (see Aermacchi this increased demand in Training Needs
CGF manoeuvres as a function of its World 9, July 2008) . Exploiting these by providing the following key features:
platform performance capabilities and successful experiences, Alenia aft-tail configuration with advanced
doctrine in response to Ownship Aermacchi has introduced new and more aerodynamics design (variable camber
manoeuvring. The pilot actively interacts comprehensive ET2S features in the M- wing and vortex lift);
with the Tactical Scenario by operating 346 and M-311 product line. twin turbofan engine(Thrust-to-
the sensors and weapon systems (both The entry into service of 4th and 5th Weight ratio at 50% fuel ~ 1);
Air-to-Air and Air-to Ground) simulation generation fighter and Fighter/Bombers redundant Fly-By-Wire (FBW) Flight
features which are part of the ET2S. (e.g. F-16 block 50, Typhoon, JSF, Control System (FCS) ensuring Carefree
By offering great flexibility in its Rafale, etc) demands new Input handling and Post-Stall manoeuvring

capability; fighterbombers. The process followed is designed by the instructor. Moreover,
high angle of attack; shown in Figure 1. Starting from the new benefits accrue from the entire
transonic cruising speed/ super- set of Training Needs for 4th and 5th courseware, starting from the classroom
sonic dive; generation fighter OCU, it analyses how activity. To support the operational
digital Integrated Avionics System; much of this can be captured by the M- activity, the academic Advanced Jet
live stores carriage capability; 346 LIFT course. Alenia Aermacchi is Training (AJT) / LIFT course will now
Helmet Mounted Display System; conducting activities in the context of the include topics that were traditionally part
Air-to-Air refuelling probe. Integrated Training System (ITS) of the Operational Conversion Unit
The integration of ET2S into the M- requirements defined by Eurotraining and (OCU) courseware, such as:
346 further expands its mission being specified by a number of air sensor operating principles;
capability, enhancing quality (i.e. the forces, including the Italian Air Force. defensive aids sub-system opera-
effectiveness) of the training delivered. The TNA highlighted that the ET2S tions (Chaff & Flares, Jammers);
The Training Needs Analysis (TNA) plays a key role in setting new standards weapon engagement (active
process, performed on the Continuum of in the design of Advanced Jet and Lead- guided and passive guided missiles,
Training from Basic to Lead-In Fighter In Fighter Training (LIFT) programmes bombs, rockets and gunnery);
Training, identified which ET2S features (see Figure 2). The achievement of a broader intercept and tactics.
are required for training new-generation higher output standard is obtained by The knowledge so acquired will allow
combat pilots who are going to operate providing an early exposure of the a proficient operation of the ET2S, first in
in Networked-Centric Command & Student Pilot to Sensors system the Full Mission Simulator (FMS to gain
Control Warfare (NC3W) scenarios on 4th operations and an enhanced spectrum of practice and confidence), and then on
and 5th generation fighters and tactics within a realistic battlefield the aircraft to consolidate training.



Gabriele Sgarbi
Alessandro Bianchi

The objective is to enhance the value of allowing also an early identification of scenarios where real entities (other
each hour spent on each training those less able students who can then be aircraft) interact with the synthetic entities
medium, including the aircraft as an re-streamed to other career paths; (called Computer-Generated Forces or
airborne training system maximizing the for a given amount of Flight Hours; CGFs).
throughput and keeping down the costs. Download allows higher Pilots skill level When a single-ship is operating the
The TNA studies emphasize that an achievement at the end of the LIFT embedded system on its own ( i.e.,
optimum ET2S introduction into the phase, guaranteeing the primary role of against CGFs only), the system is
training programme maximizes the successive OCU as platform conversion operating in Stand-Alone mode.
opportunities of Downloading Pilots (transition). Cost savings are obtained by When a single-ship is operating the
skills along the Continuum of training, increasing the amount of hours in the embedded system and sharing the same
with special regard to the OCU to LIFT. LIFT phase while reducing unnecessary Scenario with two or more real
The ET2S contributes to increasing the extra Flight Hours at the OCU, which is participants (including a Ground
Teaching Effectiveness of all the training known to be the most expensive training. Monitoring Station), the system is
media, including the aircraft. As an example, the higher skills operating in Networked mode.
Downloading provides early gained at the LIFT phase allow a Since the MB-339 CD2 Embedded
opportunities to develop knowledge and smoother transition (better Training Simulation (it was 1999) to the
skills needed to achieve training Proficiency) to Squadron level where development of the M-346 ET2S, Alenia
objectives in less costly training phases, more time may be spent in exploiting Aermacchi has experimented with
with two implications: modern-fighter performance. different types of Embedded Systems
for a given Skill output level: A broader ET2S able to fulfil new architectures.
Download allows instructional staff to training requirements is made-up of the
move to the early-phases skills normally elements shown in the picture on page 11. THE MB-339CD2 EMBEDDED
achieved in more advanced phases, thus Another important element of SIMULATION (ES) (1997 2004)
leading to higher cost savings. Early skills relevance in the ET2S system is the The MB-339CD2 was the first Alenia
development improves success rates, possibility of lead-in training in complex Aermacchi application of in-flight
simulation, and it was delivered to the
Italian Air Force. The MB-339 CD2 ES is
DOWNLOAD EFFECT a Stand-Alone system integrated within
the aircraft software (called Operational
Flight Program OFP).
The exploitation of Embedded
Simulation (ES) also requires the
provision of ground-based tools. Alenia
Aermacchi provides its Customers with
comprehensive tools to conduct these
tasks. The MB39CD2 ES has a dedicated
Exercise Planning tool integrated into the
aircraft Mission Planning & Debriefing
Station (MPDS) where only the Instructor
Pilot is enabled to set the Scenarios of
suitable complexity to meet the Learning
Objectives applicable to the specific
Student. Scenario files are then
transferred from the MPDS into the Data
Transfer Cartridge (DTC) and then loaded
onto the aircraft.
The MB-339CD2 ES uses specific
routines as part of the Operational Flight
Program (OFP) to manage the simulation.
The ES is an Electronic Warfare
simulation with the following main

cues nor weapon ve a more intimate integration in the air-
simulation are craft Mission Core System at available
provided. higher computing resources.
A Tactical operate the ET2S with the Autono-
Situation Display mous Airborne Combat Manoeuvring
(TSD) format on the Instrumentation (AACMI) systems;
Multifunctional operate within the ITS infrastructure
Displays (MFD) The fulfilment of these requirements
allows the pilot to led to the development of ET2S-
gain Situational dedicated computing hardware integrated
Awareness, whilst into the aircraft Mission Computer and
the flight history directly connected to the datalink
data are real-time transceiver which supports both the ET2S
recorded on the functions as well as the AACMI
DTC to support environment.
Mission Debriefing This enhanced the ET2S capabilities
MFD Format for the MB-339CD2ES-Main Menu
at the MPDS. by introducing:
High-Fidelity weapon system and
Chaff & Flare Dispensing System THE M-311 AND M-346 ET2S sensor simulation models;
(CFDS) (TODAY) more sophisticated CGF platform
RADAR Warning Receiver (RWR); Within the context of constantly more and behavioural models;
Missile Approach & Launch War- demanding training requirements, and ability to perform co-operative
ning System (MAWS); with the willingness to create synergies Beyond Visual Range (BVR) and BVR to
Tactical Datalink simulation (JTIDS); on the new M-346 and M-311 trainers, Within Visual Range (WVR) training with 4
Pre-programmed CGFs entities: Alenia Aermacchi further developed the or more participants.
Surface-to-Air Missile sites, Anti-Aircraft Embedded Simulation technology so as The capability of the Ground-based
Artillery and Fighters without any to increase its training effectiveness. station has been increased to support the
offensive capability New system requirements are in the new system capabilities, and specific
The pilot can only escape from following main directions: tools are provided to create the CGFs in
threats by performing the proper evasive broaden the system functionalities terms of platform performance definition
manoeuvre and releasing Chaff & Flares to match the required complexity of the and behavioural modelling. These
when appropriate throughout the Customers operational environment; software tools have been integrated into
Electronic Warfare page. Neither attack combine past experiences to achie- the M-346 and M-311 Mission Support

