Eight pilots designated as members of the United Arab Emirates' Al-Fursan (The Knights) display team completed the "basic" phase of their aerobatic flying training course at Italy's Udine Rivolto air base on 28 January.

The pilots amassed a combined total of 400 flight hours using Italian air force Alenia Aermacchi MB-339A advanced jet trainers since June 2010. They were instructed by six former members of the nation's Frecce Tricolori display team, all current air force pilots.

Now back in the UAE, the pilots will start the second phase of their training this month, which covers advanced aerobatic flying in formation. Italian instructors will support the work, which is expected to last for another 18 months.

Once operational, the Al-Fursan team will perform displays using seven upgraded MB-339As, including one solo example.

UAE Al Fursan aerobatic display team
 © Alenia Aermacchi

Source: Flight International