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