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Aermacchi SpA MB-339


The 1972 designed Viper 632 powered Aermacchi MB339 produced in Varese, Italy, became the successor to the MB-326 and the Fiat G91. Sharing much of the MB-326K airframe structure, the MB-339 has a redesigned forward fuselage to allow the tandem seating to be staggered vertically, for the instructor to see over the pupil, the vertical tail enlarged, raised fin, a revised nose gear, stronger wings, Martin-Baker Mk.10 zero-zero seats, nose wheel steering and modern avionics. The wing is NACA 64A212 at the root and NACA 64A114 at the tip. Six hardpoints (up to 1815 kg/4,000 lb) allow a combined trainer/light strike role.

The first prototype MB-339X (I-NOVE) made the type's maiden flight on 12 August 1976, the second prototype was registered I-NINE. Begining production in 1976 was the MB.339A, of which the first of 100 for the Aeronautica Militare were handed over for pre-service trials on 8 August 1979. Customers have included Argentina, Dubai, Ghana, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Peru.

MB.339As were the only operational jet aircraft deployed to the Falklands by the Argentineans during the hostilities, the Port Stanley runway being unable to accommodate Mirages or A-4s. An Argentine Navy MB.339 attacked a Royal Navy frigate, causing damage with 30 mm DEFA cannon fire and four-Zuni 5 inch rockets. The trainer also has provision to carry the AGM-65 Maverick ASM, the AIM-9 Sidewinder and the Sistel Marte II fire-and-forget sea skimming anti-ship missile. The MB.339B is basically a standard MB.339A advanced trainer with an uprated Viper 680 engine, enlarged tip tanks, and increased weapons carrying capability, enhanced for the ground attack role.

The MB.339C is designed to train pilots to use modern frontline mission management systems and powered by an uprated Viper 680-43 turbojet. Envisaged as a close support/maritime attack aircraft, the MB.339C first flew on December 17, 1985, equipped with a digital navigation/attack system including a GEC navigation computer, two Kaiser Sabre headup displays, a Litton inertial platform, CRT multifunction displays, a Fiat P-0702 laser rangefinder, an ELT-156 radar warning receiver, and a GEC AD-660 Doppler radar.

The MB-339CB with the Rolls-Royce Viper 680-43 jet engine experienced a number of engine problems. Flameouts on wet runways, compressor stalls during rapid acceleration/deceleration, defective fuel supply components, and turbine blade cracks. The subsequent repairs reduced the maximum thrust of the Viper to 4,280 lbs.


In 1991 the RNZAF purchased 18 of the model MB-339CB for use an advanced pilot trainer and weapons trainer with 14 Squadron based at Ohakea.


Development of the MB-339 has included the MB-339RM calibration model and 15 MB-339PAN delivered in 1982 for the Italian “Frecce Tricolori” aerobatic team.

The "CD" model was offered with HOTAS (Hands on Throttle and Stick), HUDs display and three LCD screens.

The Viper 680 engined MB-339K, also known as the Veltro II, was a single-seat attack version. This aircraft first flew on 30 May 1980. In production form, the single-seat MB.339K Veltro 2, which flew in May 1980, was available with the digital navigation/attack system from the MB.339C.




Wing span: 35 ft 7.5 in (10.86 m).
Max speed: 558 mph (898 km/h).

Engine: 1x R-R Viper 632-43.         
Installed thrust: 17.8 kN.
Span: 10.9 m.                 
Length: 11 m.
Wing area: 19.3 sq.m.             
Empty wt: 3125 kg.
MTOW: 5900 kg.             
Warload: 1815 kg.
Max speed: 925 kph.
Initial ROC: 2010 m / min.
Ceiling:     14,600+ m.             
T/O run: 465 m.
Ldg run: 415 m.                 
Fuel internal: 1410 lt.
Endurance: 2hr 50min.             
Combat radius hi-lo-hi: 590 km.
Hardpoints: 6.

Engine: Viper 680, 1995-kg (4,400 lb) thrust.
Max speed SL: 480 knots            
Max speed 25,000 ft: 460 knots
ROC SL: 6500 fpm.             
Time to 30,000 ft: 7 min 6 sec.
TO wt clean: 10,000 lbs.              
Endurance: 2 hr 50 min.
Fuel Burn: 2500 lb/hr.
Max extenal load: 4000 lb on six pylons.

Engine: Rolls-Royce Viper Mk.680-43, 4000 lb thrust.     
Span: 11.22m.                 
Wing area: 19.3 sq.m.
Length: 11.24m.                 
MTOW: 6350 kg.
Internal fuel: 1430 kg. (+2 x 400 kg tip tanks).     
Empty wt: 3414 kg.
Height: 3.9 m.                 
Max speed: M0.8, 575 mph.     
T/o run: 550m.                  
ROC: 8500 fpm.     
Service ceiling: 46,000ft.
Limits: +7.33 & -4g.
Ferry range: 1190 miles (2200 km)         

MB-339K Veltro 2
Engine: 1 x Piaggio RR Viper 680-43 turbojet, 4,450lbs / 19.8 kN thrust.
Length: 36.88ft (11.24m)
Wingspan: 36.81ft (11.22m)
Height: 13.09ft (3.99m)
Wing area: 19.3 sq.m
Empty Weight: 6,889lbs (3,125kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 13,999lbs (6,350kg)
Fuel internal: 2030 lt
Maximum Speed: 506mph (815kmh; 440kts)
Maximum Range: 231miles (371km)
Rate-of-Climb: 6,595ft/min (2,010m/min)
Service Ceiling: 46,719ft (14,240m)
T/O run: 580 m
Ldg run: 450 m
Armament: 2 x 30mm DEFA cannons / 1935 kg external
Seats: 2
Hardpoints: 6
Air refuel: No.



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