The Museum of the Italian Airforce is situated in the idroscalo Vigna di Valle (Bracciano) that has the boast of being the oldest of the whole of Italy, on the lake of Bracciano, in the area between the Council of Bracciano and Anguillara.
In 1904 it was implanted in the zone where it stands today, the museum, the first Experimental Yard Aeronautics at the will of the Greatest Mario Moris, the father of Italian Aviation and, by May 24, 1977, date of the inauguration, was used as a Historical Museum. It has 13,000 m2 of exhibition area covered and is one of the largest and fascinating amoung other museums in Aeronautics in the world.
Along with the Museum, carried out by the Armed Force to give place to the italian aeronautical heritage, there is also a Water Airport, which was used for the flight of seaplanes. the entry to the museum is free of charge.
Activities of the Museum
The Museum, managed entirely by the Military Aeronautics, aerospace preserves material of considerable historical interest, documentary style and is a source that promotes the history and the aeronautic culture in our country, for science and educational purposes.
(The Historical Museum’s task is to collect, restore, preserve, exhibit and increase the value of the aeronautical material of historical interest and documentary, and is also a dynamic center of history and aeronautics culture).
The Historical Museum deals with, among its various activities of the recovery and restoration of historic airplanes. Restoration happens using original materials (hard to find) that are assembled using the same techniques of the era in which date back the individual airplanes.
The museum organizes exhibitions aviation both in Italy and abroad, conferences, video presentations, meetings, congresses and guided tours, which also participate in Associations of the Weapon, sodalities civilians, schools and even individual visitors.
Each year are organized important cultural events inside the Museum, such as concerts, receptions, conferences and presentations publishing.
Inside the Museum you can observe numerous aircrafst (more than 60), motors, photographic equipment, weapons, radio equipment, airborne equipment, paintings (Balla, Lengthened, Annigoni), medals, memorabilia and souvenirs.
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Structure of the Museum
By visiting the Museum we realize that it is divided in Hangars, in them we can see specimens of aircraft have been restored and the history of our country through the aeronautics.
The Hangars are “Troster’, ‘Veil’, ‘Skema”, “Badoni”.
- In the Hangar Troster, built after the first world war with the payment of war damage by Austria, and the oldest structure of its kind in italy, has a surface of approximately 1200 m2 ,coated in 1925 in metal sheet, is situated the exhibition sector that starts from the Pioneers and arrives until the end of the first world war. Has a slide on the shore of the lake of Bracciano, that was used for seaplanes. In this Hangar are kept copies of the following aircraft: Ansaldo AC.2 , Ansaldo SVA.5 , Caproni Ca.36 , Lohner L-127, Macchi-Hanriot HD-1, S. I. T. Blériot XI-2, SPAD S-VII (Cabruna), SPAD S-VII (Ruffo), Wright N°4.
- In the Hangar Veil, construction started in 1976, served to connect the Hangar Troster and the Hangar Badoni” At, it has a surface area of 3600 m2, the works were completed on the day before the opening of the Museum of 200 days. In this Hangar, which deals with the exhibition sector that, since 1928, arrives until the second world war, are kept copies of the following aircraft: Campini-caproni 2, Caproni Jutting out , Fiat C. 29, Fiat CR.42 Falco”, Hispano HAS-132-L (Fiat CR-32), Libratore Bonomi BS.17 “Pupil Cantu”, Macchi M. 39, Macchi M. 67, Macchi MC.72 , Macchi Mc.200 “Saetta”, Nardi FN.305, SIAI S. 5.
- In the Hangar Badoni”, built in 1930 by undertaking of the same name, has a surface area of 3960 m2, was used for the maintenance and the hospitalisation of large seaplanes, it was also used to supply aircraft fuels, which were transported through the trucks on the tracks, along the shore, towards the crane, or towarsd the slides. It was used as garage until the year 1959. Inside are kept copies of the following aircraft belonging to the period of the second world war: Cant Z. 506 S “Airone” ,Douglas C47-DC3 “Dakota”, Fiat G. 46 (restoration), Fiat G. 55 “Centaur”, Fiat G. 212, Fieseler Fi-156 “Storch”, Imam RO-37 bis “Lynx” (restoration), Imam RO-41, Imam RO-43 “Grillo” (restoration), Macchi Mc.202 “Folgore”, Macchi MC.205 “Veltro”, North American P-51 D “Mustang”, SIAI SM.79 “Sparrowhawk”, SIAI SM.82 PW “Marsupiale”, Supermarine Spitfire MK-ix.
- In the Hangar Skema, designed to increase the exhibition space of the museum, with discoveries and trade, was enriched with materials. Construction started in 1986 and enlarged in 2009 with the construction of a 1,507 external that increases the exhibition space of 1,000 m(q)), has two floors with a total surface area of 4,200 m2: 3200 m2 ground floor, 1000 m2 the upper floor.
The numerous aircraft in the post-war period (including modern jet aircraft), displayed in both plans of this hangar, are copies of: Examiner for Aerfer Ariete, Examiner for Aerfer Sagittarius, Aermacchi MB.323 , Aermacchi MB.326 , Agusta Bell AB.204 -B, Agusta Bell AB.47 G2, Agusta Bell AB.47 J, the Canadair CL13 (F-86E) “Sabre” Mk-4, De Havilland DH-113 NF Mk.54 “Vampire”, Fiat (North American) F-86 K, Fiat G. 59 4B, Fiat G. 80, Fiat G. 91 PAN, Fiat G. 91 R, Fiat G. 91 T, Fiat G. 91 Y, Grumman HU-16 “Albatross”, Grumman S2F-1 “Tracker”, Lockheed F-104G “Starfighter”, Lockheed RT-33, Macchi M. 416, Macchi MB.308 , North American T-6G “Texan-Harvard”, Panavia Tornado ADV, Piaggio Douglas PD.808 , Piaggio P. 166, Republic F-84F Thunderstreak”, Republic F-84G Thunderjet”, Republic RF-84F Thunderflash” (restoration), SAI Ambrosini “Kangaroo Palas”, SAI Ambrosini Super S. 7, Stinson L5 Sentinel.
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History of the Museum
The Italian Aeronautical succeede, in time, to put together and order in one place all the finds that characterised the history. After various changes to the main location, A. M. has chosen as its headquarters, in 1975, the Museum of Vigna di Valle (Bracciano) .
In 1913 was constituted a first exposure aeronautics with all the historical material collected on the aeronautical activities in Italy from 1884 onwards (that is, from the year of the constitution of the first Section Scienza Aerostatica within the framework of the Compagnia del Genio), with its headquarters in Castel S. Angelo in Rome, where was the Historical Museum of Genius.
In 1933 and, subsequently, in 1939, the materials exhibited at the museum were transferred from one center to another, both in Rome, the first are the casermette Battery low besides the Tiber River in Rome, from there, the museum was transferred to the Lungotevere delle Vittorie.
The second world war caused irreparable damage to some of the objects exhibited. In 1950 was born the idea to create a Historical Museum Aircraft such as the one of the other Countries of the world, so stood the doubt to what would have been the appropriate location. Was created the first part of the Museo Storico A. M. , in 1961, the Palazzo della Vela of Turin, rented and used by the A.M
In 1974, the local administration decided to use the building for other purposes, now we had to try a new place also suitable to maintaining ideal materials. Headquarter in Milan near the Museum of Science and Technology was not possible, due to the high cost required to build the necessary infrastructure again. So Military Aeronautics decided to transfer at the airport of Vigna di Valle (Bracciano), the totality of the material, which, in Meanwhile, was inserted in a newly formed collection center and Scientific Center of the Flight.
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