Aircraft of the Month: Aermacchi MB-339
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Aircraft of the Month: Aermacchi MB-339

September 22, 2019


– Hi, my name is Eric Boehm,
curator of aviation here at the Intrepid Museum. Today I’ll be giving you
an introduction to one of the jets in our
international collection, the Aermacchi MB-339
from Italy. First flown in 1976,
the MB-339 was designed to meet
the training requirements of the Italian Air Force. The two-seat aircraft
allows pilots to develop their skills
before moving up to the more advanced
front-line aircraft. The MB-339 displayed here
is shown in the colors of the Frecce Tricolori, or tri-colored arrows,
the aerial demonstration team of the Italian Air Force. Established in 1961,
the Frecce Tricolori is one of the few
aerobatic teams in the world that uses ten aircraft at the
same time in its air shows. The MB-339 has a simple
and sturdy design. These qualities make it
an ideal training aircraft and a stable
weapons platform– very effective in training
pilots in the management of air-to-ground
munitions delivery systems. The MB-339 is powered
by a single Rolls Royce Viper Mark 632 turbojet engine and can be armed
with a wide range of guns, missiles, rockets and bombs on six underwing hardpoints. Over 220 of these aircraft
are in service today with air forces
around the world. The latest version
of the MB-339 is used to train
European pilots destined to fly
the more sophisticated Eurofighter Typhoon
and the new American export, the F-35 Lightning II. The MB-339 CD
of the Italian Air Force has modernized flight controls,
advanced avionics and space for additional fuel
in the tanks mounted on the wingtips. It can also be refueled
in flight. This aircraft is a gift
from the Italian government to the Intrepid Sea, Air
and Space Museum. The Italian Air Force
dedicated the aircraft in memory of
Lieutenant John Miglio, a Frecce Tricolori pilot
who died in a training accident in February 1985. The Aermacchi MB-339
is one of the more attractive airplanes
in our collection. Come check it out. [speaking Italian]

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