flying-high 71

Flying High

6th February 2017

Museo Storico Dell'Aeronautica Militare - Italian Air Force Museum

On Tuesday 31st of January, Year 5 visited Lake Bracciano’s military aeroplane museum. Read an account of the day written by students Gregorio and Jake and then check out just a few of the fun facts Year 5 discovered during their tour.


‘When we arrived at the museum and saw the warplanes I thought, “This is going to be cool.”

After entering the museum, we met our guide Peter and started our tour.  Pete knew a lot of things about planes. 

In the first hangar we saw Napoleon’s hot air balloon, the oldest surviving hot air balloon in the world.  Peter told us that on May 18, 1804, Napoleon proclaimed himself emperor.  His coronation ceremony took place on December 2, 1804, in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. French Balloon pioneer Andre Garnerin built a huge unmanned balloon for the event. It was decorated with a great crown of blazing lights. The balloon came down 24hours later after making a remarkable journey all the way to Rome. It landed in Lake Bracciano.

As we looked at the planes from WW1, Peter told us that when a pilot had shot down five enemy planes he was called an ‘Ace’.  Aces could choose a symbol to be painted on their plane.  One ‘Ace’ was a pilot called Francesco Baracca, whose emblem was a ‘Cavallino Rampante.’ He shot down 34 enemy planes but was himself shot down at the end of the war.  His mother gave his prancing stallion emblem, the Cavallino Rampante, to Enzo Ferrari and this became the famous Ferrari symbol.

In the second hangar we saw the Italian flying records.

Last but not least, we saw the Second World War’s aeroplanes with fascist symbols on them and others with a circle and the Italian colours. After that we quickly saw a little video of ‘The Frecce Tricolore’ and happily after that, the teachers bought us a postcard of the aeroplane museum. IT WAS GREAT FUN!’


Fun Facts

  • In 1903 the first aeroplane (created by the Wright brothers) flew at 50 km per hour.
  • In 1953, the Starfighter was invented and it flew at 2, 500 km per hour.
  • To be an Ace, you had to shoot down five enemy planes.
  • In 1926The Norge, a semi-rigid Italian-built airship, carried out the first verified trip of any kind to the North Pole.   The expedition was lead by Roald Amundsen.  The airship was  designed and piloted by Umberto Nobile.
  • Umberto Nobile took his dog, Titina, everywhere with him, even on the airship, Norge, when it flew over the North Pole.

Click here to see all the photos