(Source: Alenia Aermacchi)
12:00 AM, November 27, 2008
>The first of eight MB-339CM advanced trainers on order for the Malaysian Air Force takes off on its first flight. Deliveries are to begin in early 2009. (Aermacchi photo)VENEGONO, Italy --- The first MB-339CM advanced trainer for the Malaysian Air Force made a successful first flight on 25 November from the Alenia Aermacchi facilities at Venegono airport.>> The flight, carried out by Alenia Aermacchi Chief Test Pilot Quirino Bucci with Chief Flight Test Engineer Carlo Monti, lasted about one hour and entailed the functional check of all on-board systems and particularly of the new avionics.>> The first flight marks an important MB-339CM program goal. In January 2009 the Malaysian pilot training activities which are slated to begin at Alenia Aermacchi will proceed and the delivery of the first two aircraft is scheduled for the first quarter of 2009.>> The six remaining aircraft will all be delivered by the end of the next year, thus fulfilling the contract for the supply of eight MB-339CM advanced trainers signed in late 2006 by Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, with the Malaysian Ministry of Defence.>> In addition to the aircraft, the deal covers the provision of spare parts, ground equipment and related services.>> The Royal Malaysian Air Force has been operating the MB-339A for over 20 years. Its selection of the MB-339CM confirms its confidence in the Alenia Aermacchi ability to once again provide it with a trainer with state of the art quality standards and levels of effectiveness.>>> BACKGROUND NOTE:>> The MB-339CM is derived from the current MB-339CD variant of the widely used two-seat, aerobatic, single-engine aircraft for the Advanced and Lead-In-Fighter Training phases of the military pilot training syllabus. With its performance, excellent handling and sophisticated systems, the MB-339CD is one of the most successful members of the Alenia Aermacchi training aircraft family.