Blessed with good weather, this year’s edition of the Giornata Azzura was attended by more than 200.000 people on May 25. The two UAE Mirage 2000s and the accompanying C-130 were the most rare aircraft attending the show. The aircraft had arrived in the evening of May 23, even if there were rumors that the aircraft were scheduled for May 22, followed by the grey C-130. Pilots and military personnel were extremely polite, answered to all the questions made by the public and (unlike many others that sell their expensive Squadron’s memorabilia) offered the public a lot of presents (pins, stickers, etc), a sign of the prosperous Arab economics. Among the most photographed aircraft were the Romanian Air Force Mig-21 and AN-26 (arrived on May 23 after a stop in Istrana), the SH-3D in Special Colour scheme of the Belgian Air Force and the Turkish AF F-5 (that had arrived on May 22). The air display was focused on the tactical event that was described on a previous post on this site and that particularly interesting since it involved HH-3F, AB.212ICO, AMX, C-27J, C-130J, Tornado and F-2000 of the Italian Air Force in a simulated blitz to take an airport located at the border between two fighting countries. According to Pierfrancesco “Fats” Grassi, an F-16 driver of the 10th Gruppo, the Danish F-16 made one of the most technical display, not as “powerful” as the ones of the Belgian and Dutch Vipers, but probably more difficult. Other interesting displays were those of the Alenia M-346 , the AAR (Air to Air Refueling) demonstration of the KC-130J of the ItAF, the display of the CL-415 of the Protezione Civile, the Italian Army A-129s and Navy AV-8B and EH-101 ones, the one of the Italian Eurofighter, the Polish Team Orlik and the Patrouille de France and Frecce Tricolori. Unlike advertised, the B-1B did not perform the expected flyby, there was no B.767 used for the qualification of the ItAF pilots waiting for the delivery of the first KC-767 and there was no RAF Typhoon in static.
August 26, 2011 Aviation, Italian Air Force, Libyan Uprising, Military Aviation, Operation Odyssey Dawn, Operation Unified Protector
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