Portuguese Tiger – Part II: 75,000 Flying Hours in the Fiat G.91

As a followup to my Fiat G.91R/4 post from visit to the Museu Do Ar in Sintra, Portugal in 2017. Here is one of the unique aircraft on display, a Portuguese Air Force (Força Aérea Portuguesa) Fiat G.91R/3 ground attack / reconnaissance aircraft that sports plenty of commemorative markings.

Portuguese Air Force commemorative Fiat G.91/R3 - Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)
Portuguese Air Force commemorative Fiat G.91/R3 – Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)
Portuguese Air Force commemorative Fiat G.91/R3 - Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)
Portuguese Air Force commemorative Fiat G.91/R3 – Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)

This Fiat G.91R/3 in bare metal finish, armed with twin 30mm DEFA cannons, wears Portuguese Air Force (Força Aérea Portuguesa) squadron emblems that operated the type, including Escuadra 301 Jaguares and Escuadra 121 Tigres.  It also features special markings indicating the 75,000 flying hours the G.91R/3 and R/4 clocked up in Portuguese service from 1965 to 1993.

Portuguese Air Force squadron emblems that operated the Fiat G.91 between 1965 and 1993, including Escuadra 301 Jaguares and Escuadra 121 Tigres - Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)
Portuguese Air Force squadron emblems that operated the Fiat G.91 between 1965 and 1993, including Escuadra 301 Jaguares and Escuadra 121 Tigres – Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)
Portuguese Air Force Fiat G.91/R3 commemorating 75,000 hours flying the G.91 type from 1965 to 1993 - Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)
Portuguese Air Force Fiat G.91/R3 commemorating 75,000 hours flying the G.91 type from 1965 to 1993 – Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)

70 Fiat G.91R/3 and 26 G.91T/3 two-seat trainers were delivered from West Germany between 1976 and 1982 (they had retired the type). A number of these aircraft did not enter operational service and were used for spare parts. The example on display has tail number 5445 and markings indicate 75 were assigned numbers 5401 to 5474.

Portuguese Air Force commemorative Fiat G.91/R3 - Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)
Portuguese Air Force commemorative Fiat G.91/R3 – Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)

Although the G.91R/3’s were only delivered from Germany from 1976, this commemorative example of the type also has a list of pilots names and a map of Africa painted on one side in tribute to the combat service G.91R/4’s saw against rebel forces seeking independence during the Portuguese Colonial War from 1966 to 1975, in Guinea (1966 – 1974), Mozambique (1968 – 1974) and Angola (1974 – 1975). 8 G.91R/4’s were lost in combat in Guinea and Mozambique between 1966 and 1974.

Portuguese Air Force commemorative Fiat G.91/R3 – Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017). The
map of Africa painted on one side in tribute to the combat service G.91’s saw against rebel forces seeking independence during the Portuguese Colonial War from 1966 to 1975, in Guinea (1966 – 1974), Mozambique (1968 – 1974) and Angola (1974 – 1975).
Portuguese Air Force commemorative Fiat G.91/R3 - Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)
Portuguese Air Force commemorative Fiat G.91/R3 – Museu Do Ar, Sintra (2017)

Although easier to get to the museum by car, it is possible to travel to Sintra by public transport from Lisbon and be able to spend plenty of time taking in the collection. Friendly staff and a great collection, it is well worth a visit!

4 thoughts on “Portuguese Tiger – Part II: 75,000 Flying Hours in the Fiat G.91

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