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Aermacchi SpA MB-326
Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-30

 

mb326

 

The design (by Ermanno Bazzocchi) of the MB-326 began in 1954. There were some modifications to the project: horizontal tail surfaces had reduced dihedral, and the airbrakes (two in wings) became one under the fuselage. In 1956 AMI approved the project and asked for two prototypes (MM.571 and 572) and one airframe for static tests. No weapons or pressuriisation needed, but Bazzocchi introduced them.
 
The first prototype, I-MAKI, first flew on 10 December 1957, powered by a Bristol-Siddeley Viper 8 turbojet, flown by test pilot Guido Carestiato. The wing is NACA 64A114 at the root and NACA 64A212 at the tip. Each wing has 22 ribs and two spars. The fuel system has a tank in the center of the plane and two at the wingtips. The aircraft was 400 kg (880 lb) more than initial estimates. The original Viper 8 engine producing 7.8 kN (1,750 lbf) of thrust, was replaced by the Viper 9 which was 0.7 kN (147 lbf) extra thrust. The first prototype was lost in Egypt on 22 April 1959.
 
 
Pilot also provided publicity for the MB 326: Riccardo Peracchi, working for AMI, displayed the MB-326 in many airshows, while Massimo Ralli set many records:
February 8, 1966, climb records: 2 min 2 sec to 3000 m, 3 minutes 56 seconds for 6,000 m, 6 minutes 39 seconds for 9,000 m and 12,000 m 10 minutes 53 seconds.
March 18, 1966, a record of 15 690 m altitude in horizontal flight, and 17 315 m absolute.
July 18, 1966, endurance record, with 970 km
August 2, 1966, a record speed of more than 3 km straight: 871 km / h
December 1966: the speed of 880.586 km / h over 15-25 km, 831.007 km / h over 100 km, 777.667 km / h over 500 km, and the endurance record at 777.557 km
 
The second prototype first flew on 22 September 1958 and a new Viper engine, the model 11, was updated to produce a thrust of 11.1 kN (1,134 kg, 2,500 lb).
 
On December 15, 1958, AMI placed an order for 15 pre-series examples. In 1960, orders for 100 aircraft were placed.
The first produc­tion model flew on 5 October 1960.
 

Guido Carestiano set C1D 1 group records for an altitude of 15 489 m during of August 1961 in an MB-326.

The machines eventually arriving at 214 ° Lecce-Galatina school Group; while deployed in Brindisi. The type entered service with 43 ° N Flyer on March 22, 1962. This engine replaces the T-6 Texan, and there is a "fully-jet" training course for AMI pilots.

 

Eight MB-326Bs were ordered by Tunisia in 1965. They were developed from the basic MB-326s with weapons capability, with the 37th AMI series aircraft converted (I-MAKC). The key innovation is the ability of the ground offensive, with six underwing pylons, holding a maximum of 907 kg. In the same year, Ghana ordered nine of the same MB-326Fs.
 
"C" and "A" models never materialized. "A" is intended as a light attack aircraft, with two 7.62 mm machine-guns in the nose, but never built. Then, a few MB-326s called "A", but this only means that they are equipped with Marconi ADF-370 AD. "C" version is to have NASARR radar in the nose, to train F-104 pilot, but only appeared as a mock-up.
 
Alitalia ordered four aircraft as a coach in the D "version"; demilitarization and equipped with special instruments to train pilots in preparation for the new jet liners.
 
Other MB-326G s using a Viper Mk 20 engine that provides 1,524 kg of thrust, and consequently much faster and has a payload increase of 1814 kg max. Argentina ordered eight, initially as-MB 326K, then called-MB 326GB.
 
Aerm-326-Arg
Argentine Navy MB-326 preserved in Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego
 
Since that time MB 326 B/F/ GC/K and M versions with attack/COIN capability were supplied to the armed forces of the Argentine, Bolivia, Brazil (where it is known as the AT 26 Xavante), Dubai, and South Africa (known as the Impala Mk 1). Some also served with Alitalia as the MB.326D.
 
