Fiat G.91Y

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G.91Y
G91y-1.jpg
A Fiat G.91Y at Ramstein Air Base in 1986.
Role Fighter-bomber
Manufacturer Fiat Aviazione
Aeritalia
First flight 27 December 1966
Primary user Aeronautica Militare
Produced 1966-1972
Number built 2 prototypes + 65[1]
Developed from Fiat G.91

The Fiat (later Aeritalia) G.91Y was an Italian ground-attack and reconnaissance aircraft which first flew in 1966. Resembling its predecessor, the Fiat G.91, the aircraft was a complete redesign, a major difference being its twin engines, rather than the original single engine.

Design and development[edit]

The G.91Y was an increased-performance version of the Fiat G.91 funded by the Italian government. Based on the G.91T two-seat trainer variant, the single Bristol Orpheus turbojet engine of this aircraft was replaced by two afterburning General Electric J85 turbojets which increased thrust by 60% over the single-engined variant.[2] Structural modifications to reduce airframe weight increased performance further and an additional fuel tank occupying the space of the G.91T's rear seat provided extra range. Combat manoeuvrability was improved with the addition of automatic leading edge slats.[2]

The avionics equipment of the G.91Y was considerably upgraded with many of the American, British and Canadian systems being licence-manufactured in Italy.[2]

Flight testing of three pre-production aircraft was successful, with one aircraft reaching a maximum speed of Mach 0.98. Airframe buffeting was noted and was rectified in production aircraft by raising the position of the tailplane slightly.

Production[edit]

An initial order of 55 aircraft for the Italian Air Force was completed by Fiat in March 1971, by which time the company had changed its name to Aeritalia (from 1969, when Fiat aviazione joined the Aerfer). The order was increased to 75 aircraft with 67 eventually being delivered. In fact, the development of the new G.91Y was quite long, and the first order was for about 20 pre-series examples that followed the two prototypes. The first pre-series 'Yankee' (the nickname of the new aircraft) flew in July 1968.

AMI (Italian Air Force) placed orders for two batches, 35 fighters followed by another 20, later cut to ten. The last one was delivered around mid 1976, so the total was two prototypes, 20 pre-series and 45 series aircraft. No export success followed. These aircraft served with 101° Gruppo/8° Stormo (Cervia-S.Giorgio) from 1970, and later, from 1974, they served with the 13° Gruppo/32° Stormo (Brindisi).[3] Those 'Gruppi' (Italian equivalent of British 'squadrons', usually equipped with 18 aircraft) lasted until the early '90s, as the only ones equipped with the 'Yankee', using them as attack/recce machines, both over ground and sea, until the AMX replaced them.

Variants[edit]

  • G.91Y - Prototype and production aircraft.
  • G.91YT - Projected two-seat trainer variant.[4]
  • G.91YS - Prototype with enhanced avionics and extra hardpoints to carry AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles for evaluation by Switzerland. First flown on 16 October 1970.[4][5]

Operators[edit]

 Italy

Aircraft on display[edit]

A Fiat G.91Y is preserved and on public display at the Italian Air Force Museum, Vigna di Valle near Rome.[6]

Specifications (G.91Y)[edit]

Orthographically projected diagram of the Fiat G-91Y

Data from The Observer's Book of Aircraft.[4]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Official website aeronautica Militare
  2. ^ a b c [Staff author] 20 June 1968. "Fiat G.91Y" Flight International, p. 931. www.flightglobal.com. Retrieved: 30 December 2011.
  3. ^ Warplanes encyclopedia, Aerospace Publishing, 1984, Italian version print by De Agostini, 1985, p.16
  4. ^ a b c Green 1972, p. 8.
  5. ^ [Staff author] 29 April 1971. "Italy's aircraft industry" Flight International, p. 578. www.flightglobal.com. Retrieved: 30 December 2011.
  6. ^ Italian Air Force Museum - Fiat G.91Y factsheet www.aeronautica.difesa.it. Retrieved: 31 December 2011

Bibliography[edit]

  • Green, William. The Observer's Book of Aircraft. London. Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd., 1972. ISBN 0-7232-1507-3

External links[edit]