MFD Format for the MB-339CD2ES-EWS MFD Format for the MB-339CD2ES-TCT


Gabriele Sgarbi
Alessandro Bianchi

The M-346 and M-311 share the same (TWS), Ground Mapping (GM), Air-to- (SMS) to manage the simulated weapons,
ET2S technology, even if the M-346 Ground with Ranging (AGR). including MRM, SRM, Bombs, Rockets
functions are more advanced.
A Tactical datalink simulation provides and Gun. The aiming algorithms are part
Photo by AMW Entities (e.g. targets, threats, team of the aircraft software, whilst the
members, etc) activity information on a selection of the aircraft Master Mode
Systems (MSS), connected to the ITS Tactical Situation Display (TSD), which automatically selects the FCR operation
infrastructure (e.g. TMIS, FMS, etc.) to can be coupled with the FCR for target
monitor student career progression and designation. Using the TSD the Student MFD format relating to the M-346 ETS-AA FCR
development in relation to the training pilot gains Situational Awareness about
syllabus. threat activities, as well as datalink team
The M-346 and M-311 share the members positions and designated
same ET2S technology, with the only targets.
difference being introduction of more An Electronic Warfare Suite (EWS)
sophisticated functions on the M-346 to simulation provides RWR, MALWS, Laser
meet the new LIFT standards set by the Warning System (LWS), and Passive and
entry into service of 4th - 5tth generation Active countermeasures systems. Passive
Lead-In Fighters. and Active countermeasures systems can
In its baseline version, the M-346 operate either in Autonomous or Semi-
ET2S suite includes an enhanced Human- Autonomous or Manual modes. Threat
Machine Interface (HMI) fully data coming from RWR, MALWS and
representative of new-generation combat LWS sensors generate different alerting
aircraft with MFD displays, Hands-On tones and synthetic messages in the
Controls for sensor and Defensive Aids cockpit to advise the pilot about a
management during tactical operations. specific threat; moreover, these systems
A Multimode Fire Control RADAR operate together with the Defensive
(FCR) simulation includes typical Air-to-Air Subsystems.
and Air-to-Ground Modes such as Range- The ET2S is integrated with the
While Search (RWS), Track-While Scan aircraft Stores Management System

capability to operate the ET2S in the cooperative forces)
same network, which is also AACMI Operating multi-ship missions,
compatible to ensure mission multiple (real) platforms are required for
interoperability among different missions which rely on visual contact with
platforms. cooperative or opposing forces (e.g.
transition from Beyond- to Within-Visual-
Expanding aircraft mission capability Range, 2-ship A/G missions, etc). The
into the combat training, the ET2S networked mode ensures Multiple
enables an earlier exposure of the Training Functionality for the Air-Air
Student Pilot in the following areas: combat training and Scenario monitoring.
Situational Awareness, through a The ET2S introduces the following
proficient use of integrated sensors and operational, logistics and economical
systems; advantages to the modern Training
Sensor and System Management, System:
operating modern, sophisticated and versatility: implementing different
highly integrated onboard systems; platforms, operating either autonomously
improved Tactical Behaviour as a or in multi-ship networked missions;
reaction to the surrounding real and virtual modularity: allowing gradual
HUD Symbols for the M-346 environment; increase in system complexity and
establishing Tactical Cooperation, functional fidelity (tailored to the optimum
mode, the weapon system and the aiming by activating a communications network student learning curve);
cues to be displayed on the HUD. via an info-distribution system; portability: being operable in any
Each Scenario includes a so-called improve Weapon Deployment, volume of training airspace (even remote
pop-up target consisting of a CGF which operating a number of variable range and with no need of ground support
is inactive until the Instructor Pilot enables weapons. facilities);
it. This feature creates unpredictability in Operating single-ship missions, the cost reduction: without need for real,
the Scenario testing Student Pilot previously specified objectives are onboard classified sensors / equipment /
Situational Awareness and prioritisation achieved throughout an autonomous tactical data link, as well as no need for
skills. stand-alone environment (including real cooperative or opposing / threat
Both the M-346 and M-311 have the generation of virtual threats or forces.

MFD format relating to the M-346 ETS-Ground Mapping FCR MFD format relating to the M-346 ETS-HSD


Gregory Alegi

Five letters and a hyphen can hide

many messages. With a little
imagination and irony, aircraft
registrations can help marketing
ovember Echo country is identified by a national

N Uniform November
is impossible!, an
Aermacchi test
pilot complained thirty years ago
about the registration applied in
letter (or two letters, or a letter and
a number), followed by an aircraft
registration of four letters (three if
the national prefix has two letters)
or five numbers. The vast majority
1979 to the ninth MB-339A built. of countries uses letters, but the US
The complaint, in truth, was a bit and Russia, which have the worlds
late considering that in 1976 the largest civil fleets, use numbers.
first prototype had been registered S y s t e m s v a r y f ro m c o u n t r y t o
I-NOVE, followed in 1977 by I-NINE c o u n t r y, b u t t h e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r
for the second and I-NEUF for the w o rd games is exploited
t h i rd i n 1 9 7 8 . B u t a l w a y s t h e everywhere. An English collector
n u m b e r n i n e , i n f o u r d i ff e re n t
languages, to launch the new Andrea Rossettos MB-308 repainted with
the colours and emblems of the INCOM
advanced trainer. company, the original owner of the air-
Exploiting registration letters to craft. The current registration is German.
send a message, create a name or Photo from Rossetto Archives
pay tribute to a person was once a
very frequent gimmick. Up to a year
ago the demonstrator for the M-311 resorted to G-PSID for his vintage MAKI and I-MAHI, again playing on
basic trainer still flew with the I- P-51D Mustang fighter. the company name. Despite its
PATS registration inherited from the Going back in time and sifting vastly subsonic performance, the
participation of its S-211 predeces- through the history of Aermacchi MB-320 light piston twin became I-
sor in the previous United States as well as in that of other Italian MACH.
J o i n t P r i m a r y A i rc r a f t Tr a i n i n g industries which fall outside the References to companies, in this
System (JPATS) competition. Today, scope of this article there can be c a s e a s c u s t o m e r s , w e re o f t e n
like the three M-346 advanced trai- found many instances of skilful use found on the AL-60, whose entire
ners, the M-311 flies with military of the five letters of the civil production was sold on the civil
Experimental Marks (shortened as registration. In 1984 the upgraded market. This led to I-SATT of the
CS) issued by the General Director MB-339B carried the eloquent Societ Avio Trasporti Torino, I-
of Aeronautical Armaments under registration I-GROW, while the MB- COGE of Cogefar, I-VOLO of the
military airworthiness regulations. 339K single-seat attack variant Bologna Aero Club and I-GROS of
T h e r u l e s g o v e r n i n g a i rc r a f t became I-BITE. Its MB-326K the G. Rossi company of Brescia.
identification are determined by predecessors had been much less Fabio Columella, a neurologist from
Annex 7 to the Chicago convention, original, flying respectively as I- Bologna and early proponent of air
w h i c h c a m e i n t o e ff e c t o n 8 AMKK (Aermacchi K) and I-KMAK a m b u l a n c e s , re g i s t e re d h i s A L -
February 1949 but in essence ( w h i c h I t a l i a n s re a d a s W h a t a 60B2L I-NEUR: very clear! The
continued the system introduced Macchi!). In 1959-60 the two MB- Settimana Incom n e w s re e l
a f t e r t h e F i r s t Wo r l d Wa r. E a c h 326 prototypes were registered I- registered its MB-308 I-NCOM, and

Whats in a name?
the aircraft still flies. In the Thirties
Ala Littoria looked to Italian rivers
AL-60, which became I-PFOR, while
his wife Mara was memorialised on
Caronni, the powerful co-COO, got
I-ECAR. But the latter was lost on
for its Macchi C.94 fleet, leading to a Bolkow 207 which Aermacchi approach to Denham airport on 27
I-ARNO, I-SILE, I-LIRI and others. accepted in part payment for ano- October 1961, which was conside-
Frequent references were also ther aircraft. Since I-MARA already red a bad omen and led to less per-
made to people. The first three MB- existed it was in fact the MB-308 sonal references.
308 were named after the children flown by the general and journalist The tradition was revived in the
of Aermacchis president: I-FABR Sergio Sostegni the name was Nineties for the launch of the C

for Fabrizio, I-DEDI for his sister written backwards as I-ARAM. It model, with a search for four-letter
Dedi and I-DONT for the younger t o o i s s t i l l f l y i n g t o d a y. A n o t h e r acronyms that might convey the
s i s t e r D o n a t e l l a . I - FA B R a n d I - MB-308, I-CARE, paid homage to idea of its new advanced avionics. It
DONT still exist today in two chief pilot Guido Carestiato. Chief was suggested that the acronym be
museums. Paolo Foresio himself Operating Officer Angelo Vallerani linked to a logo which might be
was recognised through the second g o t A L - 6 0 I - AVA L , w h i l e E l i g i o used in the marketing phase with

Gregory Alegi

The MB-308 prototype was registered as I-MITO (Myth), to name but a few. (Fighter Avionic Training Aircraft)
I-FABR in honour of the Company An avionics-oriented approach led and I-CCIP (Continuously
President Fabrizio Foresio.
t o I - D ATA ( p e r D e v e l o p m e n t a l Computed Impacy Point). The
Photo by AMW Avionic Training Aircraft), I-FATA choice eventually fell on I-AMDA,

greater appeal than the registration

which in the words of a test pilot
after a moments interest does not
do much to make the aircraft better
Despite this a list of possible
registrations was drawn up, broken
up by categories. These went from
the patriotic I-TALY, which over the
y e a r s h a d a p p e a re d o n m a n y
aircraft, including an MB-308, to
t h o s e f ro m m y t h o l o g y s u c h a s
I-SIDE (Isis in Italian), I-CARO
(Icarus), I-SOLE (The Sun) and

The second MB-326 prototype.

Photo by AMW

First prototype MB-339A.

