Fiat C.R. 42, G. 50, Macchi C. 200 what get best result versus Hawker Hurricane?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Vincenzo, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Fiat C.R. 42, G. 50, Macchi C. 200 what got best result versus Hawker Hurricane?

    I think we can limit to 1940/41, after that all this type were obsolete as fighters (but they were actually used)

    Sometime ago i've read in this forum that C.R. 42 got 25 wins and 75 loss to Hurricane in this timeline

    i want take out the encouters over Great Britain.
     
  2. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    unlucky none reply

    i can add, i found ever in this forum, Sea Hurricane versus M.C. 200 1 to 1
     
  3. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    #3 vanir, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
    I think it's interesting because this was shown by the Italian pilots combat experience with them. Of the three front line squadrons used the G50 first. It's built just like a Hurricane for combat worth, but under gunned which is all Italian planes so we'll just mention this once and forget it, but the Fiat has only a wimpy prewar radial in its most developed version, but underpowered to start with. Hurricane trumps it.
    The Italian pilots got something that was inferior in energy/climb anyway so they switched to the CR42. I don't know which order the two were actually delivered. Apparently the pilots however preferred it over the G50.
    Finally the MC200 which had very clean new wing design and was quite slippery in air. It greatly improved on the G50 speed and energy retention so was highly regarded, moreso when the Daimler engine was fitted, in which form as the 202 model has been compared to the Mustang by some (well meaning) journalists.

    What I've read in combat the Hurricane had every advantage over a G50, had to use boom and zoom or it had serious problems with a CR42 (early Hurricane kills in the Desert were in this plane, the RAF pilot mistakenly getting into a turnfight with the surprisingly energetic and very tough biplane), but the MC200 was pretty well its match, a little more racy, a bit more fighter plane than the Hurricane MkI.

    Hey I think Hurricanes in the Med were detuned to +6lbs until 42 weren't they? That could've been a factor in all this.
     
  4. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    The MC.200 looks perfectly comparable to the Hawker Hurricane, the faster MC.200bis would have maintained parity. It looks underarmed however.
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Why?

    there is no "detuned". there is just not opening the throttle to exceed 6lbs of boost or adjusting the boost limit. This would only be necessary if only 87 octane fuel was available. Perhaps at times for certain squadrons that was all there was but it seems hard to believe that 100 octane wasn't showing up in NA at some point in 1941. Those Tomahawks weren't pulling the boost numbers they used on 87 octane.
     
  6. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    It's hard to figure the fuel availability side into it Shortround. I know that in Burma Hurricane II was restricted to +6lbs because prewar standard, about 80 octane wreaked Havoc on Merlin engines, but Pratt radials and Allisons were okay with it.
     
  7. slaterat

    slaterat Member

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    Of the three fighters mentioned the MC 200 is the best, though still inferior to the Hurricane. In the early desert war Hurricanes had little trouble with CR 42s and G 50s. In the Harpoon and Pedestal Convoys to Malta in 42 Sea Hurricanes proved able to handle even Re 2001s. It wasn't until the arrival of the MC 202 that the Italians had a fighter superior to the Hurri. I am currently reading "Malta the Spitfire Years" and soon will want to get a copy of the "Malta the Hurricane Years" which should shed some light on this topic.

    Slaterat
     
  8. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    Will be interested to hear back more once you've read it slaterat, keep us posted.
     
  9. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    From Wiki with regard to the MC 200


    "The first C.200s to make their combat debut were those of the 6° Gruppo Autonomo C.T. led by Tenente Colonnello (Wing Commander) Armando Francois. This squadron was based at the Sicilian airport of Catania Fontanarossa. A Saetta from this unit was the first C.200 to be lost in combat when on 23 June 1940 14 C.200s (eight from 88a Squadriglia, five from 79a Squadriglia and one from 81a Squadriglia) that were escorting 10 SM.79s from 11° Stormo were intercepted by two Gloster Gladiators. Gladiator N5519, piloted by Flt Lt George Burges, attacked the bombers but was in turn attacked by a C.200 flown by Sergente Maggiore Lamberto Molinelli of 71a Squadriglia over the sea off Sliema. The Macchi overshot four or five times the more agile Gladiator which eventually shot down the Saetta.

    Only on 1 November were the C.200s credited with their first kill. A Sunderland on a reconnaissance mission was sighted and attacked just outside Augusta by a flight of Saettas on patrol. With the arrival towards the end of December 1940 of X Fliegerkorps in Sicily, the C.200s were assigned escort duty for I/StG.1 and II/StG.2 Ju 87 bombers attacking Malta, as the Stukas did not have adequate fighter cover until the arrival of 7./JG26's Bf 109s.

    On 6 February 1941, the elite unit 4° Stormo received C.200s from 54° Stormo. With the autorotation problems solved, the Macchis were regarded as "very good machines, fast, manoeuvrable and strong" by Italian pilots. After intense training, on 1 April 1941, the 10° Gruppo (4° Stormo) moved to Ronchi dei Legionari airport and started active service. In combat with the less manoueverable Hurricane it proved effective, with outstanding dogfight performance and no vices. When it entered service, the Supermarine Spitfire was the only Allied fighter that it faced which could outclimb the Saetta."

