The Frecce Tricolori, Italy's aerobatic display team, was established in 1961 at the behest of the Italian Air Force. The Rivolto military air base has played host to the Frecce and their pilots since 1961, and the aerobatic display team celebrated its 55th anniversary on 5 and 6 September.
From early morning on both days of the event, 500,000 people from the surrounding towns and from every region of Italy crowded into the base to visit the static exhibition of civil and military aircraft and the stands of the Air Force and sponsors, and of course to admire the acrobatic feats of the nine aircraft that make up the display team. The Italian aerobatic display team was joined in the skies over Rivolto by a string of famous foreign display teams, in a tribute to the illustrious anniversary.
As a reliable and long-standing partner of the Italian Air Force, Avio Aero was there too, with a stand of its own displaying various exhibits, including a mock-up of the T700/CT-7 engine next to the HH101 Combat SAR helicopter manufactured by Agusta Westland.
Designated "Caesar" in the Air Force version, the HH101 is equipped with CT7-8E engines on which we are responsible for the accessory control transmission, certain parts of the low-pressure turbine and other minor external turbine components. It is a latest-generation aircraft that will perform multiple roles, including Air Support for Special Operations and Slow Mover Interceptor (intercepting slow-moving aircraft): with its radar and optical infra-red sensors, it can intercept, identify and if necessary neutralise threats posed by slow-moving and small aircraft (such as general aviation aircraft, microlights and small drones). In addition to the above, it undertakes Personnel Recovery duties, involving the recovery of civilian and military personnel from difficult situations in crisis zones. The pilots of 15 Squadron had this to say about the outstanding aircraft: We are delighted by the performance of this new helicopter… the engines are reliable and very powerful.
The Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, General Pasquale Preziosa, and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Defence Commission, Francesco Garofani, visited our stand, met the management and were so impressed by the technological prowess of Avio and the work it does, that when they addressed the members of the Parliamentary Defence Commission, they announced, in relation to the engine: “We should be proud to have such technological excellence in Italy, not least because of the number of jobs that it generates.This is also a valid endorsement for the Avio Aero teams that work for the Air Force, as pointed out by Corrado Crotti, Military Sales Leader, during the event: “We have designed and manufactured 40% of this engine at our Turin and Pomigliano plants, and we assemble it and test it in Brindisi.
"We should be proud to have such technological excellence in Italy, not least because of the number of jobs that it generates”