Frecce Tricolori, an international prestige
With its ten aircraft, the Frecce Tricolori is the world’s largest aerobatic team and is also recognised as one of the most famous and spectacular. This is not a popular opinion as the numerous awards can prove it, starting with those received in 2005: one for best performance at the Royal International Air Tattoo (one of the most important air shows in Europe), the ‘The King Hussein Memorial Sword’ award, the sword symbol of their country awarded to the best aerial demonstration presented by Prince Faysal bin al-Husayn of Jordan, and finally the Silver Medal for Aeronautical Merit, awarded in Moscow at the International Air Show.
In 2008, the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, presented the Frecce Tricolori with the “Leonardo Award” for Lifetime Achievement, while in 2010, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, presented the “Winning Italy Award” in recognition of the High Excellence achieved, aimed at promoting and enhancing the image of Italy in the world.
In 2019 comes another award again at the Royal International Air Tattoo, this time the Frecce Tricolori of the Italian Air Force are awarded the RAFCTE Trophy as the best foreign aerobatic patrol.
60 years of history and glory
For 60 years, the Aermacchi MB-339 PAN planes of the Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (PAN) of the Italian Air Force have been a symbol of Made in Italy around the world. In fact, this year the Frecce Tricolori celebrated the 60th anniversary of their foundation.
Between 1930 and 1960, several aerobatic groups were created, but in 1960 the historic decision was taken: to form the National Aerobatic Patrol, selecting the best pilots from the various departments.
Major Mario Squarcina, leader of the Diavoli Rossi (Red Devils), formed the Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (P.A.N. – National Aerobatic Team), made up of pilots from all Air Force departments, and on March 1st, 1961, the 313th Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico (313th Aerobatic Training Group) was founded at the Rivolto Airport (Udine), the team’s current headquarter.
Ecor International for the Frecce Tricolori, a prestigious assignment
How many of you had travelled miles and hours to admire those blue planes with the tricolor on their sides, painting the white-red-green stripes in the blue sky, performing amazing while flying at crazy speeds? Everyone loves Frecce Tricolori, including Ecor International’s staff, which this year was involved in a very important task: the Aerospace & Defense business unit in fact produced the exhaust pipes for the Aermacchi MB-339 PAN. A prestigious commission that brought all Ecor International’s knowledge and experience in design and welding up to the skies.
The order arrived in spring and was completed in autumn, just in time for another exhibition, the one that commemorated the centenary of the first Rome-Tokyo flight. October 17 marked the end of the celebrations for Arturo Ferrarin‘s feat, which took place between February and May 1920. The Aermacchi MB-339s took to the skies over Thiene, in the province of Vicenza, just a few kilometres far from Ecor International’s HQ, but above all the birthplace of the fearless aviator.
“The project took place entirely in Schio, in the Aerospace & Defense production department and was very complex, requiring the customization of a welding plant – explains Sergio Lucietto, Ecor International founder and chairman – An important commitment for the company, which followed a program planned at every stage, with a series of analyses, tests, and inspections. At the end we met the required deadlines and guaranteed a perfect result”.
A starting point for the Aerospace & Defense unit
“It was a challenge that everyone in the business unit took on with enthusiasm, commitment, seriousness, and emotion – says Giulio Roana, Aerospace & Defense division Business Manager – Because we’ve admired these planes and, after seeing them to fly in the squad, performing their aerobatic acts up in the sky knowing that we have made a part of them, is a great satisfaction.
Thanks to our expertise, we could industrialize a complex process in a short period of time. The result was undoubtedly excellent, both in terms of production and management, and this project is not only a source of pride for us, but it is also the first of many steps because times and working methods, machinery, and materials will also be applied on other occasions”.
“Thanks to the exchange of technologies and skills deriving from experience in other industrial sectors, from food to pharmaceuticals, from advanced mechanics to industrial research, the Aerospace & Defense unit has grown steadily to become a reliable and competent partner producing critical components in steel, special alloys and aluminium for civil and military aircraft,” says Chiara Lucietto, CEO of Ecor International and Business Director of the Aerospace & Defense unit, special alloys and aluminium for civil and military aircraft – says Chiara Lucietto, company CEO and Aerospace & Defense unit Business Director – The components concern steel, special alloys and aluminium tubing and hydraulic circuits (flight controls), aerostructure and engine parts. These components are critical because they are functional and structural and must therefore guarantee the safe operation of the aircraft in which they are installed”.
The Aerospace & Defense unit designs, welds, and treats components such as tubes and pipes made of noble materials such as nickel and aluminium alloys, titanium alloys, and stainless steel, taking care of the entire production process, starting with the drafting and implementation of the qualification plan and ending with the final inspection of the parts and the relevant technical documentation.
Thanks to the expertise in special processes (welding, heat treatment, galvanic treatment, cleaning, and NDT/non-destructive testing) and the availability of qualified personnel and state-of-the-art systems, high-quality production standards are guaranteed
Photo credits: Aeronautica Militare Italiana