Lightweight fighters

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Chocks away!

Senior Airman
336
2
Jan 16, 2005
Cyprus
Were any of these in action? Here's the moderately famous one
 

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At the beginning of the war, the Regia Aeronautica (italian air force) had a lot of obsolete planes,
most fighters were biplanes. They also had a few monoplane fighter types of excellent maneuverability,
but their radial powerplants of ca. 1.000PS didn´t allow at least 530km/h. In 1941,
german DB 601 and later also DB 605 engines arrived and were built under licence for the existing
monoplane fighters (some guys [that I insulted here in earlier versions] even tried to use a DB 601 with
a CR.42 biplane), and the results were good, but the speed didn´t reach allied standards. Further, italian fighters
were mostly too weak armed with only two 12,7mm guns. Because the italian industry wasn´t as fitted for war
and capable as the ones of its enemies, they tried to solve the problem with a lightweight fighter:
The Ambrosini S.A.I.207.
This one followed after the S.A.I.107, which had less than 540 PS, but reached 560km/h.
The S.A.I.207 were mostly built of nonstrategic materials, had excellent handling and maneuverability.
Its service ceiling was 12.000m and its armament was typical italian: two 12,7mm Breda MG.
It reached 625km/h with a a 750PS Isotta-Fraschini Delta RC40 V-engine and 2.000 orders came in.
They were cancelled after 15, when the advanced S.A.I.403 was in prototype stadium. 3.000 of them were ordered,
but only the prototype was finished. The S.A.I.403 had improved aerodynamics and armament.
But the development of these attractive planes ended in october, 1943 due to the armistice with the allies.

My comment:
Appearing in great number since spring/summer 1944, they would have been a problem for the allies.
With intact fuel supply and a anti-bomber-weapon like the later german R4M "Orkan" (Hurricane)
rocket, they would have blown the allied daylight bomber offensive over italy.
Imagine: 650km/h with only 750PS! Compare this with the biplanes of the beginning 1930´s,
which had almost the same power, but less than 400km/h!
Even the excellent Heinkel He 100 out of 1938 needed 1.1750PS for only 20km/h more!



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Specifications:
Ambrosini S.A.I. 403 italian fighter
Dimensions:
Wing span: 9,80m
Length: 8,20m
Height: 2,90m
Weights:
Empty: 1.983kg
Maximum Take-Off: 2.640kg
Performance:
Maximum Speed: 650km/h
Service Ceiling: 10.000m
Normal Range: 937km
Powerplant:
One 750PS Isotta-Fraschini R.C.21/60 V-Engine
Armament:
four 12,7mm Breda-SAFAT MG or each two
12,7mm Breda-SAFAT MG and 20mm MG151/20 cannon
 
CC said:
Appearing in great number since spring/summer 1944, they would have been a problem for the allies.
With intact fuel supply and a anti-bomber-weapon like the later german R4M "Orkan" (Hurricane)
rocket, they would have blown the allied daylight bomber offensive over italy
 
Great Information Cheddar!!!

But I suposse that a lot of things should have to be changed in the 3040s Italy to develop this production. I think that stopping the daylight bombing of the allies, would be more than difficult...Do You think that this lightweight fighter colud defeat allied fighters at that moment? Even more, in the case that the fighters were able to scort the bombers over Italy....

Anyway...The plane looks absolutely gorgeous.
 
Maybe so, but when the RAF was defending Malta they were far, far out weighed in terms of numbers but they still came though. (But I think thats down to the fact that the Macchi MC.200 and, more so, the Fiat G.50 was pants :rolleyes: )
 
But I mean not the cuality, that Im sure was enough, I mean the number of planes, the problems of fuel and materials supply , and the fact of the Reggia aeronautica losses against the allies in the mediterranean...I dont know...Is quite dificult to mesure...

Anyway a new type of plane in the ETO, should have force to a change in the allied tactics ....
 
Oh definatley. If the SAI.403 had made it into service the allied fighters would have had a problem. A highly manoeverable, well armed plane that was also fast as well with a half decent range is a rare thing.
 

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