Italian Air Force Museum Expands Its Collection

Photo Troupe Azzura - Aeronautica Militare

Following renovation work, and a period of closure due to Covid-19, the Italian Air Force Museum at Vigna di Valle is set to reopen to the public on October 31st. Featuring two new aircraft, the museum also reopens with a series of structural improvements aimed to offer visitors a better experience.

The Italian Air Force Chief of Staff, General Alberto Rosso, officially reopened the institution during a sober ceremony held on October 27th in Vigna di Valle by the shores of the spectacular Lake of Bracciano.

Photo Troupe Azzura – Aeronautica Militare

For this occasion, two former Italian Air Force combat aircraft were unveiled following their accession into the museum’s collection: a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and a Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic. The F-16 bridged a gap in Italian air-fighting capabilities between the F-104 Starfighter’s retirement in 2004 and the readiness of the Eurofighter Typhoon in 2012. The Atlantic has ensured the surveillance of the Mediterranean Sea over the course of 45 years of operational life, from 1972 to 2017.

Photo Troupe Azzura – Aeronautica Militare

Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic MM40118 was the last of its type in service with the Italian Air Force. In 2018, the aircraft was the protagonist in a spectacular transfer from Pratica di Mare airport to Vigna di Valle, with the aircraft’s bulk carried to it’s new home slung under an Erickson S-64F helicopter belonging to the National Fire Corps. Click HERE for our article.

Former Italian Air Force Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic MM40118 just prior to being air-lifted to the Italian Air Force Museum. (Photo via Aeronautica Militare Italiana)

The Museum, which is located on the shores of Lake Bracciano in Vigna di Valle (32 km (20 mi) northwest of Rome), will be open to the public every day from 10:00am to 4:00pm starting on October 31st, (except January 1st, Easter and December 25th), with free admission. Access will be in compliance with COVID-19 regulations, of course. With prior reservations, visitors will be able to enjoy free guided tours. Access to the museum will be allowed only through the military entrance located in Via Circumlacuale – Bracciano. For more information, please visit www.aeronautica.difesa.it

Red Canoe Nov-Dec 2020

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