Author Topic: Jackrabbit  (Read 21701 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #75 on: November 22, 2023, 01:18:50 AM »
By the time the 1965 Paris airshow was over, we would make sure FMA had something good to sink their teeth into."

We await the news...
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #76 on: November 22, 2023, 03:11:26 AM »
Paris Airshow, Le Borguet airport, France - June, 1965

An hour after the CL-215s had done their show, four MB.326s made their way to the runway and took of in two pairs.

The first pair were and MB.326C, with the F-104 nose, and a Prairie Rattler. The MB.326C was an Aermacchi company demonstrator while the Prairie Rattler was from 443 Squadron, based at RCAF Station Zweibrucken in West Germany. 443 had recently been reactivated and was the first Prairie Rattler squadron in Europe.

The second pair were a basic MB.326 of the Italian air force and an MB.326D that the Alitialia airline used for training.

Once aloft, the aircraft assembled in a diamond formation to make their opening flypast.

The Prairie Rattler was the lead aircraft, with the Italian air force and Alitalia aircraft at the #2 and #3 positions and the MB.326C in the slot.

After a couple of flypasts, the formation broke. The Prairie Rattler and MB.326C flew out of sight of the crowd and left the other two aircraft to carry out a very well received aerobatics performance.

As the first pair landed, the Prairie Rattler roared back into the show area and demonstrated a series of tactical strike manouvers that were equally appreciated by the crowd.

The sound of the Prairie Rattler landing was fully drowned out by the MB.326C coming back into view of the crowd in the company of a pair of F-104 Starfighters, one each from the Italian air force and the RCAF.

After a pair of low and slow passes, the MB.326C broke away to land and the Starfighters were let loose for their own display.

A former Aermacchi executive recalls:

"Another wave of people made their way to our display on the heels of the MB.326 demonstration. We also saw a notable increase of people moving towards the MB.326D at the Alitalia display nearby.

The model of the Prairie Rattler at the Canadair end of our display was also getting a lot of attention.

Our model of the MB.330 and Embraer's EMB-110 model were drawing steady, if not so intensive, attention through the duration of the show. People were clearly going to be watching for more on those two aircraft.

The FMA guys knew they were the quiet end of the display. Despite that, they kept up brave faces and hid their discouragement behind full professionalism when people took even a passing interest in their aircraft.

Even before the show was over, multiple orders for the MB.326 and CL-215 had been confirmed by Aermacchi, Canadair and Embraer agents. We were all going to be very busy soon.

I knew we'd have a lot on our plates between the MB.326 and CL-215.

I looked at how few MB.330 brochures we had left from what we had brought with us and made a call to our headquarters in Italy for approval of an idea I had.

After the show concluded and we had dismantled our display, we had a small after party to celebrate our success. With blessings given from my higher-ups in Italy, I handed the model of the MB.330 to the FMA guys and announced the project was theirs. They would have full authority to develop it as they saw fit and put their name on it.

It was not right to let them go home empty handed."

A former FMA public relations officer:

"Holding the MB.330 model at the after party of the 1965 Paris Airshow was like coming up for air. I called my superiors in Cordoba before the party was over to let them know. I could hear the excitement in their voices.

I was to go directly to Aermacchi headquarters from Paris to collect the existing research and development documents and bring them home with the model."

A former FMA executive:

"Getting that call about the MB.330 was the silver lining we needed. We needed a whole aircraft, and now we had one.

There were lots of happy people around the Cordoba offices and the gesture went a long way to easing any remaining feelings FMA people may have had about only being made a sub-contractor to the MB.326."
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #77 on: December 16, 2023, 01:14:55 PM »
Okay, you've got me intrigued now.  What aircraft is "Dorothea"?  A CL-215 variant without water-bombing capability but with an adaptable cabin or some other aircraft?

Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #78 on: December 16, 2023, 07:18:12 PM »
Okay, you've got me intrigued now.  What aircraft is "Dorothea"?  A CL-215 variant without water-bombing capability but with an adaptable cabin or some other aircraft?

"Dorothea" is the sister aircraft to "Teresa", and both are water bombers.

The pair were the engine testing prototypes I mentioned on the second page of the story. "Dorothea" was originally powered by RR Dart engines while "Teresa" had the T64 engines.

The T64 won out and "Dorothea" was converted to T64 engines and kept flying.

They changed her engines, but kept her name.
Pickled Wings, A Blog for Preserved Aircraft:
http://pickledwings.com/

Beyond Prague, Traveling the Rest of the Czech Republic:
http://beyondprague.net/