2012 is available here. Previous years can be found at the following links: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006.


Some more mentions from INFOSEC-focused sites because “The Aviationist has consistently had the best analysis” of the captured stealth drone in Iran.

Bruce Schneier’s blog

The Register



My Captured Stealth Drone series of posts about the RQ-170 Sentinel lost in Iran has made headlines all around the world. Following is a rough list of the main media and websites that have mentioned TheAviationist and David Cenciotti, with pictures, comments and quotes taken from this site.


Corriere della Sera

Wired Danger Room (1)

Defense Tech


Business Insider

The Atlantic Wire

Defense Systems

The Diplomat

War is Boring



Wired Danger Room (2)


RID has published the review of my Italian Starfighters book.


Wired / Danger Room has published an update about the Stealth Black Hawk story with mention and link to my “MH-X” coverage.


DefenseTech has published an article about the KC-767 usage in the war in Libya based on my recap of the assets involved in Unified Protector.


Combat Aircraft has published my Special Report about the Italian Air Force Predator operations (and ItAF ISR platforms) with exclusive pictures taken inside the Mobile Groud Control Station at Amendola airbase.


Aeronautica & Difesa has published a very nice review of my book “Italian Starfighters” on its October 2011 issue.


Jose Maria Navarro, of the Spanish magazine Fuerzas de Defensa y Seguridad (Defence and Security Forces, www.defensa.com) has written an article in two parts (published in the issues #400 and #401) about the Osama Bin Laden raid that mentions my Stealth Black Hawk concept and the artwork designed with Ugo Crisponi.


Read my article on Tech News Daily titled: Web Sites Let Flight Enthusiasts Track Planes in the Air


Ranked #1 in the bloggers contest by Hamilton Watches, official sponsor of the WAC2011 the World Aerobatic Championship 2011, at Foligno. I’m the most influencing and read Italian aerospace blogger, based on my Klout score and site visits.


I was once again mentioned in an article about the Rafale and its involvement in Operation Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector was published on the Hungarian Ministry of Defense website.


I’ve recently answered some questions of “Moscow News” newspaper’s correspondent Natalia Dobrovolskaya about the war in Libya and the possibility that the air campaign is used to showcase some weapon system for export purposes. She had read my blog articles and asked me what I thought about the French Rafale, its involvement in the Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector operations, its capabilities and its export opportunities. My comments can be read in the article she has written for Moscow News on Aug. 24 that can be read here (in Russian).


Gizmodo has published an article and the picture issued by the US DoD that I had edited and published on my Twitter feed to highlight the S-61 of the HMX-1 in the vicinity of the Pentangon in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit the US East Coast.


Airplanes magazine issued for the Lignano Sabbiadoro airshow on Aug. 15, contains my article about the Italian Call 2011 helicopter exercise that took place at Viterbo airbase.


An article titled “Equipment in Libya and Pakistan: Secret copter surprised even experts” has been published on the Finnish magazine Reserviläinen-magazine (the Reservist). The article mentions the blog and the famous artwork of the Stealth Black Hawk I’ve preprared with Ugo Crisponi.


I’ve published an article on Tech News Daily titled Advanced Jet Fighter Surprisingly Easy To Fly (that has been republished also by MSNBC, FOXNews and CBSNews) about the skills needed by modern jet pilots to fly and fight with the most advanced fighter jets: not only the innovative F-35 Lightning II, delivered to the USAF early this summer, but currently grounded after experiencing a failure during a test flight, but also the Eurofighter “Typhoon”, a combat proven plane involved in Operation Unified Protector in Libya.


Once again my work on the Stealth Black Hawk was published all around the world following the news that Pakistan let China study pieces of the secret chopper involved in the Osama Bin Laden raid that crashed at Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.

Both the famous renderings and my latest analysis were used/mentioned by worldwide magazines, newspapers, websites and blogs (Corriere della Sera, Haaretz, Wired/Danger Room, Ekstra Bladet, etc).


Gizmodo asked my opinion about the weapon possibly used by an F-16 against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Here’s what Sam Biddle has written based on my reply:

Military expert David Cenciotti speculates it was probably a Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)—an guidance-upgraded “dumb bomb” like the 2,000 pound GBU-31 seen here, or its lighter brother, the GBU-38.