Photo by AMW

medicine (I-CTUS, I-RENE which

means kidney in Italian and even
the very incorrect I-MENE, for
Hymen) and even religion. The latter
included a very respectful I-DDIO
(God) and a blasphemous Venetian
expression that would have probably
prevented its use in circuits over the
Venison seminary, but also I-SLAM
for the Arab market. A geographical
reference with possible double
meanings was I-BRAZ. It is further
recommended, the memo went on,
that the honorary registrations I-
BAZZ [for designer Ermanno
possibly standing for Aer Macchi after noon at Venegono airfield, Bazzocchi], I-VALD [for COO Giulio
Digital Avionics, and under this thoughts ran to other possibilities in Valdonio], I-FABR etc. be completed
name it would be engaged in test purely speculative terms. These
and demonstration flights around the ranged from sports (with I-NTER and
Third prototype of MB-339A .
world. I-GNIS, the latter a famous
Then, maybe during a rainy winter basketball team from Varese) to Photo by AMW


Gregory Alegi

The MB-339B with an engine higher t h e U K C i v i l Av i a t i o n A u t h o r i t y

powered than the A version and so (CAA) which today lists 21,000
registered as I-GROW.
current registrations and 41,000
Photo by AMW aircraft in total. The official CAA
data are updated daily, with about
with the following: I-DUCE. Not a a third of the total modified every
reference to Mussolini, by any y ear. Queries can be made from
means: just the names of the two http://www.caa.co.uk/application.as
test pilots of the time, Riccardo px?catid=60&pagetype=65&appid=1
Durione and Olinto Cecconello! using a clear and straightforward
The last speaking registration form with various possible paths,
used by Alenia Aermacchi was pro- from ownership (Patina Ltd) to
bably I-RDGO, which was applied to a i rc r a f t t y p e ( F i a t C R 4 2 ) a n d
the only Finnish M-290TP Redigo o b v i o u s l y t h e re g i s t r a t i o n i t s e l f
used in Italy. After that, the intro- (G-CBLS). A test using the
duction of the new airworthiness k e y w o rd M a c c h i p ro d u c e d n o
regulations quickly led to the cur- re s u l t s , b u t s e a rc h i n g f o r S I A I
rent monopoly of military CS and
MM serial numbers. The M-311 demonstrator is shown here
with the same I-PATS markings inherited
from the preceding S-211 that had
LOOKING FOR REGISTRATIONS participated in the competition for the
ON THE NET Joint Primary Aircraft Training System.
T h e b e s t c i v i l re g i s t e r o n t h e
Photo by AMW
internet is certainly the G-INFO of

The only example of its series in
Aermacchi, the Finnish REDIGO aircraft
has now been released to the
Mexican Air Force.

Photo by AMW

M a rc h e t t i p ro v e d t h a t t h e U K
register today hosts five SF-260s,
five S-205s and a single SM-1019.
It is also possible to carry out
b ro a d e r s e a rc h e s , l i s t i n g f o r
i n s t a n c e a l l t h e S p i t f i re s o n t h e
register. In some cases there are
also photos p ro v i d e d by
enthusiasts on a volunteer basis.
A similar service, visually less
a t t r a c t i v e a n d w i t h m a n y m o re
m a t e r i a l e r ro r s , i s p ro v i d e d i n
America by the FAA at the address
http://registr y.faa.gov/aircraftin-
quiry/ (thats right no www at the
b e g i n n i n g ! ) . Ty p i n g M a c c h i w i l l
reveal five MB-326s, five AM-3Cs
and a total of eight AL-60s in update service informing the c o m p l e t e re g i s t r y i n a f u t u re
various models. specialist press of newly issued website update. Until then, only
In Italy ENAC has for some certificates of airworthiness. There some unofficial listings provided by
years operated an efficient monthly are plans to introduce the official volunteers exist. The alternative is
represented by the purchase of the
traditional (and expensive!) Libro
registro book.
Other official registers on the
n e t a re t h o s e o f C a n a d a
/ccarcs/default_e.asp), Switzerland (
g=en), Australia (http://www.casa
.asp) and New Zealand
There also are various unofficial
listings of many other countries,
with varying levels of completeness
and reliability.
M a n y c a n b e re a c h e d b y

s e a rc h i n g p a t i e n t l y o n w w w.
landings.com. Again reliability and
completeness are very uneven and
ultimately depend largely on the
scruple of the enthusiasts who
create and maintain them.

briefings for pilots
Giancarlo Naldi

An interview with Captain

Giancarlo Lalli, one of the most
qualified Italian pilots still
performing operational activities.

am meeting Captain Giancarlo Lalli ring that Puglias high summer tempera-

I today in one of his fleeting sojourns

in Italy because he, like many of our
friends, is condemned to a profes-
sional exile by Italian law which declares
that age 60 represents the onset of ...
tures and the stress of the flight selec-
tion resulted in the loss of an average of
two kilos per flight (according to a study
made by the AFB doctor), which were
largely recovered during the day through
senility for pilots. Sitting on the panora- the introduction of liquids.
mic terrace of his I still remember
Roman house in Flight training on an the endless line of
Cassia Street, we MB-326s parked with all the flight equipment to get used
joke about this advanced trainer only under the sun and to it.
while the sky is slo- the difficulties in While the sky is growing dark,
wly being filled with
serves to reinforce sitting in the hot memories crowd our minds... and they
cumulus-nimbus cockpit and car- are all nice because the weather is
self-confidence in the rying out pre-flight pleasant and blurs away what we do
We have been professional pilot. checks, because not want to remember. Indeed, the most
friends for over 40 of sweating. This beautiful moment of our lives - long-
years. Together we attended the Air was a consequence also of the heavy awaited during the four years of the Air
Academy and, after that, the piloting flight-finery which entrapped us, Academy because, finally, we could fly
course at the Basic Flying School of together with a woollen undergarment, - was actually quite stressful. The course
Lecce, sharing the same room. the anti-G suit, the life jacket and the was selective, and characterized by the
I still remember the exchange of helmet which in those days was very worry of being washed out and, the-
impressions at the end of the day of our heavy. This was pure torture, until we reby, throwing away four years of our
first flight experiences and his evening lifted the wheels off the ground. lives. After three negative missions,
self-examination in front of a mirror to The equipment was, in fact, a major they replaced our instructor with ano-
make sure his belly had not grown. This handicap for flight novices like us, to ther and, with still no further progress,
was an unnecessary concern, conside- the point that we were forced to march there was a "flight control" by an exa-

miner. This was followed by the Board I remember that, after putting up Skies over Tuscany, 17 June 2002.
The PAN greeting the Alitalia Jumbo in its
of Education" meeting and, in most with his ranting throughout the last day with the company.
cases, by expulsion from the course. course, at the penultimate mission I
"Our instructors were not tender could not bear it anymore. Since I Photo by AM Troupe Azzurra
with the two of us!" - emphasizes Lalli, was higher in rank, I ordered him to
an expert having been an instructor for stop talking and take me to the We became friends, but the
briefings for pilots

36 years - At that time teaching ability ground. He obeyed and quickly left course was almost finished.
was very modest and there was no the working area, making a series of What do you think should be the
Teaching Method School for instructors rolls while diving, and brought me to principal ability of an instructor?
yet. Everyone adopted his own perso- land. As I was making the after lan- "The passion. An instructor must
nal method which, in reality, aped the ding controls, depressed and thin- love flying and let his desire be felt as
one suffered at the time. " king about the consequences of my he communicates his passion. This
act, he put his hand on my shoulder enthusiasm must infect the student,
My instructor, as any good Tuscan, and told me: Congratulations making him feel at home without adding
used to shout and fly into a rage, Lieutenant, at last you woke up! further burdens to his obvious difficul-
which would confuse me; but I reco- And I replied: You know, for a long ties. A little patience and respect for his
gnize his merits in having brought time now I have wanted to tell you to psychological needs do the rest.
me to the point of getting my license. go to hell... since the first mission! Educating is... serving!"

briefings for pilots
Giancarlo Naldi

Commander Giancarlo Lalli at the

commands of a B-747.

Photo from Lalli Archives

high-performance aircraft meant looking

for the limits of the flight machine, without
reverence, and in all types of planes.
This was not because I was obliged by
circumstances - no one will force you to
do so, especially in commercial aviation
- but because I wanted to master the
aircraft in all possible flying conditions.
The school, with its Macchi, taught
us the first quality of a military pilot,
which is full confidence in oneself and in
his or her skills.

Even the fears we have overcome

formed us. And, above all, there were
I agree. I never wanted to become good amount of flying activity accompli- those silly actions done while flying
an instructor, feeling I didnt have the shed in an aero club. Once, this was not solo, those we dare not remember
necessary qualities of patience; but, the case. Without ever having flown in even to ourselves, for fear of embar-
at that time, I did not know I would be my life, in less than 300 hours I was rassing ourselves or losing face with
appointed - with you - to be a flight trained to fly the F-104. This is the proof others. Let him who is without sin
instructor of the Academy cadets! of the training process effectiveness. cast the first stone!
I remember that when we met in the I honestly do not have such confi-
sky, we used to leave the scheduled I agree with you. The program was dence, and I believe it is a duty to discuss
program aside and try to stir the stu- really good, and the aircraft was per- and transmit experience to others so
dents with acrobatic manoeuvres allo- fect for its role. We were slowly that they may avoid the same mistakes.
wed by that aircraft or with simulated brought to familiarize ourselves with Fortunately, the number of what you call
fighting... the third dimension, until all became silly actions decreases with age and
But, lets go inside; we risk getting natural.. hours of flight. Remember the famous
drenched here. During the pre-solo training phase rule, Add 5 KTS to the final approach
they had already shown us the acroba- speed for your wife and children! ...
The weather is rapidly deteriorating, tics and taught us how to stop a diving When young, we did not apply it.
and the sky is being streaked by fre- spin. I remember well the first roll, the
quent lightning and shaken by impres- first looping, the first spin... Fortunately, Speaking of spinning and silly
sive thunderclaps. the MB-326 did not want to keep on actions, you reminded me once, when
spinning and came out of it well, unlike bringing the stick to my belly with
Certainly, attending an "all-jet" the G-91. The acquisition of familiarity both hands to keep the aircraft steady
course, pedals aside, made things with the most unusual assets and the while spinning for the fatal three sta-
somewhat 'more difficult for us... skill in both recognizing and getting out bilizing turns, I had not taken the pre-
... But rightly so, because as an of them, made my future activity easier, caution of putting my inch between
instructor you should be able to make especially that of operations. the stick and the Martin Baker clip.
the pilot selection well, arriving at a cor- But I think this is due to the fact that The trim button, pressed firmly against
rect assessment of the students poten- we have been able to experience every- the clip, put the stick at the end of
tial skills without spending unnecessary thing on a jet having excellent perfor- the diving position.
hours of flight which, as you know, are mance characteristics which are absolu- When I stopped the rotation, the
expensive. Our course was well structu- tely not comparable with those of a light aircraft kept a firm diving trim that I
red and proportioned. Nowadays, 95% aircraft like, for example, the P-148. could not stop, due to the repeated
of those who want to become military For me, starting to live the third G-stalls. Fortunately, while watching
pilots join the Air Force with a fairly dimension in complete freedom with with terror the anemometer going to