    So, it would seem that the macchis got off to a rather slow start at the beginning of the war, but later, with proper and itense training, and some mods to the aircraft, theuir performance improved. The Macchis were more manouverable, and could climb faster, but the hurricane was faster, was more heavily armed and better protected......
     
  10. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    "CR 42 - An Operational History"

    Malta


    "Over Malta, the CR.42 encountered Hurricanes for the first time on 3 July 1940. That day, Flying Officer Waters (P2614) shot down an SM.79 bomber five miles (8 kilometers) off Kalafrana, but he was soon attacked in turn by the escorting Falcos that badly shot up his aircraft. Waters crashed on landing and his Hurricane was written off. The Hurricane pilots soon discovered that the Italian biplanes could out-maneuver their aircraft easily.

    Pilot Officer Jock Barber remembered: On my first combat, the 9 of July, I attacked the leader of a Squadriglia of Falcos, while Flight Lieutenant George Burges attacked an SM.79 bomber. When I shot the CR.42 at a range of 100 yards, he did a flick-roll and went spinning down. I found myself engaged in dogfighting with the remaining CR.42s. This went down to about 10,000 feet; by then I had used up all my ammunition without much success, although I am convinced I got quite a few strikes on the leader in the initial combat. I realized pretty quickly that dogfighting with biplanes was just not on. They were so manoeuvrable that it was very difficult to get in a shot, and I had to keep diving and turning to keep myself from being shot down. George had by this time disappeared so I stuck my nose down and, with full throttle, was very thankful to get out of the way

    A week later, a dozen CR.42s from 23° Gruppo appeared in the sky over Malta for a reconnaissance. Flight Lieutenants Peter Keeble and Burges scrambled to intercept them, and the resulting action greatly impressed the Malta defenders with the CR.42's maneuvering capability. Keeble attacked one CR.42 - probably the aircraft (MM4368) flown by Sottotenente Mario Benedetti of 74a Squadriglia that crashed, killing its pilot, but then came under attack himself by the Falcos of Tenente Mario Pinna and Tenente Oscar Abello. Keeble tried to dogfight with the Italians, but his engine was hit and his Hurricane dived into the ground at Wied-il-Ghajn, near Fort Rinella, and blew up. He was the first pilot to be killed in action at Malta. This was the first air victory in World War II of the CR.42 against the Hurricane. Shortly after Keeble's loss, a meeting of all the pilots and senior staff was called to discuss the best ways of countering the agile CR.42. A suggestion was made that the Hurricane should put down a bit of flaps as this might enable it to turn with the CR.42, but the only realistic proposal was to climb above these aircraft to be in advantageous position."
     
  11. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

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    Here

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    there is a vivid description of some combats between CR 42 and Hurricanes.

    As my copy is a first edition signed from Roland Robert Stanford Tuck DSO, DFC Two Bars, AFC, I do think that the description is probably not far from reality.
     
  12. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    unlucky C.R. 42 vs Hurricane are the alone info already in this forum, posted time ago to Nikademus
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The Italians did surpisingly well with the CR42. It was an effective defensive dogfighter until the introduction of the Spit in the latter half of 1941. Its a bit of a stretch to try and say it was equal to a Hurri, but neither was it hopeless beaten itself either. After it was made obsolete as a fighter, it continued to fulfil valuable rolers as a Ground Attack and Night Fighter conversion. In this regard the Falco had a very similar career to the hurricane which also branched out into these secondary roles. I think either the RAF or the RA considered the Hurri or the falcos as front line fighters by 1942, but they were still very valuable to each of them.

    My feeling is that overall the C200 was the most succesful against the hurricane. But unlike the hurri, the C00, whilsty capable as a FB, was not really adapted in quite the same way as the Hurri. This I think was a mistake, because by 1942-3, the c 200 was up against Spit V andf Kittyhawk IIIs....a big ask...
     
  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It comes down to power. With the Merlin XX installed the Hurricane went to over 1200hp and with later upratings of allowable boost it went to just under 1500hp. Having that 257 sq ft wing didn't hurt either when it came to getting a pair of 500lb bombs off a short airstrip. An 840 hp engine and a 180 sq ft wing just don't add up to as capable a bomber/ rocket or gun anti-tank plane.
     
