Italian Test Pilots

The Aermacchi M-346 next-generation advanced/lift military trainer flew for the 1st time on July 15th 2004. The aircraft took off from Venegono (Varese) at 8,30 hours local time and returned at 9,25.

The flight was controlled in real time by Aermacchi flight test team operating from the company telemetry facilities.

The maiden flight pilot was Olinto Cecconello, Aermacchi Experimental Chief Test Pilot.

The M-346 was chased by two Aermacchi’s MB-339CD aircraft, piloted by Capt. Alessandro Sciaburri of the Italian Air Force Flight Test Centre and by Maurizio Cheli, Alenia Aeronautica’s Chief Test Pilot for combat aircraft.

Upper picture shows Aermacchi managers C. Logli and G. Bertolone and test pilots Cecconello and Cheli.

On the left is a shot after the second flight of M-346 piloted by Maurizio Cheli and co-piloted by Olinto Cecconello

I was lucky to meet Mr. Maurizio Cheli at
Paris Air Show 2005 at Le Bourget airport. He is nice guy and his air display in Eurofighter Typhoon was amazing.