Dubai bought three in 1974, and a further three in 1978 (MB-326KD), Tunisia eight (MB-326KT), Ghana nine (MB-326KB) and Zaire eight (MB-326KB). The MB-326L is essentially MB-326K with two seats. Two MB-326LD supplied to Dubai and four MB-326LD to Tunisia.

The engine is typically one 3,410 lb thrust Rolls Royce Bristol Viper 20 Mk 540 turbojet, and armament of up to 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) total can be carried on six underwing stations: this can include bombs, gun packs, rockets, and missiles. The MB.326G variant was fitted with a more powerful Viper 20 engine. An improved version was in production for the Italian Air Force under the designation M.B.339A.
The type was developed for the light strike role in the 326A, which was fitted with underwing hardpoints, culminating in the MB-326K single-seat close support version, which first flew on 22 August 1970. The additional of twin 30mm DEFA cannon was also introduced with the K model to compliment the already existing 6-hardpoints.
 
Engine upgrades moved from the 794-kg Rolls-Royce Viper 8 to the 1814-kg RR Viper 632. Variants of the MB-326 were used by Italy, Ghana, and Tunisia.
 
Seventeen were built in Italy for Zaire (Forces Arienne Zairoise) and 23 for the Air Force Zambia.
 
The MB 326K (originally known as MB-336) is a single seat model.

The aircraft were licence-built in Australia as the MB-326H, in Brazil as the AT-26 Xavante, and in South Africa as the Impala.
Brazil is the main customer for the 326-MB, in 1970 ordered two prototypes and 166-326GC s MB, called AT-26 Xavante.
The Forca Aerea Brasileira took delivery of its last 12 MB-326E, consisting of six MB-326 updated to MB-326G, and six newly produced (MM.54384 / 389). They had provision for weaponry and powered by 11 Viper 200 engine, not the Viper Mk 20 Mk 540 in 1981, bringing the Xavante line to a close, the final half dozen aircraft being replacements for export aircraft relinquished by the FAB from earlier contracts.They had provision for weaponry and powered by 11 Viper 200 engine, not the Viper Mk 20 Mk 540.

It was produced under license by Embraer with a further six for Togo(as the AT 26 Xavante) and 10 for Paraguay.
In Italian service the MB-326 was replaced by MB 339 between 1981 and 1984, after which they acted as liaison aircraft, replacing Lockheed T-33s. Excluding the prototype, 33 Italian Air Force MB-326s were lost in accidents between 1963 and 1992.

 

The MB326 was selected by the RAAF in the advanced training role in 1964 and by the RAN (10 RAN, 87 RAAF) in 1969. 12 were delivered by Macchi, 18 are assembled from kits in Australia, and another 67 built by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation and Hawker aircraft with the designation CA-30. Manufacturered by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, under licence to Aermacchi, the first was delivered in October 1967 and the last in September 1972.
 
Aermac326-01
A7-043 (MB-326H) in Wagga RAAF Base in Australia
 
They are basically similar to MB-326G but with improved avionics. The RAAF's aerobatic team, The Roulettes, flew the MB-326H from December 1970 until 1989. The MB-326 service career was short due to structural fatigue problems. The Australian fleet had a life extension program in 1980 and then re-winged in the early 1990s after accidents related to fatigue.

 

aermacmb326
MB-326H

 

South Africa received a license to produce MB-326M (similar to G 'model'), as Impala Mk I in 1964 with production beginning in 1966. They received 40 Italian-built aircraft followed by about 125 built locally by Atlas Aircraft Corporation, use them both as a trainer and in the armed configuration. Seven examples of the MB-326K also purchased as a light attack aircraft, with a further 15 assembled from a kit, while about 78 were license-produced and is known as the Impala Mk II. Production licenses of the single-seat version began in 1974.


