Best early Italian Monoplane fighter?

Best Early Italian Monoplane Fighter?

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cheddar cheese

Major General
Jan 9, 2004
WSM, England
What do you think the best early Italian monoplane fighter was? (Or 'Series 0's as I like to call them, dont know if thats true or not)

Despite some structural problems, Id say the Reggiane Re-2000. It was the fastest of the 3 and highly manoeverable, more so than the CR.42 and Bf-109E. Looking at the 3, it also looks the most modern with its enclosed cockpit, largely due to the fact it was heavily based on the Seversky P-35. Not many were built, and a lot were sold off to Sweden and Hungary.

The G.50, whilst highly manoeverable, was far too slow. The MC.200 was slightly faster and similarly manoeverable, and was used more than both the other two.

Role: Single-seat fighter and fighter bomber
Engine: 1 x Piaggio P.IX RC 40 radial engine; 1000 hp
Bis, GA and Cat.: 1 x Piaggio P.IX Bis RC 40; 1000 hp
Length: 26,21 ft
Height: 10.49 ft
Wing span: 36,08 ft
Wing area: 219,58 sq/ft
Empty weight: 5573 lbs
Useful Load: 2009 lbs
Loaded weight: 7606 lbs
Max. Speed: 329 mph at 17,388 ft.
GA and Cat.: 323 mph
Service ceiling: 36754 ft.
GA and Cat.: 32808 ft
Range (at 19,685 ft and 267 mph):
GA: 1243 miles
Cat.: 802 miles
Climb to 19,685 ft: 6'10"
GA and Cat.: 7'45"
Armament: 2 x 12,7mm Breda SAFAT MG with 300 rounds each. The "Intercettore", "Bis" and "GA" versions had the possibility to attach a "Spezzoniera Automatica Nardi" under the fuselage, consisting of two launchers each composed of two lines of twenty-two 2 kilos frag-bombs, for a total of 88 frag-bombs.
Crew: 1
In Service: 1941
Countries in Service: Italy, Hungary Sweden
Aircraft built: 158 (28 for RA - 70 for Hungary - 60 for Sweden)

Model: Fiat G50bis single seat fighter
Max Speed: 293 mph
Ceiling: 32,480 Ft
Range: 620 miles
Horsepower: 840 hp
Length: 27' 2 1/3"
Height: 9' 2 1/4"
Weight: 5,560 lbs (Loaded)
Engine: Fiat A74 R.C.38(DB605 A-1)
Armament: 2x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT machine gun (300 r.p.g)

Caccia Intercettore Monoposto
Ing. Mario Castoldi
Primo Volo nel:
dicembre 1937
In servizio nel:
Lunghezza: 8,19 m

Apertura Alare: 10,58 m

Peso Max.: 2540 kg

2 mg da 12,7 mm
Carico bellico: bombe fino a 320 kg (Mc.200 CB)
Fiat A.74 R.C.38 da 649 Kw (882CV)
503 km/h a 4500m
870 km
Apologies for the Italian, im sure you can work it out


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I went with the Mc.200 saetta, because though it may have not been the best in terms of speed, it wa sequal in armament, and i always considered it to be the most manouverable, adaptable, and the best aircraft to fly into combat that italy posessed at the time. Although i would have voted for the Cr.42 if it were in the poll, for near equal speed, reliabilty, and survivabiilty.
I agree with what you say about the CR.42 carp...Much safer bet than their early monoplanes...

The Re-2000 was I think more manoeverable than the MC.200, and it did make for a good ground attack aircraft...Also popular with other countries as was the G.50. I dont know if the MC.200 was exported or not though. Of the 3 companies I think Macchi had the highest amount of production capacity, which was probably a large factor in the Saetta's wide use.
I go Re-2000 because the name sounds advanced. Anyway it is said that the Italian aircraft suffered from a lack of powerful engines. If you put in better engines they were quite good planes.
The Re-2000 is actually superior to the others in terms of just about everything...The only downfall is structural intergrity...
I voted for the Macchi because I think it is the one that could of survived the longest against allied fighters. Non of these planes are outstanding World War 2 planes. But they would probably be a match for the P-39 or a Hurricane. I give the Italians a lot of guts for going into combat flying these type of airplanes.

They all could have used better guns. 2x12.7mm that's the same as the SBD.
I think a reasonably good pilo could hold his own against a Hurricane, but as you said the armament was shoddy.
Yeah, armament was pretty horrid on the things, seemed the Italians and the Japanese both at the start of the war thought a few, as low as two machine guns would still be enough to fight effectively. But a decent pilot could take a hurricane in the Macchi i would guess, on equal terms, or near equal, but you have to consider the ruggedness of the hurricane, and those eight .303 guns in the wings, with which a short burst of would send the poor italian flaming right into the ground. The CR.42, would be a decent match against a hurricane, if the pilot of the falco was really good. The great manouverability, good climb characteristics, generally rugged contruction, would make for a near equal match, even though the falco is again, much more lightly armed, slower, and a damn bi-plane. But considering just how poor and unsafe it could be to be in one of those monoplane fighters, id want the Falco. It didnt have those nast characteristics that were present in all the monoplane series 0 fighters, with nasty stall instances, spins, and structural weakness. The Cr.42 also outlasted its competitors, into 1944 when used by the germans, and was produced all the way into 1943, after the series 0 fighters had been replaced by series 2 and 5.
Yeah, i wouldnt want to be caught in a series O monoplane fighter in italy, because they'd find the flaming wreck across whichever border you crossed to fight. At least in a Cr.42 you could expect reliability, and ruggedness.
Agreed. The CR.42 was developed from an established line of excellent Fiat biplanes and was just about identical to/better than the 0-serie monoplanes in everything barring speed, when even then wasnt that far off, as the CR.42 was, I think, the fastest biplane of WW2.
It might not have been the most manouverable aircraft, the Ki-27 was pretty damn agile. But it might have been. Certainly the most agile in the ETO/MTO and a contender for all around. It was the best biplane in my opinon, faster than anything the british had (gladiator) and the earlier italian aircraft (Cr.32) or the chinese I-15'a, i think some were still in service in 1940, but as i am not sure, just confident there were, i cant say for sure. What it would have been to see a gladiator and Cr.42, with equal pilots facing off in the skies above malta, that would have been a spectacular thing to see.
CC, it is the 2000 I think that was the best, but the MC 200 was used the most I think, yes? So, that meens somthing, but really these were being replaced rather quickly and then the 5s were the best if the Italians could ever get an gengine they did not destroy in flight. ;)
Yes I agree, the only reason that the MC.200 was used the most as due to the fact that Macchi had better production capabilities and could produce it cheaper. The Re-2000 was by far the most advanced and modern, as it was based on the Seversky P-35 and it was the only 0-serie to have an enclised cockpit althrough its life. Structural wekness was one of the only problems, as well as poor armament like the other 0-serie fighters.

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