The 109 was one of the only true modern planes in the war; it included features such as a retractable landing gear, all-metal monocoque construction, and a closed canopy. [62], The Macchis continued fighting while retreating to Tunisia and then in the defence of Sicily, Sardinia and Italy against an increasingly stronger opponent. [54], During 1942, Bf 109F/Gs and Macchi C.202s fought against the Allied air forces in North Africa. Power countries make an attempt to control the skies and drop bombs capable of destroying their enemy into submission. [5], About 20–22 Macchi C.202s were flown by Croatia, who typically operated them in the interceptor role against Allied bombers. [2], The C.202 was designed by a team headed by the company's chief of design, Italian aeronautics engineer Mario Castoldi. [11] His new project was robust and small, utilizing a conventional but complex structural arrangement based on his experience with wooden designs, and at the same time paying great attention to its aerodynamics (Castoldi had previously designed the MC.72, the world's fastest aircraft of its time). the principal monoplanes used by the italian air forces during world war two (centauro, saeta, folgore,veltro) made by Fiat and Macchi constructors By far the most successful German plane of the war, the Me 109 made up the plurality of German fighter planes throughout much of the war. [5][6] During its service life, the C.202 was deployed on all fronts in which Italy was involved. [29] The relatively high diving speed of the type has been attributed to the exceptionally clean design of its fuselage. Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator. The Macchi C.202 Folgore (Italian "thunderbolt") was an Italian fighter aircraft developed and manufactured by Macchi Aeronautica. Upon its return, the HZL was redesignated Kroat. Among the pilots who flew recce C.202s on Malta was Adriano Visconti, later to become a famed ace and credited with at least 10 air victories. "Macchi M.C.202 and M.C.205V. (in Italian).". The C.202 were also regularly used to escort CANT Z.1007bis during the latter's reconnaissance missions,[citation needed] as well as for German transport aircraft. The airport was already the base of Gruppi 7º and 16º from 54º Stormo equipped with some C.202s besides the Macchi C.200s and Fiat CR.42s. [45], During Operation Harpoon, one of two simultaneous Allied convoys sent to supply Malta in the Axis-dominated central Mediterranean Sea in mid-June 1942, C.202s were involved in clashing with Sea Hurricanes. It happened after a very brief war career that began in 1939 and lasted for only 18 months. "Reggiane fighters (Delta Editions)" (in Italian). [24] A "San Giorgio" reflector gun sight was fitted. "La Produzione Aeronautica nella II GM." Ammunition carried was up to 800 rounds (standard: 700 rounds). [55], During the Battle of Bir Hakeim the C.202s performed successfully against the assorted fighters of the Desert Air Force, typically using "dive and zoom" tactics, similar to those of Luftwaffe fighters. Following, in rough chronological order, are ten of the greatest fighter aircraft of that conflict. [72] According to some sources, during these first sorties, Croat C.202s claimed between 11 and 16 aerial victories, but only three further were confirmed. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. The Fiat G.50 Freccia ("Arrow") was a World War II Italian fighter aircraft developed and manufactured by aviation company Fiat. [21], The main coolant radiator was housed in a rectangular fairing under the fuselage beneath the cockpit, and the oil cooler was placed under the nose within a streamlined, rectangular housing. With internal tanks, the plane had a range of 950 miles. On 23 December 1942, the Regia Aeronautica authorized the use of under-wing jettisonable tanks on the C.202s of 6° and 7° Gruppo based in Pantelleria, significantly boosting their endurance. [33] The C.202 had a better time on the home front, where supplies were more plentiful and units had more time to prepare and familiarise themselves with the type. From the onset of flying trials, it was evident that the C.202 was an advanced design for the era, owing much of its performance to the use of the Daimler Benz DB 601, which represented a departure from the standard practice of using engines of Italian origin. [11] However, the complexity of the structure was not well suited to mass production, and resulted in a relatively limited production rate. The type was also operated by Croatia. Sgarlato, Nico. [41] The 4° Stormo C.202s flew the first sortie, on 21 April, claiming a Spitfire V, while escorting three more "recce" Macchis from 54º Stormo. Shores, Christopher, Brian Cull and Nicola Malizia. [21], The fuselage of the C.202 was a semi-monocoque shell, comprising four light-alloy beams, complete with longerons and ovoidal bulkheads. [15] The growth of the C.202 project was slower than that of the rival Re. While the majority of fighters listed so far performed best during the day, the Black Widow was designed from the start to fight at night. