The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master

The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master

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The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master is a military transonic trainer aircraft. It is based on work done by Aermacchi while working on the Yak-130 as a joint venture with Yakovlev. In 1993, Aermacchi signed an agreement to partner with Yakovlev on the new trainer the firm was developing for the Russian Air Force. The resulting aircraft first flew in 1996 and was brought to Italy the following year to substitute the aging MB-339. At the time, the aircraft was marketed as the Yak/AEM-130, however, by 2000, differences in priorities between the two firms brought about an end to the partnership, with each developing the aircraft independently, with Aermacchi retaining worldwide marketing rights except for Russia and the other CIS nations. A Russian version is also being pursued by Yakovlev and Sokol, under a different time schedule.
The M-346 is a highly modified version of the aircraft the joint venture was producing, and uses equipment exclusively from Western manufacturers. The first prototype rolled out on 7 June 2003 and flew for the first time on 15 July 2004. In January 2005, the Greek Ministry of Defence signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to become a partner in the programme and, in 2006, Aermacchi signed an industrial cooperation agreement with Hellenic Aerospace Industry. In July 2007, the M-346 flew to the United Arab Emirates for hot weather tests and operational evaluation by the UAE Air Force. In March 2008 the Chilean ENAER signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Alenia Aermacchi at the FIDAE air show. On 10 April 2008 one further prototype in the final configuration (new landing gear and air brake, more composite parts) was rolled out: first flight of this “Industrial Baseline Configuration” is expected in June. In May 2008 Boeing signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on the marketing, sales, training and support of two Aermacchi trainers, the M-346 and the M-311. On 18 December 2008, the M-346 reached a maximum speed of Mach 1.15 (or 1,255 km/h, that is 677.75 knots or 779.82 mph). The Italian air force intend to acquire a first batch of 14 low rate production M-346 advanced fighter trainer aircraft.


* Never exceed speed: Mach 1.2 (1,460 km/h, 915 mph)
* Maximum speed: 1,092 km/h (679 mph)
* Stall speed: 166 km/h (104 mph)
* Range: 1,890 km (1,181 miles)
* Service ceiling 13,715 m (45,000 ft)
* Rate of climb: 6,401 m/min (21,000 ft/min)
* Wing loading: 285 kg/m² (58.3 lb/ft²)
* Thrust/weight: 0.84
* Levelled speed record: Mach 0.96

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