The Troster Hangar of the Air Force Museum in Vigna di Valle, outside Bracciano, Lazio, is home to the aircrafts flown by the First World War “Aces” – that is, fighter pilots who had shot down at least five enemy airplanes from close range.
One of these champions was Francesco Baracca, credited with thirty-four air war combat successes: “I aim for the aircraft, not the man”, the Ravenna-born hero used to say. Ironically, he was shot in the temple and died on June 19, 1918, while flying over the Austro-Hungarian trenches near the Montello, a hill in the province of Treviso.
Baracca’s emblem was a black prancing horse, which his mother bestowed to Enzo Ferrari in 1923 as a good luck charm. Ferrari later made it the symbol of Maranello’s world-famous carmaker.
Baracca took off for his last flight on a “Spad S. VII”, which is on display inside the Troster Hangar – one of the four exhibition spaces that add to the open-air part of Vigna di Valle’s museum.
Inside each hangar, splendid aircrafts now peacefully wait for their incredible adventures to be told.