Fiat G.91R/3 "Gina" (32+72) as used by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) at the Luftwaffenmuseum, Berlin-Gatow (Germany)
The Fiat G.91 ("Gina" as it was affectionately called by the German pilots, a reference to the beauty of Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida) is an Italian jet fighter aircraft designed and built by Fiat Aviazione, which later merged into Aeritalia. The G.91 has its origins in the NATO-organised NBMR-1 competition in 1953, which sought a light fighter-bomber "Light Weight Strike Fighter" to be adopted as standard equipment across the air forces of the various NATO nations. After reviewing multiple submissions, the G.91 was picked as the winning design of the NBMR-1 competition. The G.91 entered into operational service with the Italian Air Force in 1961, and with the West German Luftwaffe in the following year. Various other nations adopted it, such as the Portuguese Air Force, who made extensive use of the type during the Portuguese Colonial War in Africa. The G.91 enjoyed a long service life that extended over 35 years. The G.91 remained in production for 19 years, during which a total of 756 aircraft were completed, including the prototypes and pre-production models. The assembly lines were finally closed in 1977. The G.91 was also used as a basis for a twin-engined development: the Fiat/Aeritalia G.91Y. The G.91T/3 was the single-seat ground-attack, reconnaissance version
for the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). Armed with two 30 mm DEFA cannons.
In September 1960, the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) received their first two Fiat-built G.91R/3 aircraft. An initial five G.91R/3 aircraft were delivered to Erprobungstelle 61 for trials with subsequent deliveries being allocated to Aufklarungsgeschwader 53 (53rd Reconnaissance Group) based at Erding, near Munich along with Waffenschule 50 (Weapon School 50). On 20 July 1961, the first Dornier-built G.91 performed its first flight. The G.91R/3 equipped four newly formed Leichte Kampfgeschwader (Light Attack Wings), often being used to replace older aircraft such as the American-built Republic F-84F Thunderstreak. An additional 45 G.91T/3 Fiat-built two-seat trainer aircraft were ordered for the Luftwaffe, the first 35 being allocated to Waffenschule 50 with the balance of the order divided between operational units. In early 1961, Waffenschule 50 began its first training courses for pilot instructors. Of these, 22 aircraft were built by Dornier between 1971 and 1973; this variant were used to train Weapons Systems Officers for the F-4 Phantom. On 1 January 1970, the Luftwaffe fleet consisted of 310 G.91R/3 and 40 G.91T/3 aircraft; by 1976, only 20 of the G.91 aircraft had been lost to accidents, a loss rate of 6 per cent. During the early 1980s, the G.91 was replaced in German service by the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet which operated in the same role; the last G.91 aircraft were officially retired in 1982.
The Luftwaffenmuseum, now known as the Militärhistorisches Museum (MHM) der Bundeswehr - Flugplatz Berlin-Gatow
(Bundeswehr Museum of Military History - Berlin-Gatow Airfield), is the Berlin branch of the Bundeswehr Military History Museum. The museum acts as an independent military department. Entrance to the museum is free. The museum is in Berlin at a former Luftwaffe and Royal Air Force (RAF) airfield, RAF Gatow. The focus is on military history, particularly the history of the post-war German Air Force. The museum has a collection of more than 200.000 items, including 155 aeroplanes, 5.000 uniforms and 30.000 books. There are also displays (including aeroplanes) on the history of the airfield when it was used by the RAF. Although there are also several helicopters and MiG fighters used during the Cold War by East German forces.
- Matthijs van Wageningen
- Created on
- Wednesday 27 July 2011
- 32+72, airplane, aviation, Berlin-Gatow, Bundeswehr Museum of Military History, Fiat, G.91, German Air Force, Germany, Gina, Luftwaffe, Luftwaffenmuseum, MHM, Militärhistorisches Museum, Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr, military, museum
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