the critic limit and the altimeter in not required at the training course in order to reduce costs, it would be
rapid descent, I spotted the dolls order to qualify for a licence on these advantageous to train transport mili-
eyes and finally understood my pre- types of aircraft. In fact, JAR does not tary pilots on light aircraft, like the
carious situation and recovered the require this training for the Private Pilot Commercial Pilots training.
aircraft after having dived extremely licence. For military pilots like us, with Being a military transport pilot
low and exhausted all my adrenaline. our experience, these are obviously easy trained on an MB-326, this leaves
Having said that, I dont think a and natural things. me quite puzzled, especially when I
flying license should be granted to a think of the tactical flights we made,
student without having him seriously I remember the evenings spent as young pilots, at the 46th Air
experience first all the normal flying designing an artificial horizon to reco- Brigade: the 18-a/c mass formations,
assets and, in particular, all the unu- gnize the a/c positions during the the accentuated manoeuvres, the
sual positions and related recovery flying missions in simulated IMC exer- steep landings, the absolute mastery
manoeuvres. cises. This was particularly useful, acquired through an intense training
JAR (Joint Aviation Regulations) especially at that time, when horizons in all conditions, the great expertise
now provide that each FTO (Flight were all black and the "sky point" in IMC conditions while flying at
Training Organization) must have an air- was an almost insignificant, small thunderstorm level and without a
craft for demonstrating the spin to stu- triangle... radar as well as the fun felt in inser-
dents. In the past it was not required. I am well aware of the problem: I ting the nose of a C-119 between
The FTO in Naples, where I am instruc- went into an unusual position flying an the leaders rudders to obscure his
tor and examiner, has a Macchi 260, F-104 at night when, simulating to be a commands
particularly suitable for this purpose. target, I lazily made a series of barrel You are absolutely right. The trai-
Thus, if students find themselves in such rolls, just to be honest and hide nothing. ning on an airplane, like the MB-339 or
an unfortunate situation, they will have the M-346, shapes safe and reliable
the basic knowledge to get out of it. Personally, I find that the third pilots for any role. The cost is secondary
Even for large commercial aircraft, phase of a barrel roll rotation is the when compared to reliability; whereas
such as the Jumbo and '777, student most confusing. I can imagine one today the transport or anti-submarine
pilots are trained during the qualifying during a night flight pilot is no longer like an airline pilot in
phase to recognize and recover from But, coming back to basic forma- that they sometimes work in extreme
unusual positions but, obviously, on the tion on advanced trainers, nowadays operating environments.
simulator. Once, these procedures were there is a school of thought that in
You have an enviable flight expe-
rience as military pilot, an airline pilot
as well as an aero club pilot. How
many flying hours have you flown so

With my 4,000 hours, I still feel like

a student beside you...
I have had every possible military
briefings for pilots

experience, flying virtually every aircraft

of that age up to the F-104. Then, in
1972 at Amendola AFB, I began as flight
instructor as well as air-to-air and air-to-
surface firing range instructor on the
G-91. Later on at the Air Academy, like

The Fiat G-91T of the Amendola School

where the advanced courses were once
held for future fighter pilots.

Photo from ItAF - Historical Photos Library

briefings for pilots
Giancarlo Naldi

you, I was an instructor on the P-148. I remember that, when we were (Instrumental Rating Instructor), CRI
Then I moved to the 5th Wing in Rimini, young, Alitalia had decided to orga- (Class Rating Instructor), TRI (Type
where I also was an instructor on the nize a Flying School at Brindisi with Rating Instructor), SFI (Synthetic Flight
MB-326 to retrain some P-166 pilots the MB-326 and obtained excellent Instructor), and MCCI (Multi Crew
assigned to the fighter line. In the mean- results. I would like to publish an Cooperation Instructor). I have worked
while, I trained pilots to become twin article on that experience. It proved in Alghero also as the MCCI for the
leaders and formation leaders on the the companys farsightedness, in Italian military pilots who, after the trai-
F-104. spite of the fact that it unfortunately ning in USA on the T-38, were assigned
Then, as a Commercial Pilot, I flew came to an end because of the ine- to transport aircraft and had no expe-
the DC-9, MD-80, A-300, B- xorable market laws which allowed rience on multi-engines. On the B-747 I
747,'757,'767 and DC-10. After that, I companies to easily find pilots having am TRI and SFI, in addition to TRE
was an instructor on the Cheyenne at great military experience, without (Type Rating Examiner).
the Alitalia School in Alghero and instruc- spending money for their training
tor and inspector on the '747, the air- Yes, I know many pilots coming Tell me how you were selected to
plane I loved most and wish I could go from that school, and I can confirm that work as instructor in the Company.
back to flying as soon as possible. To they received excellent training; it was I was called to be an instructor
make this possible, I go periodically to certainly not at 360 like ours, because because I was already a military flight
Frankfurt for training, just to maintain it was primarily aimed at developing instructor. This past experience had a
my qualifications. their skills at instrumental flying. positive value in the choice. At the time,
in 1995, the Flight Operations Director,
The aerobatic characteristics of the What instructor qualifications do Captain Lotito, who had been a military
MB-339 are quite evident in this photo you have? flight instructor, named virtually all the
where the plane is at the peak of a Without any false modesty, there is military instructors he knew, like Paolo
vertical figuration over the island of Ponza.
no qualification I havent got. In fact, I Monti, Beppe Liva, and me... creating a
Photo by AM Troupe Azzurra have FI (Flight Instructor), IRI nice core of guys with a good expe-
rience. This was the star-
ting point; then we were
brought up to strength
with other pilots who were
already instructors at aero
clubs. There we trained
flying students from zero
to line pilots.

Talking about aero

clubs, you have a great
experience also on light
aircraft. How many pla-
nes and how many
hours have you flown?
Im afraid I do not
remember the numbers
well. I think about 20 a/c
and 5,000 hours as
Instructor, all in Naples or
in Pescara, where I go
and am cleared by ENAC
(the Agency for Flight
Safety Control) to renew
and qualify on single and
multi-engine aircraft. In
Naples there is an FTO -

the 059, which I certified two years I believe that the Academy has given An instant review of my 40 years of
ago, after three years of work - that is us a lot. flight brings me to the same conclu-
set up to provide licences for private It is like the Classic Studies high sion.
and commercial pilots, as well as instru- school: it seems that it gives you Could this be so for us and not for
mental and multi-engine qualifications. nothing; as a matter of fact, it gives you others of our course?

But, coming back to the Company,

I see that former military pilots conti-
nue to wear the military pilots insi-
gnia with great pride. Beyond the
appearances, do you think that, from
a professional point of view, they are
different from the others?
Both categories are professionally
prepared but, all in all, there is a diffe-
rence. The military background is evi-
dent in the form, in the respect for the
hierarchy, in that word not said to
respect the position of the other. But
the real difference lies in the character
formation, in the equilibrium shown
under stressful or emergency situa-
tions. A military pilot is the result, as
you know, of a critical selection and,
above all, extensive training that indi-
rectly continued over time. In addition,
a military pilot put himself to the test -
and I stress himself from the time
he was young, in difficult and someti-
mes critical situations, with high perfor-
mance machines and in marginal con-
ditions; this certainly had positive effects
on his self-confidence and his higher
sense of professionalism. After all,
either you know the a/c and manage it
by yourself - and therefore study, train,
and so forth - or when difficulties pre- The M-346 is shown in a training
sent themselves, no one will help you a way of reasoning that will be precious configuration which is destined to be the
referenced ideal for the next 30 years.
and you seriously risk your life. for your entire life.
Just think! We were only 22 years If I could, I would remake the com- Photo by AMW
briefings for pilots

old when we were made responsible mercial pilot path, but with the same
for an a/c like an F-104! At 30, with pattern. First the Academy, indispensa- Age has increased my sensitivity,
only 1,500 solo flight hours, we would ble for what it offers, then military pilot and I do not easily control strong emo-
face the world. I have seen civil pilots experience and, finally, the civilian pilot tions anymore.
30 years old, with a few thousand hours training. I have been lucky to live as I I try to relax by watching the world
of flight, going into convulsions at the have ... from my window. The house, in an ele-
command course! vated position, is now fully in IMC, and
If we look at our personal experien- And in flight? Have you also been it is raining cats and dogs.
ces, I do not know exactly to what point lucky in flight? Unfortunately, I must run because
the Air Academy influenced us, but I do I have been lucky in flight, too. In my instrumental qualification and medi-
believe that four years being strictly 25,000 hours I have never had a serious cal check have expired, and the traffic
managed cannot but have left its mark. emergency. on Cassia Street is unforgiving.

