When plans were started to replace the Macchi as the RAAF's jet trainer, the Museum asked for a donation of one for display, and the aircraft was delivered on June 15, 2002. For a more detailed account, see the link at the bottom of this page.
|Type||Two-seat basic trainer|
|Maiden Flight||December 10, 1957|
Italian Air Force, 1961
Italian, Brazilian, Australian and South African air
forces all operated about 100 or more each
The MB-326 was developed to satisfy an AMI (Italian Air Force) requirement, winning a contest against the Fiat G-80 to become their standard jet trainer. From the outset, it was designed to be simple, light and robust, the prototype achieving fair performance from its Armstrong Siddeley Viper turbojet, initially of only 1,750 lb thrust.
The aircraft set some class records after its introduction, initially an altitude record of 15,489 m in August 1961, followed by other altitude and speed records in 1966.The RAAF version was the MB-326H, essentially an Italian MB-326G with upgraded avionics. Only 12 were fully built by Aermacchi, another 18 delivered as kits and a further 67 built by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation. While apparently a popular aircraft with its pilots, the lifetime of the MB-326 in the RAAF was said to have been shortened by wing fatigue problems. It was replaced by the Pilatus PC-9 in 2001, but after about 34 years of continuous service, "shortened" seems rather a harsh judgement.
|Length:||10.65 m (34 ft 11 in)|
|Height:||3.72 m (12 ft 2½ in)|
|Wingspan||10.56 m (34 ft 8 in)|
Bristol Siddeley / Rolls Royce Viper Mk.11 turbojet,
11.1 kN (2,500 lbf)
Empty 2,237 kg (4,930 lb),
maximum loaded 3,765 kg (8,300 lb)
806 km/h (436 knots, 501 mph)
at 4,575m (15,000 ft)
|Range:||1,665 km (900 nautical mile, 1,035 miles)|
|Service ceiling:||12,500 m (41,000 ft)|
Provision for 2 × 12.7 mm Browning
machine guns in underwing pods
|Bomb load:||Up to 2000 lb (900 kg)|