Both Gizmodo (once again with an article by Sam Biddle, “a huge fan” of this weblog, as he told me) and Chosun Ilbo (lit. Korea Daily News, one of the major newspapers in South Korea) mentioned the article about the Israeli missile “Tamuz”, that I’ve published on this website.


Marco Dijkshoorn has mentioned this website as a Recommended Reading about the war in Libya in his interesting report about the French Operation Harmattan, published on Scramble 387 August 2011 issue.


Gizmodo’s Sam Biddle has published an article about my blog post on the news helicopter hitting the Norwegian terrorist attack scene before the Police one.


My latest article on Tech News Daily titled “Behind the Scenes: What It’s Like Inside a Predator Drone Control Station” (about Predator UAS – Unmmanned Aerial Systems – and focusing on how this drones are operated by the Italian Air Force and USAF), has also been published by both MSNBC and FOXNews.


Issue 280 of Zoo Weekly magazine Australia, onsale from Jul. 4, 2011, published a double-page news spread with my pics of the NH-90 crashing into the Bracciano lake.


More than two months from the first time I published the famous sketch of the Stealth Black Hawk which crash landed during the Navy Seals Osama Bin Laden raid (Operation Neptune’s Spear) that I designed with Ugo Crisponi, the rendering is still being used by US news outlets for base art/graphics. Even Vertical magazine used it in an article titled “Hide and Seek” about stealth technology applied to the rotary wing.


Gizmo’s Sam Biddle mentioned me and my post in its Watch This article Sometimes Crazy-Low Jet Flyovers End in Disintegrated Fuel Tanks about the Argentine AF A-4AR Fightinghawk performing a high-G climb that disintegrates the plane’s right fuel tank. The same post was linked by Gizmo.jp on Jul. 05.


I’ve contributed once again to the latest issue of Combat Aircraft. July 2011 magazine not only contains an article written by Jamie Hunter with the help of my usual, unmatched coverage and analysis of the NATO Operation Unified Protector, but it contains also the world famous rendering designed with Ugo Crisponi about the famous Stealth Black Hawk, that was used in the David Axe article about the stealth technology being unveiled by the Osama Bin Laden raid at Abbottabad.


I’ve given an interview to Andrea Borgnino for an episode of Radio Pirata (“Pirate Radio”) broadcasted by Radio Rai. The episode was on PSYOPS messages transmitted by US EC-130J from March 2011 and during all the stages of NATO operation Unified Protector. I explain the type of mission flown by the Commando Solo, its equipment, role and past “appearances”.

Click here to download the MP3 file with an excerpt of the episode.


I answered some questions by Victor Vella a journalist from the Sunday paper it-Torca in Malta who, based on my comments about the frequent French diversions to Malta airport wrote an article that cited me also in the subheading.

Below there’s a rough translation on the part of the article mentioning me:

The landing of military aircraft in Malta …

“Malta is not serving as a base”

– David Cenciotti, aviation expert

by victor vella

The landings of aircraft carrying out attacks on military bases held by soldiers loyal to the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, has created a debate underway in recent days in our country. For many people, these landings for fuel is just an excuse. For others, NATO is using Malta as a military base. The questions raised by many people is how can one believe that these aircraft end up with fuel shortage or damages. Many people are asking if this landing for fuel or emergency cases are genuine, or are just excuses. “The Torch’ spoke with David Cenciotti, Italian expert in aviation, where he argues in a very clear that Malta is not used as a military base or as a Forward Operating Base.

The aviation expert, David Cenciotti, well known for his research on the sector told ‘The Torch’ that “the problem is that Malta is the closest airport to airplanes in involved in Libya campaign. The Malta International Airport is one with two run-ways, and ”navigational aids that apply to almost all aircraft participating in operation “Unified Pro-tector – ie the mission of NATO attacks on Libya. If an aircraft experience major or even minor damage while on the Mediterranean sea, is something normal that it tries to recover at the first airport and this is Malta. This is done as a precautionary measure. Emergencies at sea are dangerous. Imagine being on the Mediterranean sea after experiencing damage, with the pilot have to eject from the aircraft. There is a risk that ends in cold sea temperatures and must wait for hours until rescued. ”

David Cenciotti further states that “so this is the reason why some military aircraft made a landing in Malta after having encountered some problems. This does not mean that there is no emergency landings at other airports. Aircraft emergency landing near other bases such as Sigonella and Trapani not end up on the news because these are military airports. For example, a few days ago there were two F1 Mirage made an emergency landing at the base of Olbia in Sardinia because of lack of fuel. This news spread rapidly in Italy and this simply because this is not one military airport. If they fell in Decimomannu or in Trapani, nobody would know because it was seen as a normal landing. “


Le Monde newspaper cited me in an article by Nathalie Guilbert about the operations conducted in Libya by British and French helicopters dispatched to improve NATO’s ability to target loyalist in urban areas. In particular, the author noticed that I found at least curious that UK AH-64D Apaches have been involved in an air interdiction mission to destroy a coastal Libyan air defense station.


