The Frecce Tricolori
officially known as the 313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico
, is the aerobatic demonstration team of the Italian Aeronautica Militare
The Italian Air Force is the air force of the Italian Republic. It has held a prominent role in modern Italian military history...
, based at Rivolto Air Force Base
The Airport of Rivolto is located in Codroipo, province of Udine . It is famous because it is the base of Frecce Tricolori. Besides it is a military airport and it is an important Air Force Weather Service....
, in the north-eastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, province of Udine
The Province of Udine is a province in the autonomous Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy, bordering Austria and Slovenia. Its capital is the city of Udine....
. They were formed in 1961 as an Air Force team, replacing unofficial teams that had been sponsored by various commands by the end of the 1920s.
The team flies the Aermacchi MB-339-A/PAN
The Aermacchi MB-339 is an Italian military trainer and light attack aircraft. It was developed as a replacement for the earlier MB-326.-Design and development:...
, a two-seat fighter
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...
-trainer craft capable of 898 km/h at sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...
, with nine aircraft and a solo (the highest number of aircraft of any aerobatic team in the world).
The team's official name is:
313. Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico;
Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (PAN) Frecce Tricolori.
The Frecce Tricolori
were not the first AMI aerobatics team: military aerobatics as a group began in Campoformido
Campoformido is a town and comune in the province of Udine, in north-eastern Italy, notable for the Treaty of Campo Formio.The village of Rivolto , in the comune of Codroipo, hosts the Italian Air Force acrobatic flight squadron, the Frecce Tricolori....
, home of the 1st Wing, in the late 1920s under the supervision of Col. Rino Corso Fougier
Rino Corso Fougier was a Royal Italian Air Force general. From 1940 to 1941 he served as the commander of the Corpo Aereo Italiano which, in concert with the Luftwaffe, took part in the Battle of Britain. From 1941 to 1943 he commanded the Royal Italian Air Force.-External links:*...
(an Italian pioneer in aerobatic group flying). Since then, except in the Second World War period, many fighter wings gave birth to demonstration teams like Cavallino Rampante
(Prancing Horse), Getti Tonanti
(Thundering Jets), Diavoli Rossi
(Red Devils), Tigri Bianche
(White Tigers) and Lanceri Neri
(Black Lancers). Finally, in 1961, the Air Force General Staff decided to form a single aerobatic team, the Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale
(National Aerobatic Patrol).
During the 2000 aerobatic season they reached 50,000 flying hours on the MB-339.
In 2005 they won the award for best exhibition at the Royal International Air Tattoo
The Royal International Air Tattoo is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July, usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust...
Fairford is a small town in Gloucestershire, England. The town lies in the Cotswolds on the River Coln, about east of Cirencester, west of Lechlade and north of Swindon. Nearby are RAF Fairford and the Cotswold Water Park.-Schools:...
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
(a major military airshow) and they have obtained, for the first time for a non-Russian unit, the Russian Silver Medal for Aeronautical Merit. On 8 September 2007 the Frecce Tricolori took part at the funeral of Luciano Pavarotti
right|thumb|Luciano Pavarotti performing at the opening of the Constantine Palace in [[Strelna]], 31 May 2003. The concert was part of the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of [[St...
Modena is a city and comune on the south side of the Po Valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy....
and honoured him with a fly-past leaving green-white-red smoke trails.
On 28 August 1988, in the Ramstein airshow disaster
The Ramstein airshow disaster is the second-deadliest airshow incident . It took place in front of about 300,000 people on August 28 1988, in Ramstein, West Germany, near the city of Kaiserslautern at the US Ramstein Air Base airshow Flugtag '88.Aircraft of the Italian Air Force display team...
, 70 people lost their lives due to the mid-air collision
A mid-air collision is an aviation accident in which two or more aircraft come into contact during flight. Owing to the relatively high velocities involved and any subsequent impact on the ground or sea, very severe damage or the total destruction of at least one of the aircraft involved usually...
of three Frecce Tricolori jets. The burning jets broke up and crashed, including one that careened into a crowd of spectators.