Flying with the MB.339CD

In a previous post dealing with the Air-to-Air photography, I explained just a few of my air-to-air pictures are 3/4 frontal (thus taken looking in the circular area behind the airplane, from 4 to 8 o’clock) and depicts the subject from ahead. Here are a couple of them.



As I explained in the previous post, photographing ahead requires less strength and so is more simple under a physical point of view. The pictures above were taken in October 2000, when I went to Lecce-Galatina airbase to report on the training courses of the 213th and 212th Gruppo of the 61° Stormo. Both were taken a few minutes after departure, while flying at FL110 VMC direct to the “Fox” area, our training airspace located above the sea, off shore Gallipoli. Since it was a demanding mission, with multiple engagements and a +5G simulated dogfight, I was able to take pictures looking towards my 5 and 7 o’clock only during transit to the operative area (the only part of the flight all 4 aircraft flew together). During the engaments, the two formations splitted and flew mainly line abreast thus I just took some pics of the wingman and of the target through the HUD; then, we performed some acrobatic maneuvers and I took some pics of the formation making a formation barrel roll above S. Maria di Leuca and, finally, during RTB, I was too tired (since G forces were severe) to try to take any picture.

If you want to see some of those pictures and read the in-depth description of the flight (in Italian) click here: In volo con l’MB-339CD.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.