Gregory Alegi

A pass
the cla
Interview with the A
Varese industrys 95 y
s much as technological

A aspects are central in

aviation, at any aircraft
manufacturer the role of
the chief pilot goes beyond the purely
technical realm. This is particularly
true at a time when Alenia Aermacchi
is involved in t w o i m p o r t a n t
development programmes such as
the new M-346 and M-311 trainers. A
chief manager is an executive in
charge of managing the aeronautical
a s p e c t s o f i n c re a s i n g l y c o m p l e x
certification programmes, but also
the commanding officer of a small
flying unit often deployed away from
its home base. Every time he displays
a n a i rc r a f t o r f l i e s a p o t e n t i a l
c u s t o m e r, t h e p i l o t d o u b l e s a s
ambassador for his company and its
A few weeks ago Alenia Aermacchi
called to this role the 44-year-old
Commander Quirino Bucci, replacing
Commander Olinto Cecconello, who
reached the age limit for test activities
and now reports directly to Chief
Operating Officer Massimo Lucchesini
as Senior Pilot.
A few minutes of research are
Commander Quirino Bucci. enough to show that, since 1946, Italy
has had eleven Presidents and the
Photo by AMW Catholic Church six Popes, but Alenia
sion born among
Alenia Aermacchi Chief Test Pilot, just the ninth in the
years of aeronautical excellence
Aermacchi only five Chief Test Pilots. On 24 March 1982 in a Partenavia Force. From the Academy to the
The comparison might sound a bit P-66B of the Aero Club of Rome with Experimental Unit I had the
awkward, but is the first thing that the instructor Gennaro Taglialatela. I
sprang to my mind to underscore the remember it as if it were today. It was
importance of Buccis election in a familiarization flight that I made as THE AERMACCHI
the etymological sense of the word, student of the De Pinedo Technical CHIEF TEST PILOTS
which comes from the Latin eligere, Aeronautical School. There were three
The histor y of Alenia
which means to choose. of us, and we would change seats in
Since we are virtually the same flight to take turns at the controls. Aermacchi dovetails with the
age and because Quirino is the first history of flight itself. The com-
Chief Test Pilot with whom I have How did you get involved with pany started building aircraft in
been on a first name basis since flying? late 1912, even before its for-
before he was appointed, I asked to After that plastic kit my passion mal incorporation on May 1,
be the one to introduce him to a larger kept growing throughout the middle 1913. In these 95 years test pi-
audience. We met in Rome. school years, until one of my teachers lots have become increasingly
Mrs. Frezza had the far- professional, keeping step with
What is your earliest aeronauti- sightedness to inform us of the technological evolution.
cal memory? opportunities to continue our
Aermacchi has built some 70
A plastic model of the legendary education; and for me this also
different types of aircraft, but it
F-104S given to me as a present by included the De Pinedo.
has had only nine Chief Test
an aunt when I was 12. I believe it was
a Hasegawa kit, with Italian roundels, When did you solo? Pilots.
4th Wing badges, standard NATO On 4 August 1982, after a dozen 1913 - Clemente Maggiora
grey-green camouflage and large flying hours, once again in one of the 1919 - Arturo Zanetti
white numbers. Until then aircraft had Aero Club of Romes P-66Cs. The 1926 - Romeo Sartori
been a bit remote idea, even though I school awarded flying scholarships to 1933 - Giuseppe Burei
would stop to admire them when they students with a high grade average, 1939 - Guido Carestiato
flew over our house on finals to which I fortunately had. At the time I 1972 - Franco Bonazzi
runway 25 at the nearby Fiumicino didnt yet have a driving licence.

1985 - Riccardo Durione

airport. 1998 - Olinto Cecconello
Who or what was the single
2008 - Quirino Bucci
When did you make your first greatest influence on your career?
flight? Without a doubt the Italian Air

Gregory Alegi


ommander Quirino Bucci has been Alenia Aermacchi Wing at Trapani and later attended the Air War School in

C Chief Test Pilot since July 2008, with a total of 5,500

flying hours in 45 different aircraft types.
Bucci was born in Rome on 11 September 1964. Upon
Florence. Selected for the Experimental Flying Unit, he
completed his test pilot training at Empire Test Pilot School
at Boscombe Down. Serving with the 311th Squadron from
graduating from the De Pinedo Technical Aeronautical 1995 to 2001 Bucci took part in several test programmes in-
School, he entered the Italian Air Force Academy in 1983 cluding the AMX, C-130J, Boeing 707T/T, BR1150 Atlantic
with the Drago IV course. In 1988 he was awarded the and ACMI without range.
Teniente Carlos Meyer Baldo medal of merit as the stu- From 2001 he flew the McDonnell Douglas MD80 with
dent with the best flying skills in the course. The following Alitalia. Since joining Alenia Aermacchi in 2005, Bucci has
year he earned his military wings with the Euro NATO Joint participated in the development of the M-346 and M-311,
Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) programme at Sheppard AFB, in displaying both aircraft in some of the worlds leading air
Texas. shows, including Farnborough, Paris, Singapore and Dubai.
After transitioning on fighters at Grosseto, Bucci flew He has displayed the MB-339 at the LIMA Aerospace show
the F-104S Starfighter with the 18th Squadron of the 37th and has twice flown the M-311 at the LAVEX show in Tripoli.

opportunity to mature following was the only occasion on which Do you hold any records?
important principles and values, but someone considered an expert ever No. But some time ago one of our
also to pursue a personal growth that paid me a compliment. I had never Alenia Aermacchi engineers said that
otherwise since I come from a thought of either the Frecce Tricolori during a M-346 flight we had unofficially
modest background would have or the Experimental Unit until they broken the previous time to altitude re-
probably stopped earlier. Life in the Air tapped me. cord in the training aircraft category.
Force certainly imposed some
sacrifices, but the payback is such
that I would do everything over again
on the double.

What do you consider the

greatest aeronautical invention?
Certainly the jet engine, which
made it possible to reach ever greater
heights and speeds with reasonable
fuel consumption.

What do you consider your

greatest success in flying?
To have always felt at ease and
calm in every situation. When I was
flying solo during my F-104 training I
flew close formation on my leader
Major Mario Bellini who, at the end,
told me: You could end up with the
Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team. It

Commander Quirino Bucci taking a

moment to relax between flights.

Photo by AMW

Obviously, that would need to be care- general characteristics were broadly What is your secret dream?
fully verified before stating it as a fact. known, and some manoeuvres had Working as test pilot for an aircraft
already been demonstrated by the MiG- manufacturer is in itself a dream, and
Which aviation experience has 29OVT, but not quite identically every being test pilot much more so. In
impressed you most? time. This indicates that human factors professional terms, in some respects a
The test pilot school was extremely were still at play. But in July the flying dream might be the success of the M-
demanding but also a source of much displays of the F-22 at Farnborough 311, the trainer that has taken up a
gratification. The Boscombe Down proved that this aircraft can do large portion of my last three years of
course is very tough particularly if, as everything, and do it every time. work.
in my case, the student arrives one
week after the academics have begun
but it allows you to acquire a mindset
and skills which, in turn, lead to very
gratifying activities.

What was your worse moment,

aeronautically speaking?
During flight training at Sheppard.
During the intermediate phase of the T-
38 course, which until then had been
going well, I went through a period in
which I could not concentrate. I was
eventually able to overcome it through
the help of the Italian instructors there.

What is your favourite aeroplane?

My instinctive answer is the F-104.
A demanding but sincere aircraft. If
something wasnt right, it would make it
very clear. The procedures to get out of
the situation were also very clear. Many
call it a widow maker, but I think that
when approached properly it was a
caring father.

What is your least favourite

There is no aircraft in my memory
for which I cannot spend at least one
positive word. What I can say for certain
is that my least favourite category are
single-engine helicopters: I have never
been too keen on auto-rotations!

Which aircraft would you like

to fly?
The answer is clear: the F-22. Its

Commander Quirino Bucci standing

beside the first M-346 prototype.

Photo by AMW

Baldassare Catalanotto

Catalanotto, an
active participant
at that time,
Air Culture
tells how the air
culture courses
were created and
Courses on
culminated with
the familiarization
flights on
the MB-308
hat have I got to do with
the Air Culture courses?!
That is a valid question,
since I have never been a
pilot and I have never been in the
Military. Actually, I infiltrated the field of
aviation, but because of true passion.
I was born in Bengasi in 1929. And
my passion for aviation started there, in
Berka. I saw my first plane when I was
two years old. It was a three-engine
Caproni 74. Two of them were deployed
there to bomb the rebels.
My passion for planes grew with
time. Many aircraft passed through
Bengasi. In 1936 the 2nd Wing moved
there with its wonderful CR-30 biplanes.
Their aerobatic manoeuvres enchanted
me. The idea of becoming an aviator
became my unshakeable decision. My
parents had always encouraged my
passion for flying and, since one of my
relatives was Berkas Chief of Logistics,

Baldassare Catalanotto (on the right)

explaining the basic rudiments of flight
to young and attentive Air Culture
course attendee.

Photo from Catalanotto Archives

Starting with its attractive design and
ease and safety in flying, the MB-308
was an immediate success and became
one of the symbols for the rebirth of
private aviation in Italy. In the photo the
author poses with youthful pride beside
a Macchino during an Air Culture

Photo from Catalanotto Archives

my visits to the airbase were frequent.

