M-346. Biografia di un aereo

Marco Sotgiu

UTET, 2010

M-346. Biografia di un aereo

M-346. Biografia di un aereo

The story of the M-346 is told in the words of the managers and engineers who imagined, designed and built it over almost twenty years. In the category of advanced trainers, the M-346 today is the best aircraft in the world, the only one capable of effectively simulating the performance, systems and cockpit of all the latest generation fighter planes, from the Eurofighter to the Gripen, from the Rafale to the F-22, to the JSF. However, its history began a long time ago, with the crisis that started in 1989 in the aviation industry with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and at the same time with the opportunities created by the great season of freedom that followed 1989. The novel tells the story of this advanced training plane built by the Varese company Aermacchi. It is at once a spy story, an international intrigue, and an example of an avantgarde industrial model. The point of view that holds all this together is the story of who built it, who followed its birth and its life day by day. At the beginning, it was the political and economic crisis of the late 1980s that prompted the designers to create a new aircraft. But soon the need to forge international alliances made them look eastwards, towards the former Soviet Union, where they found a partner (the Russian Yakovlev) willing to participate in the project. When the Russian crisis on the one hand and the need to move more quickly to agree a Western project on the other gained the upper hand, the divorce between Aermacchi and Yakovlev was inevitable. In 2004, the I'M-346, which had been on the Finmeccanica launch pad for a year, took off in its most complete version. But the race was not over yet; it changed colour, became more and more sophisticated, began to fly round the world, from the Shows of London and Paris to the desert of the Arab Emirates, from Greece to Singapore. A journey that's not over yet. The story of the M-346 is both a chapter in geopolitics and an interweaving of "minimal lives", on the very fine line between rhetoric and minimalism. An unknown and fascinating story, from whatever angle you look at it.

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