Italian Air Force Celebrates 100th Anniversary With Memorable Airshow

Pratica di Mare airshow

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Pratica di Mare airshow
A few of the snapshots from Pratica di Mare airshow (Picture credit score: David Cenciotti and Stefano D’Urso)

Historic plane from the world over joined the categories in service as we speak in Pratica di Mare, for an airshow that showcased the 100 years of historical past and technological evolution of the Aeronautica Militare.

The Aeronautica Militare celebrated its 100th anniversary with an unbelievable, long-awaited airshow which paid homage to the service’s historical past. The three-day airshow, which lasted from June 16 (the Spotter Day) to June 18, was hosted by Pratica di Mare air base, close to Rome, which previously was the house of the annual “Giornata Azzurra” airshows.

The airshow, one of the many initiatives planned throughout the year to have a good time the centennial, was designed as an immersive expertise for guests to expertise all nuances of the Air Drive, each the extra seen front-line capabilities and those “behind the scenes” which might be usually ignored by most people. The airshow, the principle one deliberate this 12 months in Italy, featured each the present and previous plane of the Italian Air Drive, with many proven each in flight and static shows.

The Spad XIII and Ca.3 duplicate had been among the many most admired historic plane collaborating within the airshow. (Picture credit score: Stefano D’Urso)

Greater than 300,000 individuals attended the airshow all through the lengthy weekend, properly over the anticipated numbers, with the Italian President Sergio Mattarella, the Ministry of Protection Guido Crosetto, the Air Drive Chief of Workers Normal Luca Goretti and the Joint Chief of Workers Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone attending the celebrations for the grand finale on June 18. Many extra joined the airshow from their houses, with greater than 100,000 individuals watching the streaming every day on the Italian Air Drive social media and over a million following the stay broadcast on the Italian State TV (that after once more noticed the participation of our Editor David Cenciotti who offered skilled commentary stay on Rai 1, after collaborating additionally within the Youtube stay within the morning) on Sunday.

“This massive viewers is motivated by our want to constantly switch our ardour, our want to make ourselves recognized, particularly by younger individuals,” stated Gen. Goretti. “We’re projected in direction of the subsequent hundred years and we’re already able to expertise our potentialities and potential in House. A gorgeous future awaits us, at the very least like our previous”.

Guests had been provided an opportunity to go to stands devoted to the operational, technical and logistical elements of the Italian Air Drive, to expertise the fun of flight on the various simulators that had been made accessible to the general public and watch historic and present plane each on the bottom and within the air. A lot of these plane had been flying once more in Italy the primary time after a few years, bringing again recollections from former members of the service and in addition permitting youthful era to see some of the aircraft that made the history of aviation in action.

One of many highlights of the static exhibitions was the “Campo 100”, a devoted informational itinerary with residing life-size dioramas representing the deeds of women and men of the Aeronautica Militare, from its start to the current. Preserved static plane had been positioned in an space of 4 hectares, recreating many situations from the historical past of the service in a path that ideally related the previous, the current and the way forward for the ItAF.

F-35A 6-01 of the 102° Gruppo (Squadron). (Picture credit score: David Cenciotti)

Every day, the flight shows had been divided in a morning and a day programme. The morning one featured shows of historic plane from all eras, as well as mixed formation of current and historic aircraft, whereas the afternoon featured extra warbirds; the Legend formation; the 100 formation; a parade with all present assed of the ItAF and, clearly, the solo shows of the Reparto Sperimentale Volo together with the show of the Frecce Tricolori.

The Frecce Tricolori show group in the course of the Saturday show. (Picture credit score: Stefano D’Urso)

Among the many most awaited friends of the airshow had been three plane that basically made the historical past of the Aeronautica Militare: the Caproni Ca.3 bomber replica, the world’s solely airworthy WW1 bomber; the lately restored Fiat G.91R, an all Italian mild tactical plane which additionally served with the Frecce Tricolori; and the TF-104G of Starfighters Aerospace, a former Italian plane that was introduced from the U.S. for the big day. Sadly, the latter didn’t fly on Saturday (though it did on Friday and Saturday), leaving upset many spectators who had travelled to Pratica di Mare primarily to see the F-104 carry out once more in Italy some 19 years since last time.

The TF-104 takes off for its show on Sunday Jun. 18, 2023. (Picture credit score: David Cenciotti)

Curiously, to mark its participation within the one hundredth anniversary celebrations, the TF-104 “Black Magnificence” sported a particular brand on the tail and lettering (in Italian language) on the air intakes.

These had been joined by many others which arrived in Italy from overseas, just like the Spitfire, P-51 Mustang of the Flying Horsemen show group, P-38 Lightning, P-47 Thunderbolt, T-33 Capturing Star, F-86 Sabre, Douglas DC-6.

The Flying Horsemen, the show group owned by Dan Friedkin, AS Roma soccer membership’s proprietor). (Picture credit score: Giovanni Maduli)
The P-38 Lightning of the Flying Bulls (Picture credit score: Giovanni Maduli)

Different plane in Italian liveries had been already in Italy, just like the SPAD, Fiat G-46, T-6 Texan, MB-326E and MB-326K.

One of the vital attention-grabbing formations ever seen in Italy (if not in Europe): Hurricane, F-35, F-104 and F-86. (Picture credit score: David Cenciotti)

One other fairly attention-grabbing factor is that the flying parade that featured all the kind of plane (fastened and rotary-wing) in service with the Italian Air Drive was opened (for the very first time in Europe) by an MQ-9 Predator B drone.

General, it was a extremely spectacular airshow, one to be remembered for a few years to come back regardless of the standard, recognized points at Pratica di Mare the place afternoon images of the flying show are all backlit. You could find a number of the pictures our group (together with additionally Giovanni Maduli) took within the three days at Pratica di Mare, however you’ll find rather more on all our social media channels (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook).

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and browse navy aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and plenty of others, masking aviation, protection, conflict, trade, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Drive, a personal pilot and a graduate in Pc Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.

Stefano D’Urso is a contract journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based mostly in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he is additionally learning to realize a Grasp Diploma in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT strategies utilized to the world of navy operations and present conflicts are amongst his areas of experience.



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