  15. slaterat

    slaterat Member

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    #15 slaterat, Nov 12, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
    I think you're overstating the case for the CR 42. In 1940 the WDAF did very well against the Italian Airforce using a rather small force of Hurricanes. Here"s a quote from Michel Lavigne and James Edwards in "Hurricanes Over the Sands"

    "the Hurricane I was then (1940) the best fighter aircraft over the Western desert. It out classed the Fiat CR 42 flown by the Italian units, which were far superior in numbers and destroyed lots of them for very few losses"

    An examination of 33 Squadrons record, as an example of a Hurricane squad that saw a lot of action throughout the desert campaign, shows these results.
    These are post war results cross referenced with Italian records. Just 5 hurricanes lost to CR 42s from Oct 1940 to May of 43. In the same time period 33 Squadron Hurricanes claimed 38 CR 42s. 33 Squadrons post war corroboration rate is over 60% or about 25 confirmed CR 42 kills , giving a K/D rate of 5-1 Hurricanes vs CR 42s. These numbers are from the same source.

    Slaterat
     
  16. slaterat

    slaterat Member

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    73 Squadron for the same time period lost only 1 Hurricane to CR 42s but claimed 11 ,at a 75% corroboration rate for the squad, gives a K/D ratio of 8 to 1 for the Hurri over the CR 42. The same source.

    Slaterat
     
  17. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    #17 JoeB, Nov 12, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
    Yes I went and looked up his post on this, see this link, post 90:
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/fighter-least-successful-21729-6.html

    I've read the books I believe Nikademus used (or may have used) to get these figures*, and took notes (but didn't ever add them up!) In past where we both added up numbers from similar books the answers were usually pretty close. Over Malta the CR42 achieved almost 1:1 kill ratio v the Hurricane but in relatively few engagements and that relative success was the exception. In North Africa it was ~1:3 ratio in a greater number of engagements through 1941, then when CR42's were used as fighter-bombers in '42 they suffered more losses but scored no more kills over Hurricanes; and over East Africa it was 1:4+. Over Greece (not mentioned in that post) Hurricanes downed a few CR42's without loss. Overall in those campaigns it was 1:3, 25:75, though 1941 (numbers in that post plus 4 CR42's downed by Hurricanes in Greece). The books mentioned give the actual Italian and British losses. The British claims varied pretty widely in accuracy, but were nothing like 60-75% accurate on average.

    I counted myself in "Hurricanes over Malta" that Hurricanes downed 27 MC.200's for 10 losses to MC.200's in that particular campaign, relatively similar to the overall ratio v the CR.42.

    *"Hurricanes Over Malta" by Brian Cull and "Malta the Hurricane Years", "Fighters over the Desert", "Dust Clouds over the Middle East" and "Air War for Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete", all by Chris Shores

    Joe
     
  18. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the information, which I was not aware of. I was aware however that the hurricane had an obvious superior potential to any three of the Italian Fighters. In regards to the CR42, once it was realized the single cardinal rule was never dogfight with them, their days were numbered. CR42s were not armoured, had limited armament, limited top speed, I dont think the dive rate was all that great, often lacked radios.

    Moreover, as SR points out, it all gets back to the HP that you could fit into the aircraft. Changes were made to the C200, that eventually led to the C202, which remained effective against the Hurri, whilst somewhat later the G-50 evolved into the G-55. One CR42 was experimentally fitted with a DB601 engine, and achieved a max speed of 323mph....the fastest staright line speed for biplane used for combat.

    But whereas both the C200 and the G-50 airframes were seen as having potential with better engines, the CR42 was simply too limited to be worth the effort.

    So, in terms of "stretchability" of the airframes, the Hurricane, the C200 and the G-50, are probably on a similar plane, the Cr42 is not.

    I also knew amd agree that in terms of loss rates Italian losses generally, but for the CR42 particularly, were substantially higher than for the brits. Over Malta, for example, 330 aircraft (mostly Hurricanes and Spits) were lost in exchange for over 580 Axis aircraft, and this was a TO where other issues made it a difficult place for the Allies to challenge. Comparing loss rates of Sea Hurricanes to Axis aircraft is noty a level playing field, for example. During Pedestal for example, about 70 Allied Fighters on the Carriers (mostly Sea Hurricanes) were asked to fight off more than 600 Axis attackers. Their primary mission was to screen off the bombers, so this will skew the fighter to fighter loss rates
     
  19. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    thank you JoeB for data for C. 200 on Malta i've hope in your and/or nikademus reply.

    i started this thread because i get the dubt that the old fashon C.R. 42 was actually the best (best result) of early WW II italian fighter
     
  20. slaterat

    slaterat Member

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    #20 slaterat, Nov 12, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
    Lavigne and Edwards mention work done by Shores and Cull in this area, especially in Greece involving 33 Squadron. Confirmed kills re Italian aircraft are drawn from apparently quite detailed Italian records. British claim rates can very widely but to say "they were nothing like 60-75% accurate on average" is only about 50% accurate hehe. The rates vary from squad to squad for example from "Hurricanes Over the Sands",

    30 Sq claimed 26 destroyed, actual 15 to 20 or 70 to 80%
    33 Sq claimed 213 destroyed, actual over 60% or about 130
    73 Sq claimed 117 destroyed, actual between 65-75% or 76-87
    80 Sq claimed 195 destroyed, actual 90-100 or about 50%

    Slaterat
     
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