While more articles are mentioning my Stealth Black Hawk theory (like the one published by CBBN.net) and about the Stealth Chinook (like the Scale Model News one) is getting a certain attention my story about the Dragon Models Limited and Italeri kits inspired to the Osama Bin Laden raid mentioned in a Defensetech.org article and in a piece published on 925.nl.


My world famous Stealth Black Hawk concept and rendering appear also on the June 2011 issue of the Greek magazine “Flight and Space”.


I’ve given my third interview to Pieter Johnson for the Across The Pond segment of the famous Aiplane Geeks podcast. In Episode 149, that you can download here, I’ve talked about the current state of operations in Libya; about the famous OBL raid and the Stealth Black Hawk crash landed in Abbottabad and about the ways to track ‘Black Ops’ aircraft around the world using FlightRadar 24 or Plane Finder.


Two more articles for Airplanes about Trapani airbase and its involvement in Operation Unified Protector and about NATO Tiger Meet at Cambrai, France.


“Sette”, the weekly magazine of the Corriere della Sera, contains an article titled “Fanta-armi” (“Fanta(stic)-weapons”) about the hi-tech weapon systems used in the Osama Bin Laden raid. The article mentions me for the famous sketches about the Stealth Black Hawk that performed a crash landing in the Abbottabad compound during the Operation Geronimo (whose actual name is Op. Neptune’s Spear).


I was mentioned in “La testa del serpente” (“The snake’s head”), an instant book by Guido Olimpio about Osama Bin Laden and Operation Geronimo (OBL raid, named Operation Neptune’s Spear) published by the Corriere delle Sera (the most read Italian newspaper). Olimpio recalls the story of the Stealth Black Hawk helicopter that was involved in the raid and that among the few that immediately understood that the chopper that crash landed in the Bin Laden compound at Abbottabad was a new type equipped with never seen before radar-evading/noise reduction devices.

Even an article written by Thomas Pany for Telepolis mentioned me and one of the comments I gave on Twitter about the news of the imminent deployment of French Tiger and British AH-64 Apache attack helicopters in Libya.


I’ve written two articles for Airplanes 01/2011: the first is about Winter Hide 2011 exercise that took place in Grosseto and the second one is about the 494th FS F-15Es deployment to Decimomannu. This year Airplanes will publish excerpts from my book “Frecce Tricolori – an exciting 50-year flight” for articles describing specific topics of the current and past Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Aerobatic Display Team.


Wired / Danger Room has published an article by David Axe dealing with my theory about the possibility that a modified Stealth Chinook took part in the Osama Bin Laden raid along with the famous Stealth Black Hawk (or Silent Hawk, according to another common unofficial nickname). The article mentions the dots I connected, from the need for stealthiness to the confirmed presence of H-47s, and my conclusion (considered by Danger Room “plausible”) that “there must be also a modified MH-47 flying with the 160 SOAR […] Unlike the Blackhawk, we have no photographic evidences of it, but I think that their existence is somehow confirmed….”

Other articles mentioning me and ispired to the Wired one:


Another Danish media, Information.dk, published an article mentioning the Politiken piece and citing me as an an Italian aerial warfare expert David Cenciotti advising both Italian and international media about military aviation and the operation in Libya.


On Apr. 30, an attack performed in a bunker in Tripoli killed Gaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, with three minor grandchildren. Even if the Guardian immediately suggested that the raid was conducted by the Royal Danish Air Force, there were no proofs that Denmark was involved in the raid. Many air forces use the GBU-31 with BLU-109 appearing in the images released by AJE. I helped Andreas Lindqvist, a journalist of the Politiken newspaper, to virtually eliminate all the other seven countries that drop bombs on Libya coming to the conclusion that, as suggested by the Guardian, the compound was probably hit by a Danish strike. Andreas asked me how likely I think it was Denmark to perform the strike. As he mentioned in the article published on May 12 on the Politiken website, basing on basing on the information available, on the replies he received and above all considering that RDAF is doing a great job in Libya flying lots of missions and dropping many bombs; that it didn’t deny it but just didn’t comment it and finally, that diplomatic sources reported by the Guardian suggested the strike was one of the many performed by RDAF, I think it is extremely likely.


