The origins of the currently largest aerobatic team worldwide date to the 1920s when Italian aviation officers in England experienced aerobatics for the first time. Italy’s first military aerobatic team was founded in 1930, performing in seven Fiat CR.20. fighter biplanes. Various squadrons appeared after the Second World War, but the Italian Air Force’s General Staff wished to see a single national aerobatics group.
The 313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico, better known as “Frecce Tricolori” (English: Tricolour Arrows), was founded in 1961 and has since been stationed at Rivolto in Udine. They were first equipped with North American F-86Es but switched to Fiat G.91s in late 1963. The Frecce Tricolori have been performing their stunts in ten bespoke aerobatics versions of Aermacchi MB-339 PANs since 1982. During their show, the formation often splits into a group of five and four, while a soloist demonstrates the aircraft’s manoeuvrability. Frecce’s performances are characterised by the use of smoke trails in the Italian national colours of green, white, and red.
Aircraft: Aermacchi MB-339 PAN
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