The Alenia AerMacchi M-345 HET (High Efficiency Trainer) is destined to become the new aircraft for Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori. In preparation, Frecce Tricolori commander Jan Slangen first flew the M-345 in the team’s colours on 3 July 2014 from Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono.
The M-345 HET in the blue, white, red and green colours will make its airshow debut in the skies of the Farnborough Air Show, the most important international aerospace and defence show, that will take place near London from 14 to 20 of July. Last May, during an exclusive visit to Alenia Aermacchi’s plant at Venegono, Airheadsfly.com already had a sneak preview of the new M-345 HET in Frecce Tricolori livery.
Jan Slangen, just after landing from his first flight – lasting around one hour – in the M-345 HET avionic demonstrator, commented: “We are dealing with a very interesting machine, with a very high potential, both as basic trainer and as aerobatic aircraft. We took off from Venegono track to reach the operation zone and, after some first orientation basic and acrobatic manoeuvre, we tried to set a presentation mini-profile with a sequence of manoeuvres of our acrobatic programme. Personally, I am very satisfied with the energy of this aircraft, and with its maneuverability and particularly contained costs.”
The M-345 HET represents the most recent solution proposed by Alenia Aermacchi for the advanced basic phase of the training syllabus for military pilots. The M-345 HET provides the air forces with a cost-effective solution, thanks to a meaningful acquisition and operational cost reduction, similar to those of more powerful turboprops which, although being of the same weight class of the M-345 HET and equipped with similar on-board systems, provide nonetheless definitely lower performance and lower training effectiveness.
In June 2013 Alenia Aermacchi and the Defence Secretary Genera/DNA (National Armaments’ Directorate) of the Defence Ministry signed an agreement to jointly define the operational specifications and to collaborate in the development of a new advanced-basic trainer aircraft, called M-345 HET, High Efficiency Trainer. The aircraft entry into service is envisaged for the end of 2017.
Source: Alenia Aermacchi, with additional reporting by Airheadsfly.com editors Elmer van Hest and Dennis Spronk