On Combat Aircraft 06-2011 you can read the in depth view of the ongoing operations in Libya, including ull coalition order of battle and map I prepared with Jamie Hunter. A 14 pages special with an unparelled coverage of Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector.


After being one of the first journalists (maybe the first one….) in the world to notice that the helicopter that crashed during the Osama Bin Laden raid was a Stealth Black Hawk, never seen before version, of the UH-60 Black Hawk, and after working with Ugo Crisponi to draw a rendering of the helicopter, I was interviewed and cited by Media all around the world. Here’s a gallery of some of the articles published from May 4 onwards (links below).

E’ in edicola il numero di maggio di Jack, la rivista di tecnologia e hi-tech, nella quale è presente un mio articolo di 6 pagine dal titolo “Tu voli e il social ti spia” che dettaglia tutti gli strumenti di OSINT (Open Sources Intelligence), come LiveATC, FlightRadar24, PlaneFinder ecc., a disposizione di appassionati di aviazione e di nuove tecnologie per seguire da vicino la guerra in Libia.

Sono stato citato nuovamente da Guido Olimpio, inviato speciale del Corriere della Sera a Washington, nell’articolo pubblicato sul CdS del 23 aprile 2011 dal titolo “E il cecchino dei cieli ora divide l’America” (a pagina 6).


Nell’articolo pubblicato sul Corriere della Sera del 21 aprile 2011 dal titolo “Usa: useremo i droni armati in Libia”, il giornalista Guido Olimpio, inviato speciale del principale quotidiano italiano negli Stati Uniti ed esperto di terrorismo, intelligence e Medio Oriente, mi cita nel seguente passaggio: “E in ogni caso – come sottolinea l’esperto e pilota David Cenciotti – una volta sparati i missili possono rimanere sul settore per indicare ai caccia eventuali bersagli. In questo modo si possono risparmiare tra le 4 e le 5 sortite”.


L’edizione del 30 marzo 2011 del settimanale mozambichiano “Canal de Moçambique” mi cita a pag. 28 con riferimento alle rivelazioni fatte sul blog circa la missione dei B-2 in Libia durante Odyssey Dawn.


Ho recentemente rilasciato due interviste per la rubrica Across The Pond curata da Pieter Johnson (e dedicata all’Europa) del podcast Airplane Geeks. La prima, nella puntata 139 del 15 marzo, è incentrata sulla crisi libica, sulla diserzione a Malta dei due Mirage F1 di Gheddafi, sullo stato della Libyan Arab Republic Air Force e su tutte le operazioni SIGINT, EW e AEW svolte dai velivoli americani (e non solo) per monitorare le attività delle forze lealiste in previsione di quell’intervento armato che si è poi concretizzato a partire dal 19 marzo. La seconda, in onda nella puntata 141 del 29 marzo, riguarda invece l’Aeronautica Militare: Eurofighter, F-35, UAV e KC-767.
Mi sono stati dedicati anche dei post sul sito Alpha Tango Papa, blog di riferimento del segmento Across The Pont.


Nelle ultime due settimane il mio lavoro sul blog è stato oggetto di diverse citazioni e articoli sui più importanti media di tutto il mondo: dal live blog di Al Jazeera English, al De Standard, a EuObserver, a DN.se e a France24.
Eccone alcuni (in un paio ci sono delle inesattezze, ma si sa come sono fatti i giornalisti :-)):

Al Jazeera Live Blog





Foreign Policy

Malta Today
Malta Today (2)