When I finished elementary school
and moved to the grammar school, I
was struck a bitter blow. In fact, I
noticed that I could not distinguish the
numbers on the blackboard anymore.
Because I did not want to jeopardise my
attending Forls air college (preparatory
for the Air Force Academy), I kept this
fact to myself. But I soon had to yield to
At the beginning of the war, we were
in Italy where we had come back in
1940. Balbo himself had made the
suggestion he said that in a short while
the war would come to an end and, it
being very difficult to feed women, the
elderly and children, he peremptorily
advised repatriation.
I was attracted to the idea of being in
war because I imagined I would see
many aircraft. Unfortunately, the ones I
saw were those of the enemy!
We moved to Rome. Since it was
impossible to join the Air Force, I
decided to become an engineer. I tried
my best to get a job in Turin with a FIAT-
group company that happened to be
called Aeritalia. It was located in Marche
Avenue, and its logo predominated in all
the air magazines.
In 1946, together with some fellow
flight enthusiasts, I founded the
Associazione Giovanile Aeronautica
(AGA = Air Youth Association) in Romes
Istria Square. Every Saturday we
gathered there to read magazines and
discuss the latest aeronautical news.

Then, the experience acquired through

model aeronautics allowed us to join the
Aero Club of Italy. We met an array of
aviators, including some pioneers and
other key personnel of the Regia

Baldassare Catalanotto

Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) who broad culture and a lover of the arts and write for Armando Silvestri and Publio
contributed to the glorious history of air the theatre he used to point out, Mangiones magazine Ali Nuove (New
superiority and primacy of the 20s and politely and with some irony, what the Wings), for which he too wrote.
30s. Our president was a pioneer of Air Force should do about Afterwards, I was employed as a
Naval Aviation, Capt Francesco Gutter, communication with the public. He reporter by the Rivista Aeronautica
who served to fill our gap in experience. believed in focusing the attention of the (Italian Air Force Magazine), where I was
After overcoming the post-war Nations youth on the aeronautical forced to work hard to cover an
confusion and discouragement, hope world. After getting in touch with AGA, unimaginable backlog of assignments.
inspired the reconstruction. With the he realised the need for new foundations Officially, the job was not considered
Atlantic Alliance, many aviators were and addressed his attention to students exceptional, in that the Air Force hired
called back to duty. Commercial aviation of the School of Engineering. This gave me as a temporary worker. But the
returned to life, and industries resumed rise to the creation of the Unione experience and the knowledge I was
their activities. Among the important Nazionale Giovanile Aeronautica able to acquire through my access to
personalities of the moment, there was (National Air Youth Union), lead by the Ministry were absolutely high level.
Capt. Filippo Greco who used to write Walter Gentili and adhered to by many Coming back to Greco, we
for the Italian Social Republic (RSI) AGA members. inaugurated the 1st Air Culture Course
magazine ALI (Wings) and, subsequently, Capt Greco selected 18 youths to in Rome, in 1951. Then we organised
continued to write for other aeronautical become on ground instructors as part other courses specifically directed to the
magazines. Being an eclectic with a of his Public Relations office. At the graduating high school classes
time I was a student at the University of throughout Italy. Greco did not focus on
The boarding sequence is quite clear in Rome La Sapienza School of motivating the youth to join the Air Force
this photo taken at the Bari Engineering, and I was one of the 18. Academy: he believed that there were
airport in 1952.
Greco remembered and liked me. plenty of candidates aspiring to that.
Photo from Catalanotto Archives We had met in 1951 when I started to Instead, he wanted our Country to be

like others, where common knowledge The characteristics of various types of
of the aeronautical sector and its aircraft were shown and explained
problems was already a reality. Today, during the courses in aeronautical
culture. Here students are shown
however, the problem is still the same, next to an amphibious P-136.
but maybe even worse. There still is
widespread ignorance of these Photo from Catalanotto Archives
problems. He wanted tomorrows
professionals, such as lawyers, doctors the old pilots.
and engineers, to be familiar enough Courses lasted five days and were
with this area so as to completely usually organised in summer, or during
change communications and world long weekends to facilitate student
relations. participation. In those days missing a
Capt Grecos idea was valid, and the lesson was unimaginable. We worked
courses had so much success that they during the Christmas Holidays, New
are still being organised today, even if Years Day and Easter nearly always.
only on the Twin Astir glider. University professors were also
Our role as on ground instructors engaged as On Ground Instructors I
consisted in giving the students basic remember, among them, were Michele
knowledge of machines and their flight Coccia, professor of Latin and Greek at
controls. We also had to maintain the University La Sapienza and the
discipline among the students who were journalist Enrico DAnna. Greco gave
divided into squads lined up along the them the nickname the Wright

flight line and waiting their turn to board Brothers. There were also women
the single-engine twin-seat MB-308 in instructors, both able and skilful.
an orderly fashion. We were trained to The Macchino was a wonderful
use all the flight controls, including the aircraft designed by Mr. Bazzocchi,
flaps which were considered a hazard by based on one of his previous aircraft

Baldassare Catalanotto

designed for the Roman company CNA, among those with the Aero Clubs first at the end of the lessons sitting close to
but he improved it with robust flaps and Level Licence. For a while, these planes the instructor, controls in our hands.
a tricycle landing gear. The 308 had kept their Air Force logo and insignia. (I The aim of this training was the
many different engines, starting from the remember flying an MB-308 with the achievement of a licence earned at the
first 65 hp up to the 90 hp (the three- black cat and green mice insignia. At Aero Club of Italy.
seat G version) which allowed any type the time I did not know anything about We organised Air Culture courses in
of manoeuvre, including rolls and loops. the tiff between the 12th Wing based on all the regions of Italy. If enough MB-
Immediately after the war the Air S-79 in Ciampino and the newly 308s were not available on the spot, we
Force acquired various aircraft, constituted 51st Wing based on G-50.). used other aircraft (e.g. the FL-3) or,
produced nationally, including the MB- Later on, the aircraft received their even more often, we deployed with
308. Later on, they thinned out the too- civilian registration. So, to fly, we planes from Rome. During these
heterogeneous flight line by distributing counted on the Aero Club of Italy. Since deployments, we were on board;
many of the 308s to the Aero Clubs of the aircraft were assigned to the Air therefore, the lesson was longer and we
Italy. This also took into consideration Force, and Civil Aviation was were also trained in visual navigation,
that future reserve pilots, both officers subordinate to the Ministry of the Air which consisted in identifying landmarks
and NCOs, would be selected from Force, the machines were assigned with along the route.
only an internal order, with no need for a Later the Aero Club of Italy reduced
The classic end-of-course photo.
specific order of movement. the courses to only five per year, due to
Standing, third from the right, is Flight It was hard to be considered as just financial problems, and, unfortunately, I
Capt Filippo Greco, creator of the cour- on ground instructors but, actually, the was not among the lucky winners. I did
ses in aeronautical culture.
prize for our volunteering consisted in not succeed in getting my licence on my
Photo from Catalanotto Archives piloting lessons. Usually it was a flight own either, also because of my weak

eyesight. I must add that, during those AR.51 brought us in front of the hangar. Some of the planes used were powered
flights, I was so intrigued by the The snow had been cleared off the by 90-horsepower engines,
such as the I-AURI.
fascinating scenery that I neglected to apron and swept to the sides. The
give maximum concentration to Macchino, shining under the sun, was Photo from Catalanotto Archives
maintaining trim, route, and flight level. waiting for us; I do not remember if it
The aircraft allocated to the courses was the I_AURE or the I_AURI. Greco fighter on various fronts, especially in
were never more than five, whereas the preferred these two since they had a Russia with the 22nd Squadron. I
number of instructors was much higher. Continental 90hp engine and, therefore, remember him with fondness. We
Draw lots Greco used to say and more power. There was no concrete greeted each other and we watched him
the rest of you go and vomit on the S- runway, and we used the grass strip. As take off and turn left towards the
82! But the Marsupiale the nickname an exception, we were cleared to use mountains. With throttle at Full Power,
given to the three-engine used for the the narrow taxiway linking the aprons. we took off after him. Greco told me, Ill
deployment (the S-82) was not always Another MB-308 arrived, a G version fly. Take your hands and feet off! We
available, and so the hated train was our with a bigger payload. It was the I_TALY arrived over Latina Airport at 1 pm.
transportation. of the aviator-journalist Enrico Meille There were no signs of activity. We
The hard Winter of 1956 is an who, in those difficult days, stuffed the started circling, but the tower did not
unforgettable memory. It was the end of plane with boxes of pharmaceuticals seem interested in us. Greco dived, and
February, and weather conditions were and commodities to be dropped, at low we flew very close to the tower twice to
not the best. The previous day Capt level, onto the soccer fields of small, see if there were any signs of life inside.
Greco said, Bring your luggage! If the isolated towns in the Appenines. Meille Ill show you how to drive them out,

weather opens up, well bring the had the right door removed in order to said the Commander, and with a tight
Macchino to Latina and remain there to pile up and tie the boxes and, when he turn dived low over the mess building.
start the course. The next morning the was in flight, he would let them slide out At the third roaring pass, a door opened
sun timidly appeared from behind the on the snow. Meille was a generous and a small man in a khaki-coloured
clouds. A jolting Campagnola (a car) person, and he had done his part as a uniform ran to the tower. He climbed the

