Aermacchi MB339

This Italian jet trainer was the successor of the MB326 and clearly has the same basic features. The MB339 also has straight low mounted wings, narrow air intakes in the wing roots and the exhaust far beyond the vertical stabiliser. The aircraft sits close to the ground with its short landing gear. The main gear retracts outward, in the wings. Different is the tandem cockpit in which the instructor in the back seat sits higher than the student pilot in the front. 

The small air intakes in the wing roots are one of the main features of the MB339, as is the cockpit in which the back seat is higher than the front seat.

The vertical stabiliser of the MB339 is placed ahead of the horizontal stabilisers and exhaust.

Different versions

The different versions of the MB339 can externally be distinguished by

  • the number of seats
  • the presence of pylons under the wings, for storage of weapons
  • the presence of a refueling probe
  • the presence of tip tanks

Details will be added later.

Confusion possible with

Aermacchi MB326


Being a derivative of the MB326, it is logical that they are look-a-likes. The main difference is in the front fuselage. The canopy of the MB326 consists of two parts, with a bow frame near the front. The student and instructor sit at the same level. In the MB339 the back seat is higher than the front seat, and the canopy has three parts. Also nose of the MB339 is more pointed.

CASA C-101 Aviojet


The canopy and straight wings are similar to that of the MB339, but there are many difference in other parts. The landing gear of the Aviojet is longer and the air intakes are much bigger and longer. Furthermore the Aviojet has the exhaust before the tail.


at 3a

This is a twin engine jet trainer with engines at the sides of the fuselage and bigger intakes but for the rest it looks quite similar to the MB339. (photo Toshiro Aoki/WikiMedia) 

British Aerospace Hawk

hawk t1

The Hawk also has small air intakes, but more D shaped, swept wings, a curved leading edge of the tail and horizontal stabilisers with anhedral. This should be enough not to mix it up with the Aermacchi.

Aero L-39 Albatross

l 39cm

The Aero Albatros has much larger air intakes than the MB339. They have nearly the shape of half circles, and are placed at the side of the fuselage, just after the cockpit. Also the tail is taller.