From the Air Force’s Thunderbirds to the Navy’s Blue Angels, the United States maintains a number of “flight demonstration teams” across multiple military branches. These teams often operate advanced combat jets in extremely close quarters, showing off both the incredible capabilities of America’s military aircraft, as well as the even more astonishing skills of America’s fighter pilots.
But the United States isn’t the only nation with highly skilled pilot-acrobats, as a recent spectacle put on by Italy’s elite Frecce Tricolori demonstration team shows. They recently put on one heck of a show, complete with audio track provided by Luciano Pavorotti’s “Nessun Dorma,” making for what is perhaps the most touching air show I’ve ever come across.
The Frecce Tricolori are an elite team of aviators that can be likened to the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels or the Air Force’s Thunderbirds, but unlike those American teams, Italy’s elite aviators conduct their spectacular stunts in Aermacchi MB-339 trainer jets, which have seen some combat use in service to nations like Argentina and Eritrea, but have never seen battle for the Italians. The Navy’s Blue Angels use the F/A-18 Hornet for their acrobatics and the Thunderbirds use F-16 Fighting Falcons–both jets with a long combat pedigree in service to the United States.
Italy has been among the hardest hit nations dealing with the outbreak of the coronavirus known as Covid-19, with nearly 36,000 confirmed cases thus far and nearly 3,000 deaths. Much of the nation is now under quarantine as part of Italy’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
As people all over the world can attest, being stuck in your house for days or weeks can really take a toll on morale, especially amid concerns about the health and safety of your loved ones. Maybe that’s why this touching display resonated deeply with many Italians, and soon found it’s way being spread around the world.