E’ in uscita il 22 marzo prossimo, nel giorno di chiusura del 111(F) Squadron della RAF, l’ultimo ad essere equipaggiato con il velivolo, il libro “Tornado F3 – 25 years of Air Defence”. Il volume, edito dalla Squadron Print Ltd, celebra la carriera del Tornado ADV (Air Defence Variant) dalle origini, all’impiego nelle NFZ sull’Iraq, all’ all’ultimo volo, analizzandone l’impiego anche in seno alla Royal Saudi Air Force e ovviamente all’Aeronautica Militare, capitolo che ho curato personalmente sia per quel che riguarda i testi, sia per ciò che concerne illustrazioni e didascalie. Il volume (210 x 297 mm Softback) contiene 188, 441 illustrazioni (foto, stemmi e disegni) ed un totale di circa 80.000 parole. A chi fosse interessato all’acquisto (il prezzo è £19.95 + spese di spedizione) consiglio di visitare i siti http://www.tornadof3.com/ o http://www.squadronprints.com/TornadoF3/tornadof3.html e/o leggere il relativo Comunicato Stampa (in Inglese).

Ho collaborato alla realizzazione della pubblicazione Panavia Tornado colour and markings della Mark I Ltd. Nelle tavole riguardanti il velivolo Tornado F.3 dell’Aeronautica Militare e in quella relativa ai cockpit sono infatti presenti alcuni miei scatti fatti ai velivoli in servizio fino al 2004 con il 12° Gruppo del 36° Stormo di Gioia del Colle.


RID di marzo, attualmente in edicola, presenta il primo numero di X-tra’, un prodotto editoriale nuovo che verrà allegato alla rivista più volte all’anno e che permetterà la trattazione particolarmente approfondita di una moltitudine di argomenti attraverso articoli monografici ricchi per contenuti e illustrazioni. L’onore di rappresentare l’articolo di punta del primo speciale spetta proprio al mio report sulla USS Nimitz, sulla 5^ Flotta e sulla lotta alla pirateria: 16 pagine nelle quali tali argomenti vengono analizzati con un livello di dettagli assolutamente inedito. Scoprirete l’organizzazione e il “peso” della Fifth Fleet della US Navy di base a Manama, proprio mentre la protesta colpisce il piccolo regno del Golfo Persico, comprenderete come “funziona” una portaerei nucleare di classe Nimitz impegnata nell’Enduring Freedom, e capirete le difficoltà della lotta alla pirateria nel Corno d’Africa attraverso le parole del comandante della Anti-Piracy Task Force.


Il mio articolo sul sistema LIDAR di cui è stato equipaggiato un C-27J dell’Aeronautica Militare, pubblicato sul sito www.gim-international.com è presente anche nella versione “cartacea” di GIM International, un’importante rivista di geomatica a diffusione internazionale.


Ho recentemente iniziato una collaborazione con il COPAC (Colegio Oficial de Pilotos de la Aviation Comercial) spagnola cui ho reso disponibili alcune immagini che vengono utilizzate poi per la creazione di briefing e test relativi alla volo e alla sicurezza del volo. Una delle prime immagini utilizzate è il ben noto scatto dell’incidente dell’NH-90 nel lago di Bracciano del giugno 2008.

GIM International un’importante rivista di geomatica a diffusione internazionale (www.gim-international.com) che fa capo al gruppo editoriale Geomares, ha pubblicato sul proprio sito, un mio articolo (che può essere letto qui) relativo al sistema LIDAR di cui è stato dotato un velivolo C-27J dell’Aeronautica Militare che è stato oggetto di un mio post su questo blog. Per chi non lo sapesse, Geomatica è un neologismo di recente diffusione con il quale ci si riferisce alle varie discipline per lo studio del territorio e dell’ambiente: geodesia, telerilevamento, cartografia, topografia, fotogrammetria ecc.

Una mia foto di un Tornado ECR del 155° Gruppo di Piacenza S.Damiano (per la cronaca, scattata a Cervia, dopo un basso passaggio in occasione dello Spotter Day del 2008) è stata utilizzata per la copertina di un romanzo, scritto da Michela Nidasio e pubblicato dalla Libertà Edizioni, che vede la protagonista ripercorrere la storia della sua vita e della tumultuosa passione con i suoi due cugini, uno dei quali pilota (di Tornado) nell’Aeronautica Militare.

Sul numero di 12/10 di Aeronautica, la rivista ufficiale dell’Associazione Arma Aeronautica (http://www.assoaeronautica.it/) è stata pubblicata nella sezione Libri la rensione, a firma del noto giornalista e scrittore Gregory Alegi, del mio volume Italian Starfighters dedicato allo storia dell’F-104 nell’Aeronautica Militare dal 1963 al 2005.

Previous years can be found at the following links: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006.