For its F-84s and F-86s, the AMI simply adopted USAF 1950s-style serials, both on record and on the aircraft. Examples here are the Fiat-built F-86 and F-84F MM53-6892 behind it. The black cat with green mice logo of 51° Stormo originates from a 1939 rivalry between bomber and fighter pilots based at Roma-Ciampino.
Savoia, Verduzio (designers) and Ansaldo (company) set out to build a fighter but the resulting SVA was deemed unsuitable for that role. It could however fly very far, high and fast and so became an excellent reconnaissance plane. This is one of the aircraft of the propaganda Flight over Vienna in 1918. The Lion of St. Mark was the insigna of the 87a squadriglia 'Serenissima' and the painting depicts general Gabriele d'Annunzio, the organiser of the famous flight.
License-built by the Ungarische Flugzeugwerke in Budapest and delivered to the Austro-Hungarian navy. Flown across the Adriatic Sea in 1918 by two defecting servicemen and, after long storage and restoration, arrived here in 1988 to be displayed.
The oldest existing Spad in the world faces a younger example in Hangar Troster. This one was Fulco Ruffo di Calabria's aircraft, who scored 20 victories in WW1. There is an imprint on the airframe showing it was manufactured in September 1916.
One of two Spad VIIs in Hangar Troster, this plane was flown by ace Ernesto Cabruna and wears visible patches that cover bullet holes from combat. It was recovered in a delapidated state and beautifully restored, showing the markings of the 77a Squadriglia. The serial is not visibly worn.
The Hanriot-Dupont 1 was much hailed for its speed and agility. This is one of more than 800 built under license by Nieuport-Macchi at Varese and was flown by the ace Flavio Baracchini. The municipality of Florence donated the aircraft to the AMI. Serial not seen on the outside.
After it had been withdrawn from use, Lt. Casimiro Buttini purchased this aircraft in which he earned a Gold Medal of Valor. It was stored in a barn until the Italian air force bought it back in 1959 and has been completely overhauled and rebuilt since.
Well over a hundred AC.2 (Ansaldo-Caccia 2) were constructed in Italy, being the license-built version of the Dewoitine D.1ter. In 1925, its all-metal structure was quite revolutionary. The serial was not visible on the museum's example.
Training, tourist and observation aircraft seating a pilot and copilot plus one passenger behind them. Exhibited here as the optional amphibian version. Only two remain in the world, license-built NC349N now in the Cradle of Aviation Museum at Long Island (NY) and this one.
Macchi's first attempt to design from scratch a seaplane that would win Italy the Schneider Trophy was a huge success. Two trainers, three racers and a static airframe were developed, built and flown well within a year. One of the 600 hp trainer versions crashed with fatal results, but this 800 hp race version won the 1926 Trophy in the USA at an average speed of nearly 400 km/h (250 mph).
Fiat's try at the 1929 Schneider Trophy proved too ambitious, as its attempted 1:1 power to weight ratio racer turned out unstable and both prototypes crashed. In order to still take part in the race, this copy of the second proto (MM130) was built, using parts of a static airframe. It was sent to the competition but eventually did not participate in the race.
The M.C.72 represents the culmination of high speed floatplane development in Italy. Its Fiat AS.6 engine consists of two coupled V12 blocks that delivered a maximum of 3100 hp to two contra-rotating propellers. After serious initial problems, this plane became the world speed record holder for five years. In 1934, it reached 709 km/h (441 mph) averaged over three passes, a record for prop-driven seaplanes that still stands in 2019. All the gold-coloured surfaces are water and oil radiators.
This was the third of four racing seaplane types built by Macchi, with the intent of repeating Italy's Schneider Trophy victories, last in 1926. In 1929 however, the M.67 suffered many severe problems with grave results for its pilots. Initially recoved as a fuselage only, the one on display is still a fascinating power machine with its surface radiators and science fiction-like engine cowling.
These are the only genuine S.55 parts remaining in Italy of some 240 of these impressive double hull flying boats. A formation of 24 S.55X completed an 18600 km Atlantic round-trip to the USA in 1933, after 14 S.55TA flew to Brazil in 1930-1931. On display are the central part of the left hull, a tail rudder and an engine. The hull still shows partial markings of the 199a Squadriglia, 94° Gruppo, based at Orbetello.
The Ro.43 maritime reconnaisance plane, ship-launched from a catapult, had great range and ample speed but lacked strength and stability at sea. The sole remaining example was discovered as a wreck in 1972. It has been completely restored and now shines in the colours of the 'Scuola Idroricognizione' at Orbetello, where it was retired in December 1950.
Nicknamed the 'Caproncino', the Ca.100 was a derivative of the D.H. 60 Cirrus Moth. Caproni and four other factories delivered 675 production aircraft as trainers to the Regia Aeronautica. The museum acquired this one in 2007 and displays it in the mid-1930s colours of the basic flying school in Florence.
The Fiat C.R.32 was an outstanding fighter plane design by engineer Celestino Rosatelli and first flew in 1933. Apart from Italian service, it saw world-wide export and at least 100 were license-built in Spain by Hispano Aviación, designated HA-132 'Chirri' (cricket). Being one of those, C.1-328 was donated by Spain in 1955 and initially put on display here as 'MM4666' but restored later to a Spanish civil war livery.