The new special colored aircraft was unveiled during a ceremony held at Ciampino Airport, home of the 31° Stormo (Wing) of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force).
Earlier this year, with a medical transport mission flown by a Falcon 900 of the 31° Stormo (Wing) the Dassault Falcon fleet of the Italian Air Force reached 150,000 flight hours since the first aircraft, a Falcon 50 (MM62020) was delivered to the unit in 1985. The 50K flight hours were logged in November 2000 and the 100K FH mark was reached in 2009.
The important milestone was celebrated during a ceremony held in Ciampino Airport, on Apr. 28, 2023. During the event, that saw the participation of Maj. Gen. Enrico Degni, commander of the Comando delle Forze per la Mobilità e il Supporto (Italian for Mobility and Support Forces Command) as well as Dassault Aviation and Dassault Falcon Service executives along with Italian Air Force personnel who have served with the Wing, the commander of the 31° Stormo, Col. Gianmattia Somma, officially unveiled the special colored Falcon 50 (VC-50 in accordance with the Italian MOD Mission Design Series) that was prepared to mark the 150K flight hours of the Falcon fleet.
The current fleet is made of two Falcon 50 (MM62026 and MM62029) and three Falcon 900 (VC-900): one 900EX (MM62210) and two Falcon 900EX-Easy (MM62244 and MM62245).
Both regularly carry out “hospital” (EMS) as well as “humanitarian” flights. It is not the range of the flight that determines the type of mission, but the possibility to plan the sortie: “Humanitarian” are those flights whose need is known with even a little forewarning; “Hospital” flights are those whose need was previously unknown and require a departure within 2 hours. The aircraft used for the latter are only the Falcon 50 and the Falcon 900EX-Easy that ensure the transportation on the medium-long range and can both embark stretchers. The Falcon 50 has an endurance that exceeds the 7 hours, has 9 seats and can carry 2 stretchers. The more modern Falcon 900EX-Easy, offers increased payload and an endurance of up to 10 hours.
Although identical to the 900EX (same airframe, engine and thus endurance), the “Easy” has digital avionics and cabin space to carry 3 stretchers. Furthermore, the aircraft is equipped with the EVASAN module that can provide power and oxygen to electro-medical equipment.
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Interestingly, the Falcon 50 aircraft, along with the Airbus A319CJ (VC-319), are flown by the 306° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 31° Stormo; the other child unit, the 93° Gruppo, operates the Falcon 900EX and EX-Easy, along with the AW139 (UH- and VH-139) helicopters.
While the VC-50s are only used for medical transportation missions, the 31° Stormo has several tasks: State Authorities Transportation, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Humanitarian Transportation, plus a forth one, that foresees the technical and logistic support for all the aircraft operating at Ciampino airport. Subordinate Line units to the Wing Commander are also the CAE (Centro Addestramento Equipaggi, Crew Training Centre) that manages all the training and standardisation aspects of the Wing, and the SEA (Servizio Efficienza Aeromobili, Aircraft Efficiency Service) that is responsible for the line and daily maintenance of the fleet.