Monthly Archives: April 2010

Cervia, 16-17.04.10 – Con la Diana sul Petto – Part 2

Second part with the pictures taken at Cervia on Apr. 16, 2010. Part 1 available here. As pictures show, the weather was poor. The G.91Y sporting the colours and markings of the 101° Gruppo of the 8° Stormo (based in Cervia until it was disbanded) is one of the most beautiful preserved aircraft I’ve ever seen in Italy. The “Yankee” looks perfect as if it is still airworthy.

The below picture depicts, from right to left, me, Katsuhiko Tokunaga, Pierpaolo Maglio and Riccardo Vestuto, talking at Cervia on Apr. 17, 2010. Photo taken by Giovanni Maduli.

MB.339CDs in Decimomannu

Currently deployed to Decimomannu are the MB.339CDs belonging to the 212° Gruppo of the 61° Stormo of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force, ItAF). Giovanni Maduli went there and took the following pictures of the “339ers” landing after a local sortie.

Cervia, 16-17.04.10 – Con la Diana sul Petto

“Con la Diana sul Petto” is the name of the event that the 5° Stormo organised in Cervia airbase to give farewell to the F-16. The locally-based 23° Gruppo is in fact about to release its remaining “Vipers” to the 18° Gruppo based in Trapani, that will be the last Italian squadron to fly with the F-16, while Cervia will probably host the HH-3F of the 15° Stormo. To celebrate the event, a special colour and a special tail were prepared and displayed in a sort of mini-airshow that was scheduled to take place both on April 16 and 17, 2010. On the first day, a training display by the Frecce Tricolori was also scheduled but the 9 MB.339s did not perform their practice display because of the bad weather, while, on Apr. 17, the entire flying activity was cancelled because of the volcanic ash that interested the Northern Italian airspace.
The full special was MM7244, sporting a large “Viper” to homage the nickname of the aircraft, while the MM7236 had a special tail with the Diana the Hunter in two different versions on the two faces of the tail.

The following panoramic picture was obtained by stitching 15 3908x2096pixel pictures.

The following panoramic pictures were made by Giovanni Maduli.

Interestingly,  I found the issue of Rivista Aeronautica with my article on the 5° Stormo, published in 2004, put into a frame and hang up on the corridor inside the 23° Gruppo building.

The Macchi C.202 Folgore of the National Air and Space Museum

The picture shows the aircraft Macchi C.202 Folgore marked 9476 exhibited at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. The aircraft is one of the few Italian WWII fighters that escaped the conflict and, in particular, one of the two MC202 sent to USA at the end of the war to be tested. With the help of Italian Air Force and Aeronautica Macchi, in 1974 this aircraft was given to Smithsonian Institute.
The aircraft, that I had the opportunity to see in 1994, during my visit to the Museum, sports the colours of the 90^ Squadriglia of the 4° Stormo “Francesco Baracca”, when it was operating in North Africa in 1942. Even if the aircraft was perfectly restored,  the serial “9476” is not correct since the original Folgore belonged to the serie III and not serie IV and was actually marked 7796.
The pictures were taken by Simone Bovi in 2008.

Following the Ryanair diversion to Fiumicino by means of ADS-B

An increasing number of aircraft enthusiasts and spotters around the world have been using receivers portable Mode-S/ADS-B receiving station and relative software for real-time tracking of flights on a sort of radar screen. Mode-S employs airborne transponders to provide altitude and identification data, while ADS-B adds global navigation data typically obtained from a GPS receiver. An aircraft equipped with such systems periodically broadcasts position and other relevant information to potential ground stations and other aircraft with ADS-B; a solution similar to the Automatic Identification System (AIS), used by ships and Vessel Traffic Services.
A few websites give the visitors the possibility to track flights flying in Europe, N. America, Asia and Australia, by means of many remote stations (something similar to the cloud computing). On Apr. 11, 2010, just before midnight, I was following the tracks of the flights landing in Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino airports at The weather was poor. My attention was struck by a weird callsign: @@@@@@@@. It was obviously an error, but when I selected the aircraft I saw that it was a Ryanair B737-800, with registration EI-DCP, that was about to land in Rome Fiumicino after (according to the track that you can see below) attempting twice to land in Ciampino in bad weather. Noteworthy, most probably to wait for the weather to improve, the aircraft, after the first missed approach headed SW  over the Tyrrhenian sea.