313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico
|Active||1961 to date|
|Role||Aerobatic display team|
|Garrison/HQ||Rivolto Air Force Base
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Province of Udine Italy
|Frecce Tricolori Badge|
|Fighter||1961 – 1963 Canadair F-86E
1964 – 1981 Fiat G.91 PAN
|Trainer||1982 – date Aermacchi MB-339 PAN|
The Frecce Tricolori (Italian, literally Tricolour Arrows), officially known as the 313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico, is the aerobatic demonstration team of the Italian Aeronautica Militare, based at Rivolto Air Force Base, in the north-eastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, province of Udine. They were formed in 1961 as an Air Force team, replacing unofficial teams that had been sponsored by various commands by the end of the 1920s.
The team flies the Aermacchi MB-339-A/PAN, a two-seat fighter-trainer craft capable of 898 km/h at sea level. With ten aircraft, including nine in training and a solo, are the most numerous aerobatic team in the world, and their flight schedule, including an around twenty stunts and lasting about half an hour, has made them the best and most famous.
The team's official name is: 313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico, Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (PAN) Frecce Tricolori.
The Frecce Tricolori were not the first AMI aerobatics team: military aerobatics as a group began in Campoformido, home of the 1st Wing, in the late 1920s under the supervision of Col. Rino Corso Fougier, a pioneer in aerobatic group flying. Subsequently, except in the Second World War period, many fighter wings had demonstration teams such as Cavallino Rampante (Prancing Horse), Getti Tonanti (Thundering Jets), Diavoli Rossi (Red Devils), Tigri Bianche (White Tigers) and Lanceri Neri (Black Lancers). In 1961 the Air Force General Staff decided to form a single aerobatic team, the Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (National Aerobatic Patrol).
In 2005 they won the award for best exhibition at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford, England. They were the first non-Russian unit to receive the Russian Silver Medal for Aeronautical Merit. On 8 September 2007 the Frecce Tricolori took part at the funeral of Luciano Pavarotti in Modena and honoured him with a fly-past leaving green-white-red smoke trails.
In September 2013 it was announced that the team will stop using MB-339's for the 2017 season and instead will use Aermacchi M-345 HET trainers, which will replace the MB-339 in the Italian air force.
An aircraft of the "Frecce Tricolori" is hosted on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, now a museum (NYC) and appears in the TV series "Royal Pains" (series 3 episode 10): is the first plane in the background when the "General" is framed.
On 28 August 1988, in the Ramstein airshow disaster, 70 people lost their lives due to the mid-air collision of three Frecce Tricolori jets. The burning jets broke up and crashed; one hit a crowd of spectators.
- Luigino, Caliaro (2005). "Frecce Tricolori". Pattuglie acrobatiche. Mondovì: Edizioni Gribaudo. ISBN 88-8058-873-7.
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