The Italian Air Force has confirmed no fewer than five flying items for this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds.
Headlining the Italian involvement in the weekend’s flying display on July 12-13 will be the country’s national aerobatic team, the world-renowned Frecce Tricolori. Flying 10 examples of the Aermacchi MB339 PAN jet trainer, the Frecce are joining celebrations to mark the 50th display season of their British counterparts, the Red Arrows.
Few aerobatic teams can claim to be as exuberant as the Frecce, famed for the closeness of their large formations, the spectacular manoeuvres of their soloist, and the spine-tingling finale flypast set to the tones of Pavarotti while the MB339s stream in smoke the colours of the Italian flag.
Tremendous support for the Air Tattoo is also being provided by Italy’s air force flight test centre, the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (RSV). It will this year send four aircraft to give solo displays, comprising a Eurofighter F-2000A Typhoon, Panavia A-200 Tornado, AMX International A-11 and Alenia C-27J Spartan. The RSV’s test pilots always put on top-quality performances, those in the twin-turboprop C-27J transport being especially notable for their aerobatic agility, and regular winners of Air Tattoo flying display trophies.
A particularly rare item is the AMX attack aircraft, not seen in a British flying programme since 2001. The Typhoon will provide an interesting contrast with the Royal Air Force example also displaying, while the Tornado is expected to be the sole representative of the swing-wing combat aircraft in the flying display during this, the type’s 40th anniversary year.
Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati commented: “All of us at Fairford are delighted at the support Italy has confirmed for RIAT 2014. The addition of the Frecce Tricolori to the Red Arrows’ birthday celebrations is great news, and such a level of participation from the RSV has not been seen for many years.”
The Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. Tickets for the event are only available in advance. Specially-priced Earlybird tickets for next summer’s Air Tattoo, on July 11-13, are available until May 31 from airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.