At Vicenza, Italy July 3, NATO shows for the first time its new fighter the Italian Fiat G91.
At Vicenza, Italy July 3, NATO shows for the first time its new fighter the Italian Fiat G91. It is powered with the British Bristol "Orpheus" Turbo-jet engine, of great manouevrability at all heights, an essential feature in a plane that has to be used for reconnaissance, ground support of troops, or combat in all its phases.
This lightweight plane has a speed of 600 to 700 km. per hour, can turn at about 250 km. per hour, and exceed the speed of sound in slight dives.
The Fiat can carry 12.7-calibre machine guns, 20 and 30 mm cannons, high-explosive and napalm bombs and guided or self-guided air-to-ground or air-to-air missiles.
The fuselage armament is contained in two large easily-removable panels. The weapons are sighted on the ground with the panel mounted on a proper stand. The machine guns and cannon belts are loaded on the ground and the rockets inserted in the containers. When the panel is replaced in the machine and locked the aircraft is ready for firing.
Its short take-off with full load, in about 800 metres, and its ability to land in less than 300 metres on tarmac runway or grass makes it ideal for close support work, NATO officials say.
The Fiat was chosen after technical trials in 1957 by an international team chosen by NATO and only after many types had been tried - including the British Folland Gnat, the French Dassault Etendard IV and VI and the French Breguet Taon.