Mantelli Adriano

San Marino di Parma 13-02-1913    –    06-05-1995 Firenze


La Spezia -  primi di agosto del 1936
La missione "segreta" composta dai piloti:
S.Ten. Dante Olivero (6° Stormo), S.Ten. Adriano Mantelli (1° Stormo), S.Ten. Giorgio Franceschi (4° Stormo), Serg. Raffaele Chianese (4° Stormo), M.llo Bruno di Montegnacco (1° Stormo), Serg. Gian Lino Baschirotto (1° Stormo), Serg. Achille Buffali (6° Stormo), Serg. Raul Galli (1° Stormo), Serg. Manlio Vivarelli (4° Stormo) e dagli specialisti: Cresti, Brunetto, Gerbino Grego, Barzacchi. Trattasi di una Squadriglia al completo di uomini e materiali, posta sotto il comando del  Olivero.

??? (1°), ??? (2°), Adriano Mantelli (3°).


Spagna - 1936
Adriano Mantelli e' il primo a sinistra.


Spagna - 1936
Il Ten. Adriano Mantelli.


Ronchi dei Legionari -  "Giornata dell'Ala", primi anni '50
Il Col. Adriano Mantelli, pluridecorato e collaudatore dell'A.M. e' anche un campione aliantista e si esibisce con l'aliante "Canguro" in occasione della manifestazione aerea organizzata dall'avv. Furio Lauri, fondatore della Meteor.



Ronchi dei Legionari - 1953
Il Col. Adriano Mantelli ad una manifestazione aerea sull'aeroporto di Ronchi ove si esibirà da grande campione di pilota d'aliante. Mantelli, classe 1913, inizia ad appassionarsi agli alianti fin da giovane e ne diventa pilota e progettista. Nel 1934 diventa pilota della Regia Aeronautica e assegnato al 1° Stormo di Campoformido. Nel 1936 partecipa alla Campagna di Spagna e consegue dieci abbattimenti e due medaglie d'argento al V.M. Rientrato dalla Spagna diventa collaudatore e sperimentatore a Guidonia. Durante il Secondo Conflitto vola sul MC 200 ed MC 202. Si spegne nel 1995.

  per gentile concessione

Biplane fighter aces

Adriano Mantelli was born on 13 February 1913 in Cortile San Marino di Parma, his father being a regular soldier.
He became interested in aviation at a young age, and from 1929, he avidly participated in model flying competitions with aircraft that he had built himself. From 1931, Mantelli dedicated himself to glider design, and the following year he obtained his glider flying licence. Concurrently, he graduated from the Parma Regio Istituto d’Arte (Royal Art Institute) - a school attended by fellow would-be ace Giuseppe Cenni. Indeed, both men would also commence their flying careers together. Joining the Regia Aeronautica in 1934, Mantelli gained his military ‘wings’ and became a fighter pilot. He was commissioned (in Servizio Permanente Effettivo) on 7 October 1934. Initially, he flew CR.20s with the 1o Stormo Caccia. In 1935, he transferred to a Squadriglia equipped with CR.32s that had been formed at the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (Experimental Flight Establishment) at Guidonia expressly to defend Rome. Finally, Mantelli joined the newly formed 6o Stormo Caccia at Ravenna, in Emilia, which was led by Colonnello Vincenzo Velardi. The latter officer subsequently commanded Italian airmen in Spain. He served as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, using the nom de guerre ”Arrighi”. By the end of August, after the first 12 CR.32s, and their pilots, had reached Melilla, three more had been sent to Majorca and nine were offloaded in the port of Vigo de Galicia, on Spain’s Atlantic coast, from the Spanish ship Ebro. The latter had been renamed Aniene in Italy so that it could run contraband under a flag of convenience.
The nine CR.32s delivered to Vigo de Galicia were unloaded on the night of 27 August, although the presence of a British naval vessel in the port at the same time meant that this operation could not be completed in secrecy. Nine pilots under the command of Tenente Dante Olivero (from 6o Stormo) were also on board Aniene, and each of them had a false identity. Amongst the aviators were Sottotenente Mantelli (’Arrighi’) and Sergenti Brunetto di Montegnacco (’Antonio Romualdi’), GianLino Baschirotto (’Edoardo Giri’) and Raffaele Chianese, while five groundcrew provided technical support. The men and their machines then travelled by train southwards along the Vigo-Orense-Salamanca-Caceres-Seville route, which was controlled by Nationalist forces that had recently occupied the eastern Extremadura to unite the occupied zones of southern and north-western Spain. The reassembly of the nine aeroplanes, which were destined for the Segunda Escuadrilla de Caza del Tercio (2a Escuadrilla de Caza del Tercio), commenced after the three-day journey had ended in Tablada on 30 August.


In the spring of 1937, Mantelli returned to Italy and eventually became a test pilot at the Guidonia Aircraft Experimental Centre near Rome. On 12 February 1940, he was promoted to Capitano. He transferred to the Direzione Costruzioni Aeronautiche (Aircraft Construction Directorate) in Naples. In 1943, he still served in the Direzione Costruzioni Aeronautiche. Mantelli flew his last combat mission on the morning of 8 September 1943 - the day of Italy’s Armistice with the Allies - in a Macchi C.202 against a formation of USAAF B-17 bombers targeting Frascati. As a test pilot and flight instructor for the new Fiat G.55 fighter, he then served in the Aeronautica della Repubblica Sociale Italiana (Italian Social Republic Air Force). Mantelli ended the war with 9 biplane victories. During his career he had been decorated with two Medaglia d’argento al valor militare, one Medaglia d’argento al valor aeronautica, one Croce al merito di guerra, one Medaglia commemorativa della campagna di Spagna and one Medaglia di benemerenza per i volontari della guerra Spagna. A post-war trial cleared Mantelli of 'collaboration' by serving with the Aeronautica della Repubblica Sociale Italiana. He continued to design and construct light civil aircraft in Italy and Argentina prior to re-joining the Italian air force in 1951. Rising through the ranks, Mantelli became a Generale and eventually retired in Rome. Remaining active, he died from a sudden illness at the age of 82 whilst waiting for a train at Florence station on 6 May 1995. During his long flying career, Mantelli had flown more than 10,000 hours in 200+ aircraft types, setting several international light aircraft records in the process.

Biplane victories: 10 and 6 shared destroyed.