Display Teams: Equine Excellence

In our second study of bygone aerobatic teams, Luigino Caliaro tells how Italy’s Cavallino Rampante of 1956-57 rocked the display flying world with its quality and innovation

This montage shows an original Cavallino Rampante flight crew patch as worn on their flying suits; a  tight ‘rombo’ formation executed with white smoke; and a glorious official Italian Air Force image was captured during a photo session at Pratica di Mare.
LUIGINO CALIARO

Italy’s air force has a strong tradition of formation aerobatic flying that began in 1920 – culminating in today’s famous Frecce Tricolori and its smartly painted Aermacchi MB.339s. However, the Aeronautica Militare (AM, or Italian Air Force) first began using jets for this purpose in 1952 when the Cavallino Rampante flew dramatic displays with de Havilland Vampires. Successive AM groups used the F-84G Thunderjet.

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