Aviation Historian 09
-
G.Alegi - Alitalia's Fab Four
The four Alitalia jet trainers were all painted in the same extremely attractive colour scheme, with the Italian tricolore on the fin, white upper surfaces with blue two-tone cheatlines and the airline’s name in a three-bar script, bare metal lower fuselage and Dayglo orange sections applied to the outer wings, tiptanks and tailplane.
The first of the MB.326DS to be delivered, l-ADIE is seen here landing at Brindisi in the “heel” of Italy, where the consistently good weather and relative lack of air traffic allowed the Alitalia jet school to pursue its intensive training programme.
One of the four Aermacchi MB.326D variants supplied to Alitalia from the early summer of 1963, l-ADIE is seen here at the Paris Air Salon in June 1965. The aircraft performed a memorable display in the hands of Aermacchi chief test pilot Guido Carestiato, whose demonstration included inverted flight with flaps and undercarriage down and an inverted spin
Alitalia 9th Course student Nanni Pomanti steps from the cockpit of one of the MB.326Ds in 1966. Pomanti would go on to serve with Alitalia for 40 years, finally retiring as a Boeing 777 captain in 2004. He also enjoyed a parallel career as a photographer, becoming a regular contributor to Playboy and other lifestyle-oriented magazines.
Nanrti Pomanti and a fellow student beside l-ADIO. The Alitalia training syllabus was similar to that of the military, but intensive aerial manoeuvring exercises were replaced with additional navigation training for the civil pilots. The latter were allowed a 6g manoeuvring limit, as opposed to 8g for the military.