Baldassare Catalanotto

metallic ladder as fast as possible, Commander: he was famous for his Some students were to attain later
rushed inside and seized the lamp that achievements with the Canguro glider success in the Italian Air Force, like
Commander Napoleone Bragagnolo
started to give out its flashing green and, once again on duty with the Air (standing, first on the left), shown at the
light. Then, to be on the safe side in Force, had come back to Italy from Bolzano airport, who became a test
case we had not noticed the flashing Argentina where he had moved after the pilot, and General Mario Arpino, who
became Chief of Staff first of the
light, with a Very pistol he fired two war. Air Force and then of the
green rockets that streaked through the I flew many times with Mantelli Defence Department.
afternoon haze. We parked the aircraft during the Air Culture courses and also
Photo from Catalanotto Archives
on the apron, close to the shiny C-47 on the Canguro as an air journalist, the
and C-45 of the multi-engine school, job that had become my first activity as
and we too entered the mess. Greco an ALI NUOVE correspondent. there was a career that went from
said wisely, Do not say a word. Then, one day, I was asked to journalism to the Alitalia Press Office, to
Remember that we must stay here at become head of Alitalia Press. My life Aeritalia, and even to the auto
least ten days! We ordered and had our changed completely, pushing dreams manufacturer Alfa Romeo which lasted
lunch. and projects of my youth back into a till my resignation tendered ten years
I took part in a total of 24 Air Culture corner of my memory memories that before the great Milan company passed
courses and remember all of them with you have forced me to bring back today, to other hands. A forced landing
nostalgia. In Rome they were set up at together with certain feelings. As a ended well! Perhaps that was because I
the Urbe airport, with support from the matter of fact, the education I received had learned to use those flaps that the
Reparto Volo a Vela (RVV = Glider Flight in that period, as well as the need felt by older pilots considered a hazard. I
Unit), which had taken the place of the those who are destined to become envy pilots flying the EFA but, as far as I
Helicopter Command transferred to teachers, allowed me to amplify my am concerned, my friend Bazzocchis
Frosinone. Capt Mantelli was the RVV cultural and professional skills. Then, Macchino is still the best!

Choose the name of the M-346 that will mark the worlds skies!
To partecipate, go the website http://concorsom346.aermacchi.it
from 20 October to 23 November 2008

1st Prize - A flight in the M-346, a visit to the Alenia Aermacchi factory in Venegono Superiore plus a visit the Italian
Air Force Museum at Vigna di Valle - Bracciano (Rome);
2nd Prize - Visit to the Alenia Aermacchi factory in Venegono Superiore plus a visit the Italian Air Force Museum at
Vigna di Valle Bracciano (Rome);
3rd Prize - Visit to the Alenia Aermacchi factory in Venegono Superiore. 39
Ezio Bonsignore

A German family in

The 260 wing design which still shows off its elegance.

Photo from Niebergall Archives

ing Mr Marchetti
n Koblenz owns and passes on a SIAI-260, the only epic
ft in all of Germany preserved in its original condition,
which is still on exhibition at European air shows.

eople who own and fly old war- from his father, Mr Kurt Niebergall, back in

P birds, more specifically vintage

military aircraft, are a very spe-
cial breed indeed. While their
motivation and interests may vary, they all
share a common trait they are complete-
1979-80 from Belgian Air Force surplus.
The aircraft was part of a batch of six that
were originally intended for transfer to the
Imperial Iranian Air Force, but the deal was
cancelled after the revolution. Mr.
ly in love with and dedicated to the wings Niebergall is not sure how much his father
of their choice, in a sentiment that goes far paid for the best, but he reckons in the
deeper than the normal relationship bet- region of 200,000 to 300,000 marks.
ween an aeronautical engineer or a career Mr Niebergall Senior was a fanatical
military pilot and the aircraft they designed admirer the adjective is used here in a
or fly. wholly positive meaning of Stelio Fratis
And when the above situation further aircraft designs, and over the years he
takes the shape of a family affair, with two managed to acquire and fly no less than
generations involved so far and a third one 18 of them. His son, todays Mr
coming along, it is not too surprising that Marchetti, took over D-EDUR in 1987 as
someone would wish to be called Mr his first aircraft, and he has since
Marchetti, even on his official documents. remained faithful to his first love. They
And when asked why he is willing to cover have flown some 1,400 hours together,
the not-so-insignificant expenses of main- and Mr Niebergall takes it into the air at
taining and flying a vintage piston-powe- virtually every weekend in the good
red SF-260, he will candidly answer, as if weather season from April to September.
in disbelief that someone would pose D-EDUR, which left SIAI Marchettis
such a self-obvious question, Because it plant in Sesto Calende in 1967 as the
is the best! 110th aircraft of the series, is today the
Meet Mr Ralf Niebergall, a.k.a. Mr only vintage aircraft in the whole of
Marchetti for the enthusiastic spectators Germany; and though it has been kept in
who watch his performance at many air its original condition, it is still qualified to

shows and air tattoos across Europe. Mr. perform full aerobatic manoeuvres. The
Niebergall owns, maintains (with the help aircraft maintains the original Belgian Air
of a retired German Police Air Wing te- Forces camouflage paint scheme with
chnician, he stresses) and flies an absolu- high-glow orange touches and the call-
tely spotless SIAI Marchetti SF-260 trainer sign ST-26 (which, interestingly enough, is
(D-EDUR), which was originally acquired now carried in the Belgian Air Force servi-

Ezio Bonsignore

20m over the circuit, in order to follow

Mrs. Schmitts car as closely as possible.
Already at the first bends in the diffi-
cult northern section of the circuit, it
appeared that I was clearly superior to my
adversary on the ground, recalls Mr.
Niebergall. While Sabine had to slow
down to take a bend as tightly as possi-
ble, I was forced to do loops and jumps
to stay in visual contact because I cannot
fly that slow. But, who won, then? All Mr
Niebergall has to say is, It was very
demanding and a lot of fun. But, nobody
likes to end up second. Those wishing to
know more, can take a look at the video
of the race at Mr Niebergalls home page:
The story is not going to end there. Mr.
ce by a SF-260MB). Mr Niebergalls only and Aachen in August; Magdeburg, Niebergalls son is still at the stage of
concession to contemporary technology Rossfeld and Grossenhain in September; flying model airplanes, but the day he ho-
has been a revised cockpit panel with the and will close a very busy year by partici- pes to get his pilots licence is already cle-
addition of a LCD screen for a navigation pating at the Dolomiti Air Show at Campo arly marked on his calendar.
system. Tures on 2-5 October. Fully committed to D-EDUR, then? No
D-EDURs home is the Koblenz- Mr Niebergall is particularly fond of re- desire for something different (I dont dare
Winninger airport (EDKR), and from there it membering a very special event: a race at to say, better)? Well, says Mr
has become a familiar sight at air events the legendary Nrburgring circuit on 18 Niebergall, if only I could get the turbo-
from Germany to Great Britain or the June 2007, in which he and his SF-260 prop version.
Czech Republic. This year, the Niebergall/ were pitted against a Mercedes SLR 722
Above to the left, Ralf Niebergall is shown
SF-260 duo has already been in Pribam driven by the German professional racing together with Sabine Schmitz on the
(Czech Republic) in April; Bad Essen, driver Sabine Schmitz. The car has a Nburgring circuit.
Bottenhorn, Goch, Kiel and St. 650hp engine and is capable of a top spe- Photo from Niebergall Archives
Michaelisdonn (Germany), the ILA Air ed of 330km/h, as against 263hp and 190
Show in Berlin, Stendal, Kassel and knots for D-EDUR. Thanks to special per- Below and to the right, photos of the
competition held on 18 June 2007.
Bitburg in June; Tannkost, Augsburg, mission from the flight control authorities,
Trstau, Utscheid, Breitscheid, Osnabrck Mr. Niebergall was allowed to fly as low as Photo from Niebergall Archives


Paolo Gianvanni

Aviation update
THE FIRST RECONFIGURED The 14 MB-339CD trainers are being the most successful members of the
MB-339CD FOR THE ITALIAN AIR upgraded mainly in their avionics system, Alenia Aermacchi training aircraft family.
FORCE TAKES TO THE AIR improving their identification, communi- In addition to the Italian Air Force,
In late September Alenia Aermacchi cations and positioning systems, adding the MB-339CD is used by the Air Forces
test flew the first MB-339CD upgraded a digital map system and integrating of eight nations. The latest customer is
to Batch 2 standard. Over the following night vision and embedded simulation Malaysia, which ordered eight MB-
days the aircraft completed its company capabilities. 339CMs in November 2006.
test flights and is now ready to be sub- The contract also includes logistics The MB-339CD is equipped with
mitted to the Italian Air Force for its offi- support activities to manage repairs on a state-of-the-art avionics with a human-
cial acceptance. selected range of aircraft components, machine interface that includes a HUD
This the first of 14 trainers covered to be carried out directly at the 61st (Head-Up Display) and three MFDs (Multi
by the agreement signed in October Wings Lecce base which introduced the Functional Displays) in both the front and
2007 between the Italian Air Force and MB-339CD in 1997. Through this sup- rear cockpits, as well as software to
Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica port the Italian Air Force intends to opti- simulate complex operational scenarios.
Company. The deal provides for the mise the flight potential of the MB-339 The aircraft features an air-refuelling
upgrading to Batch 2 standard of 14 fleet, integrating its own logistic resour- probe, which makes it even more repre-
MB-339CD advanced trainers built to ces with those of industry. sentative of most modern fighters, and
Batch 1 standard under a previous 1995 The MB-339CD Batch 2 is a two- enhanced training and operational capa-
contract and already in service with the seat, aerobatic, single-engine turbojet bilities.
Italian Air Force. aircraft for the Advanced and Lead-In- The new Batch 2 adds further
The 14 reconfigured aircraft will be Fighter Training phases of the military training and operational capabilities,
reconsigned in the course of 2009, under pilot training syllabus. With its perfor- integrating new functions in its avionics
a schedule agreed upon with the Italian mance, excellent handling and sophisti- system. These include embedded
Air Force. cated systems, the MB-339CD is one of simulation, digital maps, compatibility
with night vision goggles, new radio and
IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) systems,
a new integrated AACMI (Autonomous Air
Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation)
pod, as well as modern safety equipment
such as the Crash Data Recorder and
Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT).