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). Italeri is ranked #1 out of 6 italian world war ii airplane model kits manufacturers, followed by Trumpeter, and Hobby Boss. [72], According to aviation authors Dragan Savic and Boris Ciglic, Croatian pilots did not at first have a high opinion of the Macchi fighter, in part due to its armament consisting of just a pair of 12.7 mm and two 7.7mm machine guns, which were regarded as scarcely effective against the heavily armed US four-engined bombers. The first units selected to be equipped with the C.202 Series I were the 17° and 6° Gruppi, from 1° Stormo, based at the airfield of Campoformido, near Udine, and the 9° Gruppo of 4° Stormo, based in Gorizia. 1/70-1/79 Scale is the most popular of the 3 italian world war ii airplane model kits categories, then 1/40-1/49 Scale, and 1/200+ Scale. The wing was a bi-longeron structure, which was attached to the fuselage center section via steel forgings; it was fitted with flaps that were both statically and dynamically balanced. [23][11] A synchronizing unit allowed the nose guns to fire through the propeller disk, but with a 25% loss in ROF (Rate of Fire). [27], On 21 August 1941, Tenente Giulio Reiner, one of the most skillful and experienced pilots of 9° Gruppo, flew the "military control flight" in Lonate Pozzolo, The Ufficio tecnico (Technical Bureau) recorded the maximum speed of 1,078.27 km/h in the Folgore in a vertical dive, with 5.8 G. forces while pulling out of the dive. [77] Switzerland had placed an order for 20 C.202s, however, none of these were ever delivered; this was due to the deteriorating war situation at the time (May 1943) that meant that Italy no longer had the capability to export these types of aircraft. Nearly 34,000 Me 109s were built throughout the course of the war, with licensed models adding another … The canopy was hinged on the starboard base and opened sideways. [74] At the end of the summer, those C.202s that were still in a flight-worthy condition, based in Borovo, were used by Croatian cadets for training purposes. Because of the heavy armor protection, the IL-2 could survive a mass… There are a total of [ 32 ] WW2 Italian Fighter Aircraftentries in the Military Factory. [12] The undercarriage was of a standard design; the two widely set hydraulically-actuated main gears retracted inwardly into recesses set into the wing, while the tail wheel was non-retractable. Corgi World War II Diecast Military Aircraft The air war in Europe helped decide the outcome of the war. composed of 356ª, 382ª, 361ª and 386ª Squadriglia. [81], One of the differences between prototype and series production was the lack of radio antenna and the retractable tailwheel (these differences resulting in a slightly higher top speed); the difference in speed was not so great and so, the series version had the fixed tailwheel and the radio antenna. During the 1930s, the Italian military authorities chose to adopt only radial engines to power their aircraft; consequently, during the second half of the 1930s, the Italian aeronautical industry had been sufficiently de-incentivised to the point of completely avoiding the development of more powerful engines based on streamlined liquid-cooled designs, which would become popular abroad. The amount produced was actually 1,106 and not 1,220 as previous stated. The C.202 continued to be used in North Africa as late as mid-1943, by which point the type was withdrawn to support defensive efforts in Sicily and the Italian mainland following their invasion by Allied forces. [13], By the signing of the 1943 Armistice with Italy, there were only 186 Folgores remaining, of which roughly 100 aircraft were still considered to be in a serviceable condition. The Macchi C.202 Folgore is regarded as the most successful Italian fighter aircraft of World War Two. [73], On 24 April 1944, the first confirmed air victory was claimed by Unteroffizier Leopold Hrastovcan against an American B-24 that was shot down near the village of Zapresic (Zagorje). [70][71], The Macchi C.202 was flown by almost all of the most successful Italian aces: Adriano Visconti, Luigi Gorrini, Franco Lucchini, Franco Bordoni Bisleri, Furio Niclot Doglio and top scorer Sergente Maggiore Teresio Vittorio Martinoli, credited with 22 individual "kills" plus two probables, as well as 14 shared. This aircraft was both fast and maneuverable. It was operated mainly by the Regia Aeronautica (RA; Royal (Italian) Air Force) in and around the Second World War. Due to initial delays in engine production, Macchi resorted to completing some C.202 airframes as C.200s, powered by Fiat-built radial engines. Ingegner Mario Castoldi, the designer of the 202 questioned whether Reiner had properly flown the test. [40], The presence of the Folgores in Maltese skies was to last only until the end of November, when most of the unit was transferred to the deteriorating North Africa front. [citation needed] On 17 January 1943, the last effective operation of Corpo Aereo Italiano in Russia occurred, when a single mixed formation of 25 surviving Macchi fighters (out of a remaining total of 30 C.200s and nine C.202s) attacked several Red Army armored and motorized infantry columns in support of German and Italian units that were encircled