Aermacchi MB 326 was built under license in South Africa and in other countries all over the world. Here one example called MB 326 K Impala 2 used from 4th Squadron of South African Air Force. The production in South Africa went beyond 1982 and not less of seventy examples had been built

Internal view of the Aermacchi MB 326 front cockpit

Aermacchi MB 326 served with many Air forces all over the world. Here one example of Royal Australian Air Force that used it also in the Roulettes, the official Royal Australian Demonstration Team
This picture shows an Aermacchi MB 326 that served with this colour with Italian Air Force




Until the late eighties, Macchi factory has produced an amount of 7000 planes, starting from before of WWI.The ten percent of them is done from MB 326, the very popular jet for training and attack sold all over the world , a reference for twenty years for its category. The study of MB 326 started in 1954 and the first flew of the prototype calls the date December, 10th of 1957 powered from a Viper 8 engine of 794 kg of static power thrust.The second prototype and the fifteen preseries examples ordered by Italian Air Force were equipped with a Viper 11 of 1134 kg of static power thrust.Project engineer Ermanno Bazzocchi made the structure with the capacity to substain + 8 g and -4 g with a pressurized cockpit with two pilots placed in tandem position with ejectable seats. This wonderful plane was used for all the training steps and enetered in service with Italian Air Force in 1962 with a total of eighty-five examples of first serial production with an adding of preseries examples. The MB 326 had the capacity to carry external loads placed in eight points under the wings, each point could carry rockets, bombs and other weapon. This version called MB 326A didn't have an interest in Italian Air Force but with Tunisia that bought eight examples ( MB 326B ) and with Ghana , nine examples ( MB 326F ). MB 326 was also used from civil companies like Alitalia, the biggest airlines in Italy that employed a version without armament called MB 326D in four examples.Australia was one of the biggest countries that ordered the MB 326, H version, that could carry a complete load of armaments. Macchi sold to Royal Australian Air Force eighty-seven examples and to Royal Australian Navy ten examples, all assembles or made by license with the CAC , Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation. Sudafrica too, bought the MB 326M that based on two models, one made in Italy in fourty examples without armament and used for training, another one made by license in one hundred and twenty-five examples from Atlas Aircraft Corporation in Transvaal. The name of this last units was Impala Mk 1.All these models were propelled by Viper 11, so Macchi felt to improve the thrust installing a Viper 540 of 1547 kg of power thrust ; this version was called MB 326 G and flew for the first time in the spring of 1967. The main structure was stronger than the others and could carry twice of weapon loads, so some countries like Argentina ( Argentinian Navy with eight examples ), Zambia ( 20 examples ), Zaire ( 17 examples ) ordered the version MB 326GB .With the Viper 11 a new and stronger wing was created from Macchi and called MB 326E and ordered from Italian Air Force in twelve examples.But the country with the biggest order was Brasil that with the version MB 326GC ( similar to GB ) and with the Brasilian designation of AT 26 Xavante made by license this plane, sold also to Ghana Air Force with three examples. Last Italian MB 326 served with 9th Wing in Grazzanise AB.





AERMACCHI MB 326 : VARIANTS

MB 326 A : version used also for attack with the capacity to carry eight points under the wings to load weapons
MB 326 B : similar to A version and ordered from Tunisia in eight examples in 1965
MB 326 D : civil version ordered from Alitalia without armament
MB 326 E : similar to GB version but with an enforced wing, ordered from Italian Air Force in twelve examples
MB 326 F : similar to A version and ordered from Ghana in nine examples
MB 326 G : version with the new engine more powerful called Viper 540 of 1547 Kg of power thrust. Stronger structure it could carry the twice of its weapon load
MB 326 H : version with a full capacity to carry every kind of weapons, sold to Australia in ninety-seven examples included ten delivered to Royal Australian Navy. Some examples built by license from CAC ( Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation )
MB 326 GB : with a stronger structure, sold to Italian Air Force ( 8 ) , Zaire ( 17 ), Zambia ( 20 ) and Argentinian Navy (17)
MB 326 GC : similar to GB version but built on license from Embraer ( Brasil ) with 170 examples, three of them sold to Togo
MB 326 K : monoseat version used for close air support. First flight on 1971 and three examples sold to Emirates .In the back of the pilot's cockpit was placed the armament and the engine was a Rolls Royce Viper in different versions.Could be installed cameras for the reconnaissance. Armed with two 30mm DEFA cannons in the lower part of the fuselage and till 3995 lbs. ( 1816 kg ) of external weapons. Sold to Emirates, Ghana, South Africa ( Impala II ) and Tunisia
MB 326 L : the most recent version derivated from K version with Viper 600 engine. Version that has the double capatity to train and to attack.Emirates ordered one example and Tunisia a total of four examples
MB 326 M : built in two version, one built in Italy and used in South Africa for training, the other one build in South Africa from Atlas Aircraft Corporation with the name Impala Mk1 and with the capacity to carry loads





TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
AERMACCHI MB 326

Primary Function
:
Trainer, attack
Contractor
:
Aermacchi (Italy)
Power Plant
:
nr. one Rolls Royce Viper 11 engine of 1134 kilos of power thrust in the early versions, Viper 20 Mk 540 engine of 1547 Kilos on GB , H , M versions and Viper 632-43 engine of 1814 kilos in the L version
Maximum Speed
:
538 mph (867 km/h, GB version cleaned configuration)
Ceiling
:
46986 feet
(14325 metres, GB version cleaned)
Range
:
1139 mi.
(1850 kilometers, GB version, cleaned)
Empty Weight
:
5907 lbs.
(2685 kilos, GB version for training)
Maximum Takeoff Weight
:
10069 lbs
(4577 kilos, GB version for training)
Wingspan
:
35,59 feet
(GB versions, included edge wing fuel tanks, 10,85 metres)
Lenght
:
35 feet
(10,67 m, GB versions)
Height
:
12,20 feet
(3,72 metres)
Wing Area
:
208,26 sq. ft.
(GB version, 19,35 m2)
Armament
:
two 7,7 optionals miniguns placed in the fuselage in the early versions, 1980 lbs (900 kg) of max external load in the early version, 3960 lbs (1800 kg) of maximum external load on GB and L versions
Operators
:
Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, , Brasil ( Xavante ), Emirates, Ghana, Italy, South Africa ( Impala I ), Togo ( Xavante ), Tunisia, Zaire, Zambia





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