Tag Archives: Open Day

Giornata Azzurra 2008 – pictures (part 2)

The following pictures were taken during the air display of May 25 by Giovanni Maduli. Noteworthy, the P.180 suffering a tyre problem just after landing on RWY31, the Belgian F-16 pilot with an Italian flag, the images of the tactical event and the sequence of the Mi-24 realising flares.

More pictures dealing with the static display and the departures will be published in the next days.

Giornata Azzurra 2008 – pictures (part 1)

Blessed with good weather, this year’s edition of the Giornata Azzura was attended by more than 200.000 people on May 25. The two UAE Mirage 2000s and the accompanying C-130 were the most rare aircraft attending the show. The aircraft had arrived in the evening of May 23, even if there were rumors that the aircraft were scheduled for May 22, followed by the grey C-130. Pilots and military personnel were extremely polite, answered to all the questions made by the public and (unlike many others that sell their expensive Squadron’s memorabilia) offered the public a lot of presents (pins, stickers, etc), a sign of the prosperous Arab economics. Among the most photographed aircraft were the Romanian Air Force Mig-21 and AN-26 (arrived on May 23 after a stop in Istrana), the SH-3D in Special Colour scheme of the Belgian Air Force and the Turkish AF F-5 (that had arrived on May 22). The air display was focused on the tactical event that was described on a previous post on this site and that particularly interesting since it involved HH-3F, AB.212ICO, AMX, C-27J, C-130J, Tornado and F-2000 of the Italian Air Force in a simulated blitz to take an airport located at the border between two fighting countries. According to Pierfrancesco “Fats” Grassi, an F-16 driver of the 10th Gruppo, the Danish F-16 made one of the most technical display, not as “powerful” as the ones of the Belgian and Dutch Vipers, but probably more difficult. Other interesting displays were those of the Alenia M-346 , the AAR (Air to Air Refueling) demonstration of the KC-130J of the ItAF, the display of the CL-415 of the Protezione Civile, the Italian Army A-129s and Navy AV-8B and EH-101 ones, the one of the Italian Eurofighter, the Polish Team Orlik and the Patrouille de France and Frecce Tricolori. Unlike advertised, the B-1B did not perform the expected flyby, there was no B.767 used for the qualification of the ItAF pilots waiting for the delivery of the first KC-767 and there was no RAF Typhoon in static.

Giornata Azzurra 2008 – air display rehearsals going on (in spite of bad weather)

Bad weather conditions are affecting the week preceeding the May 24 – 25 week end and the rehearsals of the air display of the Giornata Azzurra. However, as soon as the weather minimums are satisfied, the test pilots of the RSV (Reparto Sperimentale Volo), the ItAF display unit, fly their display program. According to the latest release of the air display schedule, the RSV will fly the MB.339CD, the C-27J, the AMX, the Tornado, the EF2000 and also the brand new KC-130J.
Giovanni Maduli went again to Pratica on May 19, to see part of the rehearsals and took the following picture of the AMX practicing its display under a low ceiling.

Giornata Azzurra 2008 preview: first pics of the tactical event's rehearsal

One of the most interesting air display of the Giornata Azzurra 2008, that will be held at Pratica di Mare airport on May 24-25, is a tactical event lasting around 40 minutes and involving almost all the assets in the Italian Air Force Orbat (Order of Battle). The simulated action will see the Tornado and AMX formations, covered by F-2000 Eurofighters in sweep role, attacking the airport (located along the border between two fighting countries) in order to neutralize the enemy air defenses. Then the airport will be taken by the Italian Special Forces carried by 2 HH-3F and 1 AB.212 and prepared for the arrival of the C-27J and C-130J carring the personnel, materials and equipments needed for the logistical support of the Forward Operating Base. The base will be then readied for the arrival of the other allied aircraft operating under the UN flag.
Giovanni Maduli went to Pratica di Mare on May 15, to watch the rehearsals of the air display and below you can see some of the pictures he took. Obviously, in a real scenario, there would be no possibility to make rehearsals, but an airshow attended by 200.000 people taking place a few miles from Fiumicino airport requires some safety parameters to be carefully tested. This is the reason why the event was tested on May 15 and will be probably tested again before May 24.

Pratica di Mare – Giornata Azzurra 2008

On May 25, Pratica di Mare airbase will host the most important ItAF event of the year: the Giornata Azzurra 2008. The Open Day is the only official air display of the Aeronautica Militare, held each year in the largest Italian airbase (with the only exception, every five years, to celebrate the anniversary of the Frecce Tricolori display team at their homebase in Rivolto). The list of the foreign attending aircraft is extremely interesting this year: the Romanian Mig-21 (both single and double seat), the Mirage 2000 of the Hellenic Air Force and the one of the EAU, the Danish F-16, the RAF Typhoon, the Turkish NF-5 and many others. In the last two editions a B.1B flyover was in the list of the air display even if the “Bone” never showed up at Pratica neither in static display nor performing the “advertised” fly-by. However, this year the B.1B presence is also confirmed by the ACC Aerial Events schedule (noteworthy, the flyover should be repeated in Berlin 26/5, Bratislava 31/5, Berlin again and Cognac on 1/6) and it is possible that the aircraft will attend the show during a routine Global Power peacetime mission. These kind of missions are used to demonstrate the global reach capability of the US bomber that often fly round robin sorties from CONUS (Continental USA) to Europe that can last close to 24-hours in duration.
The ItAF will display all the aircraft in its inventory. Among them, also the SH.3D used by the Pope, the KC-130J that was used by the RSV for the air-to-air refueling (AAR) qualification of the type with many types of receivers and the B-767 CTA used as a replacement of the B.707TT in the AAR tasks until the delivery of the new KC-767. According to the information reported by some spotters, the rehearsals of the RSV (Reparto Sperimentale Volo) have already begun. People around Pratica has been watching the display of the Tornado and Typhoon piloted by the Italian test pilots from the last week.
For updated information about the event, list of participating aircraft and media opportunities, I suggest visiting the official ItAF page of the Giornata Azzurra at the following address: http://www.aeronautica.difesa.it/ga08/.

Pictures of the Giornata Azzurra 2006 are available here.