in Millerovo. [64] During August 1942, at the beginning of the German offensive, they were deployed at the Stalino, Lughansk, Kantemirovka and Millerovo airfields, typically performing ground attack strikes against the Red Army positions along the east Don river during October–November 1942. [10][11] As a result of this preference, Italian aircraft manufacturer Macchi Aeronautica was forced to rely on the aging Fiat A.74 radial engine to power its C.200 fighter. [citation needed]. [57] [12] During January 1940, formal design work on the new fighter commenced and, shortly thereafter, construction began on a single prototype of the design. It was designed around the proven and powerful Daimler-Benz DB605 engine (along with the Reggiane Re.2005 and Fiat G.55, also very good planes in their own regard). [22] An additional pair of Breda 7.7 mm (.303 in) machine guns was fitted in the wings in the VII series onward, but these, along with 1,000 rounds of ammunition, added 100 kg (220 lb) to the aircraft's weight and were typically removed by pilots to save weight, since they were relatively ineffective against most enemy aircraft in 1942. [59] By the end of the year, the growing strength of the Allied forces was overwhelming and after the defeat in the skies over Malta as well as El-Alamein the last operational Axis units lost their air superiority in the Mediterranean. The ailerons, elevators and rudder were metal structures with fabric covering. Post-war, some of the aircraft which had survived the conflict were joined by a small number of newly manufactured C.205s. Upon entering service, the type became Italy’s first single-seat, all-metal monoplane that had an enclosed cockpit and retractable undercarriage. Some of these aircraft later fought during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War the State of Israel; the Egyptian fighters were reportedly still in service as late as 1951. However, by 1941, the C.200, which was armed with a pair of 12.7 mm (.50 in) machine guns and capable of a maximum speed of 504 km/h (315 mph), was considered to be obsolete in comparison to competitors in production overseas. [50] On 26 November, during Operation Crusader, 19 Macchis of 9° Gruppo, 4° Stormo were sent to Africa, and by the end of the month the whole 1° Stormo was in Libya, both units taking part in the last stages of the British offensive that led to the raising of the siege of Tobruk, and the retreat of Italian and German troops in Cyrenaica in December. ", Massiniello, Giorgio. Emiliani, Angelo – Giuseppe Ghergo – Achille Vigna. As a bombe… Italian Aces of World War Two written by Jim H March 18, 2010 When a fighter pilot shot down a minimum of 5 planes (kills), he (in the case of Russians it could also be she) could claim the status of Ace. [39] However, the Macchi's main weakness, its weak armament, proved to be a problem even at this stage. [61] Pilots of 16° Gruppo Assalto, an attack unit, downed no fewer than 10 aircraft. The surviving aircraft were operated by the Aeronautica Militare Italiana, where they were used as trainer aircraft as late as 1948 before being phased out entirely. "Macchi Folgore" (in Italian). During July 1939, the Regia Aeronautica requested that Reggiane construct a single prototype Re.2000 that was powered by a German Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa, liquid-cooled supercharged inverted V-12 engine rated at 1,175 PS (1,159 hp, 864 kW); this became the Re.2001. During March 1943, the Corpo Aereo Italiano was detached to Odessa airbase, joining Reggiane Re. $8.00 shipping. On 6–7 March 1943, C.202 pilots claimed 19 RAF and two USAAF aircraft, for the loss of two Folgore. Speed, armament, and production numbers for each type are displayed. [52] Squadron Leader Dennis Harry Clark, D.F.C. After the war, 31 C.202 airframes were fitted with license-built Daimler-Benz DB 605 engines and sold to Egypt as C.205 Veltros, with another 11 'real' MC.205s (with MG 151 cannons in the wings). It was operated mainly by the Regia Aeronautica (RA; Royal (Italian) Air Force) in and around the Second World War. Around June 1944, the Croat unit received the last six Folgore and three or four brand new Macchi C.205s. Sgarlato, Nico. [8] The C.202 also had its defects: like its predecessor, the C.200, it could enter a dangerous spin. Continue Scrolling to See Additional Entries. This list may not reflect recent changes (). [72] During a period of intensive activity over the summer, the squadron had claimed some 20 Allied aircraft shot down. The Macchi C.202 Folgore (Italian "thunderbolt") was an Italian fighter aircraft developed and manufactured by Macchi Aeronautica. The support for the engine, originally steel, was replaced with a lighter aluminium structure.[82]. Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore fighter plane of World War II. The clean aerodynamics offered by the inline engine permitted dive speeds high enough for pilots to encounter the then-unknown phenomenon of compressibility. )JGr and equipped with Fiat G.50, Macchi C.200 and Fiat CR.42 fighters. Macchi C.205 Veltro was, according to Axis and Allied pilots alike, one of the best fighter aircraft of WW2 and the best to come out of Italy. