(Photo Credit: Karl Drage)
The Aermacchi MB-339 is a two-seat military jet trainer and light attack aircraft. Designed in the 1970s, it was intended as a replacement for the Italian Air Force’s existing fleet of MB-326s. First flown in 1976, this aircraft went into active service two years later. Between 1978 and 1987, 101 MB-339s were delivered to the Italian Air Force. That number represents just under half the total aircraft produced to date.
The aircraft was built in a traditional configuration, with all metal construction, tricycle landing gear, and pressurized cockpit. The jettisonable canopy worked in conjunction with twin ejection seats. One unique feature was a raised instructor’s seat, allowing for better visibility over and past the student pilot. Those who flew the MB-339 found it to be a very pilot-friendly aircraft, and ideal training platform.
Several models of the MB-339 were developed, including the -A (trainer), and -B (attack) variants. In combat situations, six underwing hardpoints allowed for cannons, as well as a variety of other ordinance, to be carried. A single Rolls-Royce Viper 632-43 turbojet engine powered the MB-339. Producing 4,000 lbs of thrust, it pushes this little aircraft to a service ceiling of 48,000 ft at a maximum speed of 558 mph.
The MB-339 was also exported to the air forces of Peru (14), Nigeria (12), Argentina (10), United Arab Emirates (10), and Malaysia (7). The Italian Freece Tricolori aerobatic display team used the type for 36 years until retiring them in 2018. Most recently, Al Fursan, the UAE aerobatic display team, has been using the MB-339. Their striking black and gold livery is pictured above.
Why do I want this aircraft in Infinite Flight? The MB-339 is a military aircraft that has dual-appeal, as many are now privately owned. It’s a capable trainer for high performance jets, and it just looks like a fun aircraft to fly. If you agree, please consider voting for this request. (Note: I found one livery request for the MB-339 from 2017. This request is for the aircraft type, not a specific livery.)