Here’s the formation set up to celebrate the six most legendary Italian training planes

The 6-ship formation used callsign “Legend.”

As explained in our report on the event, one of the highlights of the Rivolto airshow was the “Legend” formation, made of six famous trainer aircraft in the history of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force).

The formation included three privately-owned aircraft: the North American T-6G “Texan” piloted by Sandro Pagliarin, the Fiat G-59 piloted by Pino Valenti and the MB-326E piloted by Renzo Catellani.

Legend T-6 Texan



M.326 takeoff

The remaining three aircraft (piloted by aircrews from 212° and 213° Gruppos) represented those currently in service with 61° Stormo (Wing), the Italian Air Force jet school: the MB.339A, the MB.339CD and the brand new M-346A Master, the most advanced one, inducted into active service at the end of 2014 and used for advanced pre-operative training of the Italian, Dutch and (in the near future) Polish) pilots destined to the 4th and 5th Generation combat planes.

Legend 339A take off

Legend 339CD + 326

The T-346 (as the Master is designated in the ItAF), piloted by Maj. Alessandro Olivares and Capt. Gianpaolo Pantaloni, performed an impressive high-performance take-off that showcased the stunning maneuverability and weight to thrust ratio of the trainer that was selected by Israel, Singapore and Poland, and it is being considered as a potential T-38 Talon replacement for the U.S. Air Force.

Legend T-346A high perf takeoff

Legend T-346A take off

Legend T-346Atake off turn

The “Legend” flight conducted two flyovers followed by a single ship passage that the aircraft performed to enter the visual pattern for landing in sequence.

Legend 06 aggressive takeoff

Legend 06 taxi 5.9

Legend 06 taxi

Rivolto airshow did not mark the first ever appearance of Legend formation: the six aircraft set up the formation over Lecce for the first time on May 10, 2015, during the ceremony held at Galatina airbase for the unveiling of the new emblem of 61° Stormo.

Legend formation

In this post some of the images taken at Rivolto on Sept. 4, 5 and 6, 2015.

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.