Italy is a country with a long history of civil and military aeronautics. The latter began in the last quarter of the 19th century.
In 1884 the Aeronautical Service of the Italian Army was founded (renamed the Aerostatic Section the following year), which operated hot air balloons. Italy used its first fixed-wing aircraft in military operations in 1911, specifically in Libya.
During World War I, Italy built some 12,000 aircraft, being part of the Army Aeronautical Service. The formation of the Italian Air Force as an autonomous branch of the armed forces took place on March 28, 1923 with the creation of the Regia Aeronautica (Royal Aviation), which after the establishment of the Italian Republic, it was renamed Aeronautica Militare (Military Aviation) in 1946, a name it maintains today.
The Museo Storico dell'Aeronautica Militare (Historical Museum of Military Aviation) was inaugurated on May 24, 1977 in Vigna di Valle, 19 kilometers northwest of Rome and on the shores of Lake Bracciano. It exhibits 79 aircraft in four hangars and in an outdoor area, with a total area of 16,000 square meters.
The museum recently underwent a renovation process, reopening its doors to the public on June 16, in time to coincide with the centenary events of the Italian Air Force. The result of the renovation is excellent, as you can see in these images. In addition to offering the opportunity to visit it physically, the museum's website includes a virtual tour (click here), with which you can see its contents without leaving home.
In the museum you can see planes from before the First World War , (some are replicas), as well as planes from the two world wars (not only Italian), from the interwar period, the Cold War and the present. Among the most modern aircraft there is an F-16A (in the colors used while this fighter was in service with the Italian Air Force) and a Panavia Tornado F3 ADV.
In addition to the planes, the museum also exhibits engines, vehicles, weapons, uniforms, etc. A fun destination if you travel to Rome and are a fan of planes. This Friday, Vintage Aviation News posted a video showing the inside of the museum after your renewal:
Main photo: Museo Storico dell'Aeronautica Militare.
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