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. As per company tradition, Macchi aircraft designed by Mario Castoldi received the "C" letter in their model designation, hence the Folgore is commonly referred to as the C.202 or MC.202. Apart from the ailerons, the entire trailing edge of the wing was dominated by a pair of all metal split flaps. 1° Stormo had 60 fighters, 17°Gruppo around 30. At least one was destroyed and the two crewmen wounded after crash-landing on a beach near Reggio Calabria. [35][36], The Folgore first saw service during the Siege of Malta on 29 or 30 September 1941; their first mission was the interception of British Hurricanes over Sicily. The unpressurised cockpit had an armor plate fitted behind the armored seat for protection. JGr 1, while its operational fighter squadron was redesignated 2./(Kroat. [34] The type was quickly put to use outside of North Africa, seeing limited service against the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front where, between 1941 and 1943, together with C.200s, the fighter reportedly achieved an 88 to 15 victory/loss ratio. During September 1944, Luftwaffe pilots flew all of the remaining airworthy Folgores to Borongaj, where they were used only for training. "The Macchi-Castoldi Series". Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft, Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Prototype, Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter, Twin-Engine Multi-role Medium Bomber Aircraft, All-Metal Single-Seat Biplane Fighter Aircraft, Multirole Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Aircraft, Single-Seat Fighter / Ground Attack Aircraft, Single-Seat, Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft, Single-Seat Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft, Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Aircraft, Messerschmitt Bf 110 Zerstorer (Destroyer), Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Aircraft, Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft, Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter-Bomber Aircraft, Canard-Configured Pusher Fighter Aircraft Prototype. The first batch of 16 "Folgores" delivered to the ZNDH was from the XII series, built by Breda following the German occupation of Northern Italy. During March 1944, they were scrambled for the first time against an American raid west of Zagreb, but combat was avoided: Croatian Macchi pilots had been initially instructed to attack only those aircraft which had already been damaged or had become separated from their main formations. At the time, the most powerful reliable Italian inline engine was the 715 kW (960 hp) Isotta Fraschini Asso XI R.C.40, which was designed in 1936. [53], In the desert war, incursions by the SAS behind enemy lines were often aimed at destroying aircraft on the ground. Other defects, like the unreliability of the radio sets and of the oxygen systems, and the limited armament, could not be addressed with such ease. These fighters equipped Kroat. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2014. This unit, commanded by Maggiore (Major) Ettore Foschini, brought new C.202s and 18 new Macchi C.200 fighters. [20], The Macchi C.202 Folgore was an Italian fighter aircraft, developed from the earlier C.200 Saetta; its principal difference was its use of an Italian-built version of the German Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa engine and the adoption of a revised streamlined fuselage. [73] Eastern front veteran Major Josip Helebrant, an 11-kill flying ace[75] (used to flying Bf 109Gs) and the CO of 2./(Kroat. Breda built 649 (Series XVI deleted, Series XII and XV partially completed caused the difference); Aermacchi made 390 examples, SAI only 67. [28][page needed], Like its predecessor C.200, the C.202 had relatively few modifications, with only 116 modifications during its career, most of them invisible, externally. Still in mid-Summer 1942, in North Africa, the Folgore achieved a ratio kill/loss better than that of the Messerschmitt Bf 109s. The 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by two men by the names of Robert Lusser and Willy Messerschmitt during the 1930s. On 7 March 1942, the carrier USS Wasp delivered the first Spitfires to Malta, and the Axis' air-superiority started to shift in favour of the Allies. [60] The Germans and the Italians succeeded in establishing a bridgehead in Tunisia, and later in December the Regia Aeronautica transferred four fighter squadrons there; the 5ª Squadra Aerea, which had left Libya and retreated to Tunisia, had previously repatriated all unserviceable aircraft to Italy. [28][page needed], The empty weight of the new C.202 (approximately 2,350 kg/5,180 lb) gradually increased throughout production, and due to the thickness of metal used it was also comparatively heavy, yet this class of aircraft was still considered lightweight compared to other contemporary fighter designs. In combat, it very quickly proved itself to be an effective and deadly dogfighter against its contemporaries. Designed in 1940, production started early in 1941 but by the time the Nazis invaded there were only 249 available.After the factories were moved out of range of the Germans production soon skyrocketed and the IL-2 became ” as essential to the Red Army as air and bread,” as Stalin put it. [12], Situated behind the engine and under the 12.7 mm (.5 in) ammunition boxes there was a single 270 L (71.3 US gal) fuel tank; all tanks were of the self-sealing variety. The C.202 was a development of the earlier C.200 Saetta, powered by an Italian-built version of the German Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa engine and featuring a redesigned fuselage for greater streamlining.