Aermacchi MB.339 for U.S. Navy VTXTS competition


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Sep 9, 2008
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Hi All,
writing to Archipeppe about the SF-260 Cadet in USAF colours for the EFSA Enhanced Flight Screener Aircraf) requirement, I had some vague memories of something analogous regarding an Aermacchi MB.339A in US Navy colours, as an answer to the 1977 VTX-TS requirement, later won by Hawk/Goshawk.
Ever more vaguely I remember an artist's impression or a photograph appeared on 'Aviation Week' (then my favourite reading) but perhaps was a false memory as I found in my archives a neg of a scale model of MB.339A painted in Navy colours (e enclosed a JPG called MB.339A (Navy)_119.jpg; the pink tone is an idiosyncrasy of my scanner) and no real aircraft in that guise.
I rember that in 1977-1980 Prof. Bazzocchi (Aermacchi general manager) was asked by Navair to do an overview of training state of the art (in those days Doctor Ermanno Bazzocchi was and internationally undisputed authority in the field of flying training aircraft); perhaps the MB.339 with Navy markings I saw (or that think have seen) was related to that study.
In fact, several years before, Aermacchi already studied the MB.339GD for Armada Naval Argentina, that never matherialised. According to the book "Never Give Up" by Engs. Paolo Mezzanotte and Alessandro Neviani, in 1977-1978 Eng. Giulio Cesare Valdonio directed the study of MB.339N-2 (see enclosed three-view drawing) with very slightly swept wing and a Garrett TFE1042-75 engine for the Navy requirement. Vought was also interested in the project but, as we have already said, the Hawk was the winner as the McDonnell-Douglas T-45 Goshawk.
For the following USAF PATS (Primary Aircraft Traing System), JPATS since November 1989 when the requirement became Joint, Aermacchi designed the MB.339D, with two Pratt & Whitnet JT15D turbofans.
That solution, promoted by Valdonio, was considered too difficult to develop and for the contest the team Aermacchi-Lockheed-Rolls Royce-Hughes preferred the MB.339B T-Bird II. The demonstrator was an ex-Argentinian MB.339AA reengined with a Rolls-Royce Viper 680 turbojet. In May-July 1992 the aircraft was toured in the states but the excellence of the airframe was marred by an already obsolete straight flush turbojet. In terms of life cycle cost the single turboprop formula was preferred and, as we know, as the next Navy/Air Force trainer was choosen the Pilatus PC-9 as the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II.
Personally I never understood why teach flying aircraft of a kind that only a small part of pilots will ever find in his entire career, but very seldom high brasses ask my opinion before buy a new aircraft...


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ACCESS: Top Secret
Oct 18, 2007
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Really interesting Nico!!

I never knew of such interesting of US NAVY for MB-339 but I remember well the participation to the J-PATS proposal of early '90s.


You're Mad, You Are.....
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May 1, 2007
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From above, colour cast removed and cropped.....



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