The Frecce Tricolori, officially known as the 313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico, Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (PAN) Frecce Tricolori, is the aerobatic demonstration team of the Italian Air Force. Based at Rivolto Air Base, province of Udine, it was created on 1 March 1961 as a permanent group for the training of Air Force pilots in air acrobatics.
The Frecce Tricolori replaced unofficial teams that had been sponsored by various commands starting in the early 1930s. The team flies the Aermacchi MB-339-A/PAN, a two-seat fighter-trainer craft capable of 898 km/h at sea level. With ten aircraft, nine in close formation and a soloist, they are the world’s largest acrobatics patrol, and their flight schedule, comprising about twenty acrobatics and about half an hour, made them the most famous in the world.
The team also performs a variety of other maneuvers, including the “heart,” the “smoke show,” and the “solo.” The solo is a maneuver in which the soloist performs a series of acrobatics. The Frecce Tricolori are a symbol of Italian pride and excellence. They are a popular attraction at air shows around the world and their performances are always met with cheers and applause.