Alenia Aermacchi has launched a com-
petition to name its new M-346 aircraft.
The M-346 is the only new genera-
tion advanced/lead-in fighter trainer

The MB-339CD (2nd Lot) leaves the

assembly line for the flight line and its
subsequent deployment to the Flying
School of Lecce.
Photo by AMW

currently available in Europe. The air- Entries must be submitted before Another view of the LRIPOO in the
craft is tailored to train pilots to fly new- 23 November 2008, exclusively through clean version. The plane is ready for
installation of external loads, including
generation combat aircraft and is well the internet by using the dedicated the suspended wing-tanks with greater
suited for every phase of advanced and website http://concorsom346.aermac- capacity than those used on the
pre-operational training, thereby redu- chi.it, or through the link on the two prototypes.
cing the flight hours on the more expen- Finmeccanica, Alenia Aeronautica and Photo by AMW
sive aircraft. The aircraft embodies the Alenia Aermacchi website.
latest design-to-cost and design-to- All entries will be examined by a All prizes will be assigned within
maintain concepts, with avionics specially appointed committee compri- 180 days of the closing of the competi-
modelled upon those of new-generation sing representatives of Finmeccanica, tion.
military aircraft, such as Eurofighter, Alenia Aeronautica and Alenia
Gripen, Rafale, F-16, F-22 and the Aermacchi. All decisions will be final, ALENIA AERMACCHI AT THE
future JSF. and no correspondence will be entered DEFENDORY INTERNATIONAL 2008
The main goal of the competition is into. Alenia Aermacchi has attended the
to associate the M-346 with a name The prizes shall consist in: International Defendory exhibition in
that reinforces its key distinctive featu- 1st PRIZE: Athens (Greece) from 7 to 11 October
res and its recognition on the global a flight in the M-346, a visit to the 2008, with its parent company
market. A name that will underline the Alenia Aermacchi factory in Venegono Finmeccanica.
common approach of the Finmeccanica Superiore plus a visit to the Italian Air This exibition has seen Alenia Aermacchi
aircraft family, which already includes Force Museum at Vigna di Valle - fully ready to offer the Hellenic Air Force
the MRCA Tornado, EF2000 Bracciano (Rome); its Integrated Training System, based
Typhoon and C-27J Spartan. 2nd PRIZE: on the New Generation M-346
Naming aircraft is also a common visit to the Alenia Aermacchi factory Advanced/LIFTrainer, for the Advanced
practice on the international market, in Venegono Superiore plus a visit to Jet Trainer (AJT) programme.
with examples such as the F-15 Eagle, the Italian Air Force Museum at Vigna di The participation of Alenia Aermacchi

F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-18 Valle Bracciano (Rome); comes in the wake of the recent suc-
Hornet. 3rd PRIZE: cessful M-346 short listing in the two
The competition is open to anyone visit to the Alenia Aermacchi factory international Air Forces contests of UAE
of age 18 or over. in Venegono Superiore. and Singapore after thorough and com-

prehensive flight evaluations. Territorial Air Zone and since 1 January and 213th Flying Group where the
With the first pre-series aircraft, which 2008 has been the location of the Air Jordanian pilots were able to try out the
took to the air at the beginning of July Forces School Command/III Air Region new MB-339A simulator, in addition to the
2008, the M-346 is in the advanced simulator for the CD version of the 212th
industrialization phase and continues to JORDANIAN DELEGATION VISITS Group.
gain momentum. THE 61ST WING
The M-346 programme is attracting According to the previously agreed Bi- CHANGE OF COMMAND AT THE
increasing interest from potential inter- lateral Cooperation Plan, a delegation 70TH WING
national customers and partners. In from Jordan, headed by Col Walid Aljarad, On 24 July the Change of Command
addition to the Italian Air Force, UAE visited the 61st Wing on 8 10 July. The Ceremony for the 70th Wing was held at
and Singapore, interesting opportunities Delegation was received by the Base the E. Comani military airport in Latina.
exist in leading markets such as Saudi Commander, Col Stefano Cont, who brie- The Commander of the Air Force School
Arabia, Greece and Chile. fed the visitor on the Flying Schools acti- Command, Lt Gen Giampiero Gargini,
Several countries including Greece, vities. presided over the event in which the
Portugal, Poland and, recently, Chile During the three-day visit, in addition outgoing Commander, Col Francesco
have already declared their interest in to various other activities, a flying mission Tinagli, leaves the 70th Wing after two
participating in the M-346 programme on the MB-339CD of the 212th Group years to assume new responsibilities at
through industrial cooperation agree- was organized with a mixed Italian- the Air Force Logistics Command in
ments linked to the production phase. Jordanian crew. This allowed the delega- Rome. His incoming replacement, Col
Particularly Alenia Aermacchi has been tion to evaluate the capabilities for analy- Giovanni Magazzino, was previously
actively pursuing, for a long time, the sis and debriefing of pre-operative trai- assigned to the Air Force Academy.
construction of a diversified involve- ning flights (Lead-in Fighter Program) Col Magazzino flew the Tornado with
ment programme of the Hellenic indu- through use of the RES, the computer the 36th Wing of Gioia del Colle (BA),
stry in the M-346 New Generation system for receipt, processing of data the G-91T with the 32nd Wing as an
Advanced/LIFTrainer programme. and presentation of high-performance instructor in tactical operations at the
The involvement of the Hellenic indu- flight parameters. flying school at Sheppard Air Force
stry, designed to be in full compliance Visits were also conducted at the Base in Texas and as a flight instructor
with the new regulations regarding the 214th Group for professional instruction at the 70th Wing where he was the
defence acquisition, will assure an
important transfer of the know-how and
state-of-the-art technologies and a pro-
fitable long lasting participation in a
genuine international aviation project.


On 3 July the transfer of the Air Force
School Command to the principal Puglia
city of Bari was officially concluded
with an evening presentation to the
local civilian and military authorities.
This occasion was presided over by Lt
Gen Giampiero Gargini and was held in
the historic 1930s building, which was
originally the home of the Fourth

The Flying School of Latina uses the new

SF-260 3As which vaunt significant

improvements compared to the

preceding series.

Photo by 70th Wing

Paolo Gianvanni

Commander of the 207th Flight Group.

In the course of his career he has accu-
mulated a total of more than 3,200 flying
hours, primarily in jet aircraft.


On 11 September, sixteen young
student officer pilots received their
towered eagles, which represent their
official assignment to flying units of the
Italian Air Force. Among those achieving
their military pilot license were 14
Academy students from the Drago V
Course and two from the Centauro V
Course. The ceremony was held in the
historic public Ferrarese Square in Bari,
the city hosting the 3rd Air Region
Command and where the Air School
Command of the Air Force was recently
The ceremony was conducted by Lt
Gen Daniele Tei, the Chief of Staff of
the Air Force - in addition to his role as Pinning ceremony of the new Eagles than 10,000 flying missions a year,
godfather to the course, due to his (Wings) with Gen. Tei who wears the twin accounting for about ten percent of the
hats of Chief of Staff of the Air Force and
having been a member of the Drago godfather of the Course. Italian Air Forces total flying activity.
III Course. Presentation honours were
Photo by AM 61st Wing
shared by the Commander of Schools ITALIAN-FRENCH WORKING
for the 3rd Air Region, Lt Gen Giampiero outgoing 61st Wing Commander, Col CONFERENCE AT THE 61st WING
Gargini. Stefano Cont, leaves his responsibilities On 23 and 24 September the wor-
The gathering was honored with a to the incoming Commander, Col king conference with the Deputy Chief
flyover by a formation of MB-339s from Alessandro Bartomeoli, after two years of Staff of the French Air Force, Lt. Gen
the 61st Wing of Galatina, together with of intense dedication which saw the Jean-Paul Palomeros, and the Deputy
another Special Colour MB-339 which Flying School of Lecce pass through an Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, Lt
had already on static display in the ever-increasing complex process of Gen Giuseppe Barnardis, was held at
square for a few days. growth and modernization. It was a the 61st Wing.
Col Cont, the Commander of the period of hard work, said Col. Cont, The Commander of the 61st Wing,
61st Wing, stressed in his speech the during which we saw concrete results Col Alessandro Bartomeoli, briefed a
importance of the Galatina flying school in the complex and gradual process of presentation of the Flying School activi-
which represents the university of flying multinationalization of the organization, ties which, as always has been the case,
and international point of referral for the starting from making the infrastructure represent an important milestone in the
flight training sector. and services adequate to bringing flying professional formation of the military
programmes up to international stan- pilot. He then demonstrated to Lt Gen
CHANGE OF COMMAND CEREMONY dards. This involved not only a ver y Palomeros the performance of the new
AT THE 61st WING intensive professional experience but MB-339A and CD flight simulators and
On 16 September the Change of also a very gratifying one, especially their ability to analyze and debrief a pre-
Command Ceremony for the 61st Wing considering the quantity and quality of operational (Lead-in Fighter Program)
was held at the Fortunato Cesari achieved objectives. Col Alessandro Air-to-Air 2v1 training mission, using the
Airport of Galatina and presided over by Bartomeoli now assumes command of RES (the computer system for receipt,
Lt Gen Giampiero Gargini, Commander the airbase at Galatina which has about programming and presentation of high-
of the Air Force School Command. The 1,200 personnel and conducts more performance flight parameters).