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Aermacchi MB.326 Advanced Trainer / Light Ground Attack Aircraft (1962)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 8/3/2012
Picture of Aermacchi MB.326
Picture of Aermacchi MB.326

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The light attack Aermacchi MB.326 series was also made available in a popular twin-seat operational trainer.

The Aermacchi MB.326 series of aircraft has become one of the most successful blends of operational trainer and light attack capabilities. Developed during the Cold War in 1957, the Aermacchi-produced two-seat trainer was already being designed with frontline light strike duty in mind. As the trainer went into production and service, the results were impressive enough to warrant the development of the single seat K model.

The MB.326K (or MB-326K) was a single-seat, single-engine derivative of the twin seat trainer brand. The removal of the instructor's seating position at rear allowed for increased stowage for more avionics systems and more fuel stores. The additional of twin 30mm DEFA cannons was also introduced with the K model to compliment the already existing and impressive 6-hardpoint configuration.

Finding some success in the export market, the system was also produced under license by Atlas for South Africa. Equally effective as a trainer or light strike aircraft, the Aermacchi MB.326 series made a name for itself in either role. It was succeeded by the upgraded Aermacchi MB.339 series of aircraft.

Incidentaly, the "B" prefix in the designation is derived from its designer - Doctor Ing Ermano Bazzochi.

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Specifications for the
Aermacchi MB.326
Advanced Trainer / Light Ground Attack Aircraft

Focus Model: Aermacchi MB.326K
Country of Origin: Italy
Manufacturer: Aermacchi - Italy
Initial Year of Service: 1962
Production: 761

Crew: 1

Length: 35.01 ft (10.67 m)
Width: 35.60 ft (10.85 m)
Height: 12.20ft (3.72 m)
Weight (Empty): 6,535 lb (2,964 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 12,996 lb (5,895 kg)

Powerplant: 1 x Rolls-Royce Viper 632-42 turbojet engine generating 4,000lbs of thrust.

Maximum Speed: 553 mph (890 kmh; 481 kts)
Maximum Range: 677 miles (1,090 km)
Service Ceiling: 41,010 ft (12,500 m; 7.8 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 6,500 feet-per-minute (1,981 m/min)

Hardpoints: 6
Armament Suite:
2 x 30mm internal cannons

Maximum external ordnance load of up to 4,000lbs of bombs, rockets and missiles. Mission-specific ordnance can include any of the following:

Drop Bombs
AS.12 wire-guided air-to-surface missiles
Matra R550 Magic air-to-air missiles
Unguided Rockets
Additional Cannon Pods
Reconnaissance Pods

Variants: [ SHOW / HIDE ]

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