The demonstration team of the Italian air force is called Frecce Tricolori, the three-coloured arrows. They are the biggest military display team in Europe with ten MB339 jet trainers of Italian design.
The PAN-variant (Patrulla Acrobatica Nazionale) of the Frecce differs from regular MB339s training aircraft because of a powerful built-in smoke system, and the removal of the tiptanks.
The team forms 313 squadron based at Rivolto in the north of Italy. The pilots are selected to fly with the team for several years and have no other operational tasks within the airforce.
The team is world famous thanks to its almost musical demonstration. Apart from the large formations, make sure you watch the solo closely as it will present a rare figure for a jet aircraft: a Lomcovak, a sort of upward spiral more usually performed by specialized aerobatics aircraft. During the finale of their demonstration, they draw the biggest Italian flag in the sky to the music of Luciano Pavarotti.
2017 is likely to be the final season the team uses the MB339 as it was announced a few years ago the team would transition to a new aircraft, the Alenia M345. Don’t miss their final performance on MB339 in Belgium!
Manufacturer: Alenia Aermacchi