South African Impalas were used in the battle against Angola, the Cuban and some militias, usually flying at 550-650 km / h at an altitude of 15 m. One was shot down by SA-7 and another returned with an unexploded missiles (SA-7, 8 or 9) in the flue gas. Six squadrons were equipped with Impala Mk. II in the SAAF during the 1970s and 1980s. During 1987 and 1988 Impalas were withdrawn from the front line, leaving Mirage and Buccaneers. Impala Mk. IIs also shot down a total of six Mi-8 and Mi-24helicopters.

The Silver Falcons, the SAAF aerobatic team, were equipped with Impala Mk Is and on October 2, 1993, an Impala Mark I (Aermacchi MB-326) (no. 489) from the SAAFSilver Falcons aerobatic team fell after a separation of the right wing during a performance at the Airshow Lanseria. Pilot, Captain Charlie Rudnick was injured as the ejection was started outside the design envelope ejection seat.


Flying school for Impalas were Flying Training School in Langebaanweg while operational squadron 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 squadrons while 85 Advanced Flying School also has a small number Impalas to supplement their Mirages.

 

Some 784 MB326 were manufactured.

 

Gallery

 

Operators:
 
AL Argentina - The Naval Argentina Flights received eight MB-326GB plus eleven MB-326GC ex-Brazilian Air Force
 
Royal Australian Air Force operated 87 MB-326Hs (RAAF serial A7-001 to -072, -079 to -083) 1967-2001.
No. 25 Squadron RAAF
No 76 Squadron RAAF
No. 77 Squadron RAAF
No 79 Squadron RAAF
No. 2 Flying Training School RAAF
RAAF No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit
No. 5 Operational Training Unit RAAF
Fitness RAAF Flying School
Roulettes
Telstars
Aircraft Research and Development Unit
Fleet Air Arm (RAN operated ten MB-326Hs 1970-1983.
No. 724 Squadron RAN
 
Brazilian Air Force received 182 MB-326GCs (known as AT-26 Xavante) and 12 Atlas Impala former South African Air Force.
 
Cameroon Air Force has five in service.
 
Air Force Democratic Republic of the Congo
 
Dubai Air Wing
 
Ghana Air Force received 15 MB.326s.
 
Alitalia
 
Italian Air Force operated 106 MB-326s, including 15 pre-production version.
 
Paraguay Air Arm ten operated EMB-326GBs / AT-26 Xavante, all retired in 2003.
 
South African Air Force received a 62 MB-326s plus 125 Impala Mk.1s and 73 Mk.2s
 
Togo Air Force received six MB-326GCs.
 
Tunisian Air Force received 16 MB-326s.
 
United Arab Emirates Air Force purchased six aircraft.
 
United States of America National Test Pilot School
 
Zaire Air Force received 25 MB-326GBs.
 
Zambia Air Force receives 23 MB-326GB.

 

