Aerobatics is the practice of flying maneuvers involving aircraft attitudes that are not used in normal flight. Aerobatics are performed in airplanes and gliders for training, recreation, entertainment, and sport. Some helicopters, such as the MBB Bo 105, are capable of limited aerobatic maneuvers, and Chuck Aaron is the only U.S. pilot certified to do helicopter aerobatics. The term is sometimes referred to as acrobatics, especially when translated.
Most aerobatic maneuvers involve rotation of the aircraft about its longitudinal (roll) axis or lateral (pitch) axis. Other maneuvers, such as a spin, displace the aircraft about its vertical (yaw) axis. Maneuvers are often combined to form a complete aerobatic sequence for entertainment or competition.
Aerobatic flying requires a broader set of piloting skills and exposes the aircraft to greater structural stress than for normal flight. In some countries, the pilot must wear a parachute when performing aerobatics.
While many pilots fly aerobatics for recreation, some choose to fly in aerobatic competitions, a refereed sport.
The Frecce Tricolori (Italian, literally Tricolour Arrows), officially known as the 313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico, is the aerobatic demonstration team of the Italian Aeronautica Militare, based at Rivolto Air Force Base, in the north-eastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, province of Udine. They were formed in 1961 as an Air Force team, replacing unofficial teams that had been sponsored by various commands by the end of the 1920s.
The team flies the Aermacchi MB-339-A/PAN, a two-seat fighter-trainer craft capable of 898 km/h at sea level, with nine aircraft and a solo (the most aircraft of any aerobatic team in the world).
The team's official name is: 313. Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico, Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (PAN) Frecce Tricolori.