[3][4]. [14] The performance figures gathered during these tests indicated that Italy had caught up with both Britain and Germany in the field of fighter airplanes. [49], On 29 July 1941, the three first operational C.202s of 4° Stormo, 97ª Squadriglia, landed at Merna airport. [61], By 21 February 1943 the 5ª Squadra Aerea still had the 6°Gruppo C.T. The oxygen system was also regarded as being inefficient, causing, at least during the first sorties, up to 50/60 per cent of the pilots to abandon their missions and in some cases having been determined to have caused fatal accidents. Mixed units (such as the 51° Stormo, Sardinia) were formed with C.202s, yet were often serving with C.205s as well. [30], According to military history author Antonio Duma, some of the defects present on the new fighter could have been easily resolved, such as a tendency for the landing gear to inadvertently lower when pulling out of a steep dive, a machine gun bonnet that often broke, frequent jamming of the ammunition belts and, caused by vibrations generated by the engine, the rapid crystallizing and eventual shearing of the air cleaner intake. "Macchi Folgore" (in Italian). "Hawker in Mediterraneo (in Italian). Nijboer, Donald: "Spitfire V vs C.202 Folgore – Malta 1942 (Osprey Duel ; 60)". [26] The C.202 carried as standard two 12.7 mm (.5 in) Breda-SAFAT machine guns. [30] Their pilots started to train on the new fighter in May–June 1941, at Lonate Pozzolo (Varese), the airfield of the Macchi. with three squadrons of C.202s at Sfax and Gammarth in the northern sector, and in the southern sector, 3°Stormo with six squadrons of C.200s and C.202s at El Hamma. On July 28, 1943, Luftwaffe Oberleutnant Erwin Clausen shot down another two B-17 Flying Fortresses to add to the two he had shot down the previous day. During July 1941, the Folgore went into service with the Regia Aeronautica. [65], When they were able to conduct combat operations, the C.202 were frequently flown as escorts alongside their older C.200 siblings for Fiat BR.20M and Caproni Ca.311 bombers in attacks against Soviet columns, during which they would typically be facing aerial opposition from great numbers of Soviet Air Forces (VVS) fighters. [12][11] Another of its positive attributes was its extremely strong construction, which allowed its pilots to dive the aircraft steeply. "Lo Sviluppo del (Macchi) Veltro (in Italian).". Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. [76], As a consequence of the Allied aerial bombing against the Italian Social Republic, during which the manufacturing facilities of the Macchi company had sustained damage during 1944, both the production life and combat career of both the C.202 and the further refined C.205 were effectively cut short and greatly diminished. There are a total of [ 359 ] WW2 Fighter Aircraft entries in the Military Factory. Recommended to you based on your activity and what's popular • Feedback The range increased to 2,200 miles with external tanks. Capitano Franco Lucchini, who was credited with 21/26 individual victories and 52 shared, began to fly the Folgore after having already shot down 10 enemy aircraft. [70][78], Those allied pilots who flew against the Folgore were frequently impressed with its performance and manoeuvrability. Of the main combatants in the west, pilots such as Don Gentile, ”Pips” Priller, “Sailor” Malon and of course Erich Hartman come to mind. Mattioli, Mario. [13] A speed of 603 km/h (375 mph) was recorded during testing, while an altitude of 5,486 m (18,000 ft) was attained within the space of six minutes; in addition, little of the favourable manoeuvrability of the earlier C.200 had been lost. During 1940, the Folgore was put into production using imported DB 601Aa engines, while Alfa Romeo set up production of the engine under license as the RA.1000 R.C.41-I Monsone (Monsoon). "La Caccia Italiana 1940–43" (in Italian). Messerschmitt Bf 109 formation. [72][74] Irrespective of the Croatian Air Force Legion having been disbanded at the end of July, after which it was replaced by the Croatian Air Force Group (HZS), the fighters themselves remained at Borovo. Publisher unknown, 2008. [21] Another 80 L (21.1 US gal) fuel tank was placed behind the pilot, along with a pair of additional tanks, each with a capacity of 40 L (10.5 US gal), being housed in the wing roots; the total fuel capacity was 430 L (113.6 US gal). JGr 1 and retained their Luftwaffe markings whilst in service with the unit. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. 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