Variants:
MB-326: Two prototypes and 125 production of training aircraft for the Italian Air Force.
MB-326A: Proposed armed version for weapons training, not built.
MB-326B: Two-seat trainer jets, light aircraft attacks to Tunisia. (Eight built).
MB-326D: Two-seat jet trainer armed for Alitalia. (Four built).
MB-326E: Two-seat jet trainer armed to the Italian Air Force. (Six built).
MB-326F: Two-seat trainer jets, light aircraft attack for Ghana. (Nine built).
MB-326G: Two-seat trainer jets, ground-attack aircraft. (Two built).
MB-326GB: Two-seat trainer jets, ground-attack aircraft. Eight sold to the Argentine Navy. 17 aircraft were exported to Zaire, and another 23 aircraft to Zambia.
MB-326GC: Two-seat trainer jets, ground-attack aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force. Built under license in Brazil as the Embraer EMB-326. 167 aircraft were built for the Brazilian Air Force. Eleven of the Brazilian aircraft transferred to AL Argentina after the Falklands War. Six aircraft were exported to Togo, and another ten aircraft Paraguay. Total production, 182.
AT-26 Xavante: Brazilian Air Force designation MB-326GC.
RT-26 Xavante: Some AT-26 Xavantes converted into reconnaissance aircraft.
MB-326H: seat jet trainer-Two, 87 aircraft were built for the Royal Australian Air Force, and 10 to the Royal Australian Navy. Built twelve Italian aircraft and 85 built under license in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation with the designation CA-30.
MB-326K: Single-seat ground-attack aircraft for the South African Air Force. Built under license in South Africa by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation.
Impala II: South African Air Force designation MB 326K.
MB-326KB: Single-seat ground-attack aircraft for Zaire. (Six built).
MB-326KD: Single-seat ground-attack aircraft to Dubai. (Three built).
MB-326KG: Single-seat ground-attack aircraft for Ghana. (Four Built).
MB-326KT: Single-seat ground-attack aircraft for Tunisia. (Seven built).
MB-326L: Two-seat advanced jet trainer.
MB-326LD: further training Two-seat jet plane to Dubai. (Two built).
MB-326LT: further training Two-seat jet aircraft for Tunisia. Four built.
MB-326M: Two-seat trainer jets, ground-attack aircraft for the South African Air Force. Built under license in South Africa by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation.
Impala I: South African Air Force designation MB-326M.
MB-326RM: Five Italian Air Force MB-326s aircraft converted into ECM.
 
Specifications:

 

MB.326 
Engine: 2 x Bristol Siddeley Viper 22‑1 turbojet, 2500 lbs.t. (1134 kgp)
Span: 32 ft 10.75 in (10.04 m)
Length: 35 ft 1 in (10.66 m)
Wing area: 204.52 sq.ft (19sq.m).
Height: 3.5 m / 11 ft 6 in
Never exceed speed: Mach 0.8
Max speed: 501 mph / 806 kph / 436 kt at 4,575 m (15,000 ft)
Cruise: 348 mph (560 kph)
Stall speed: 146 km / h (79 knots, 91 mph)
Initial climb: 4,420 fpm. (22.5 m/sec)
Service ceiling: 41,000ft (12,500 m)
Range w/tip tank 11,500 m (38,000 ft): 1,665 km (900 nautical miles, 1,035 miles)
Empty weight: 4,930 lb (2 237 kg)  
Loaded weight: 7,320 lb (3 320 kg).
Armament: 3 machine-guns, 4 missiles
Hardpoints: 6
Bombload: Up to 2000 lb (900 kg)
Crew: 2

 

MB-326H
Engine: 1 x Rolls-Royce Viper 11 Mk.22-11 turbojet, 2,500 lb
Wing span: 35 ft 11 in (10.8m).         
Length: 34 ft 5 in
Height: 11 ft 4 in             
Empty weight: 5,027 lb
Loaded weight: 7,340 lb                
Crew: 2
Initial Rate of Climb: 4,420 ft/min             
Ceiling: 40,000 ft
Speed: 506 mph             
Range: 940 miles
Armament: 2 x 7.62 mm Miniguns and bombs

MB-326K
Engine: 1 x Rolls-Royce Viper 632-42 turbojet, 4,000lbs thrust.
Length: 35.01 ft (10.67m)
Width: 35.60 ft (10.85m)
Height: 12.20 ft (3.72m)
Empty Weight: 6,535lbs (2,964kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 12,996lbs (5,895kg)
Maximum Speed: 553mph (890kmh; 481kts)
Maximum Range: 677miles (1,090km)
Rate-of-Climb: 6,500ft/min (1,981m/min)
Service Ceiling: 41,010ft (12,500m)
Armament: 2 x 30mm DEFA cannon
Max external ordnance: 4,000lbs
Seats: 1
Hardpoints: 6

EMB-326GC / AT26

 

aermac-mb326-ld

 


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