White-tailed eagles

Polish Air Force M-346

Riccardo Niccoli takes to the air with the Polish Air Force’s M-346 advanced jet trainers. With the new Leonardo aircraft – officially known in Poland as the Bielik, or white-tailed eagle – the air force has a trainer suitable for providing frontline pilots to fly the F-16C/D Block 52+ fighter, likely to be joined in future by the F-35. of August 2016. The training of engineers and maintenance staff was conducted by Leonardo at the company’s Venegono facility in 2017, with between six and 12 personnel from each technical speciality undergoing courses which had an average duration of two months. Two of these technicians from each speciality then became instructors at the D ˛e blin base, providing education for the remainder of the Polish maintenance personnel.

The M-346 beat off competition from the T-50 and the Hawk T2 to secure the deal in Poland.
The design of the cockpit affords an excellent view for the instructor. All photos Riccardo Niccoli

Eagles grounded

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