Behind the scenes of the Pisa Air Show 2019

Pisa Air Show 2019 Frecce Tricolori
Italian Air Force Eurofighter in Pisa AFB.

On May 17, 2019, the Italian Air Force 46th Air Brigade based in Pisa, Italy, opened its doors to young students, local associations and the media to offer them the opportunity to welcome pilots and aircraft participating in the Pisa Air Show 2019. As with past editions, the air base was used as a support point by the acts who performed along the Pisan coast on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May.

The performers were greeted by an excited crowd waiting for them along the base area. The program included the fly-bys and landings of two Eurofighters, two T-346As and a C-27J belonging to the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (RSV) of the Italian Air Force, an HH-139A helicopter of the 15th Wing SAR of the Italian Air Force, the Frecce Tricolori and the Italian civil aerobatic team We Fly! Team.

The Wefly! Team is composed of three ultralight aircraft and is the only aerobatic team in the world that includes two disabled pilots, their performance is not only a demonstration of skills, but the evidence that all dreams can be realized. "Seeing my plane alongside the mighty Typhoon gives me an indescribable emotion," said a pilot.  In fact, the Open Day was characterized not only by an exhibition of aircraft, but also by the sharing of important messages. All the demo pilots interviewed said that their work is the culmination of a childhood dream that they have achieved thanks to so much tenacity and willpower.

At the end of the landings, the flight line of Pisa AFB was very respectable. It should be noted that all the military aircraft on display were manufactured by the Leonardo company, this shows how Italy is able to offer excellent systems that can satisfy the needs of even a very demanding armed force such as the Italian Air Force. Each aircraft has unique features of its kind.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a latest generation fighter, the most advanced combat aircraft ever developed in Europe. It is able to offer wide-ranging operational capabilities and unparalleled effectiveness in the Air Defense sector. Thanks to its high technology and engineering knowledge, the Eurofighter guarantees high efficiency to the air defense service of the Italian Air Force carried out 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In a few minutes the aircraft is able to reach and intercept a suspect aircraft.

The T-346A is the most modern Advanced/Lead-in Fighter Trainer currently produced and is the only new generation trainer equipped for this role. It boasts excellent performances and flight quality similar to those of fighter planes. It is based on project solutions developed to provide high levels of security and reduced purchase and management costs. The T-346A is suitable for every phase of advanced training, Lead-In to Fighter and "Companion Trainer" for combat lines; thanks to the ability to simulate a wide variety of sensors and armament, it allows users to relieve training tasks from the most expensive combat aircraft like the Typhoon. 

The C-27J Spartan is the new and advanced version of the tactical transport aircraft supplied to the Italian Air Force. It derives from the G-222 and is equipped with the same engines and numerous devices as the C-130J and can be perfectly integrated with the latter. The C-27J has proved to be a versatile and flexible medium cargo aircraft and is able to effectively carry out the various tactical transport missions operating also from semi-prepared or deteriorated runways and in operational theaters. It guarantees the Italian Air Force the ability to effectively carry out sanitary missions, the launch of materials and paratroopers, and maritime patrols. Between 2005 and 2007, Alenia delivered twelve aircraft with related logistic support to Italian Air Force. The Italian Air Force version is among the most complete, it includes an advanced data projection system, with digitalmap and a double Head Up Display (HUD), an in-flight refueling system and a DASS (Defensive Aids Sub System) self-protection system.

Every year, the great features of the Eurofighter, T-346A and C-27J are shown to the public by the skilled RSV demo pilots during the demos they conduct at national and international airshows. Next July they will also participate in the RIAT 2019.

The Open Day also included personnel and an HH-139A helicopter from the 15th Wing SAR of the Italian Air Force. This unit covers a very important role: saving lives! They have saved about 7,200 people to date.

The grand finale was offered by the Frecce Tricolori. The team arrived with an unusual formation consisting of 11 aircraft as it also included the commander's jet. Before landing, the Frecce Tricolori flew over the base releasing green-white-red smoke. Applause!

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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