AERMACCHI MB-326H/CAC CA-30 A7-026
Single engine military jet trainer
History of A7-026
Manufactured by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, the aircraft first flew on 8 August 1968 and was delivered to the RAAF on 19 August. It was assigned to the Central Flying School based at RAAF East Sale, Victoria. It was later flown by the Roulettes Aerobatic Team from 1970. It crashed on 19 August 1985 and was sent to RAAF Wagga Wagga as a training aid. The aircraft had flown 6,797.5 hours and had 15,458 landings. It was offered for disposal in 2004 and arrived at the Museum in December. In April 2006 it was assembled and placed on display in the main hangar.
History of Type
The Macchi trainer was designed in 1954 and first flew in December 1957. The Royal Australian Air Force and Navy embraced the concept of ‘all through’ jet training, and placed an order for 75 Macchi MB-326H jet trainers in 1964. The Macchi was intended to replace the ageing Winjeel and Vampire trainers, and provided a successful bridge in pilot training for the advanced Mirage interceptor in service at the time.
CAC built 97 of these aircraft under licence from Aermacchi. They have also been built by Atlas Aircraft in South Africa and by Embraer in Brazil. Ten aircraft were assigned to the Royal Australian Navy, but were transferred to the RAAF in 1983. The Macchi trainer’s service life was cut short by structural fatigue problems. Some were re-winged in 1990 after a crash, but all remaining aircraft were withdrawn by 2001. The Macchi was replaced by the Pilatus PC9 in 1989 and this was supplemented later by the BAE Hawk 127.
Visitors can usually sit in the Macchi on our annual ‘Open Cockpit Day’.
Engine: Bristol-Siddeley Viper turbojet Mk22
Maximum take-off weight: 4,577 kg
Length: 10.67 m
Wingspan: 10.57 m
Height: 3.72 m
Cruising speed: 470 kt (871 kph)
Range: 1,512 km (880 nm)
Crew: 2 pilots