The new M-346 Master advanced trainer designed by Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, has reached the symbolic 1,000-flight milestone.
The flight was made by the third prototype, representative of the pre-series M-346 standard.
The thousand flights performed by the three M-346 prototypes now available at Alenia Aermacchi, cover a broad range of missions, from aircraft testing and development to the displaying to the many interested Air Forces and ferry flights for international demo tours for important aviation events.
In December 2008 the first M-346 achieved the speed of Mach 1.17, becoming the fastest Italian-designed aeroplane of all time. The long ferry flights, the completion of air-to-air refuelling tests and angles of attack of over 30 degrees, indicate the significance of the results achieved so far and the overall development of the programme, which is now close to its complete maturity.
In addition to Alenia Aermacchi test pilots, the three M-346 have already been flown by over 40 Italian military pilots and by over 70 from other countries worldwide, including those of the United Arab Emirates, whose Air Forces selected 48 M-346s in February 2009, and those of Singapore, where the M-346 is participating in the competition for 48 aircraft and a complete integrated training system.