MACCHI C205 Compared to Fiat G.55

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by oldcrowcv63, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #1 oldcrowcv63, Aug 24, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
    I never really looked at the two aircraft side by side and in profile, but it seems they are so similar that I can't help but wonder if there wasn't some kind of common design template for this generation of Italian fighter aircraft. Are they really the result of entirely independent design teams or just an artifact of design driven by sharing essential the same engine?

    They might also be compared to the somewhat more distinctly different Reggiane Re.2005

    Top: Macchi: 1st flt.: April 19, '42, 262 built in WW2
    middle: Fiat: 1st flt.: April 30, '42, 274 built in WW2
    bottom: Reggiane 1st flt.: May 9, '42, 48 built in WW2

    In general they are pretty good looking a/c.
     

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  2. pattle

    pattle Member

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    Yes they look really great, and they were great. Hard to tell them apart from the pics above, if you look at them other than in profile they look less similar, the wings are quite different. I haven't read up on these three types for a while but I am quite sure that their designers were not working together. Some might say these aircraft were developed from earlier designs, but I'm not prepared to argue the definition of "developed from" with some nit picking know all, I spend enough time on here as it is.
     
  3. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Well that calls for a different perspective then in the same order: Macchi, Fiat and reggiane:
     

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  4. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    The Italian design flair shows with these two graceful planes.
    Lovely lines, but why were they so ineffective in the real war?
     
  5. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    One reason to consider: look at the production numbers: the total production of all these aircraft barely matches the number of B-17s produced in 8 weeks.
     
  6. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but production numbers doesn't make for an effective / ineffective fighter surely.
    There must have been a flaw behind the beauty....
    Armament?
    Power?
    Cheers
    John
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Production numbers are a crucial thing for a weapon of war, along with timing of the weapon. And Italian 5 series fighters were the rare birds, so their effect on the ww2 was a minor one.
    As for the 'flaw behind the beauty', they were a good match for other fighters fielded in the ww2, 1943-44, the only things lacking being the true long range capability and carrier compatibility.
     
  8. Clayton Magnet

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    Macchi C.200, and FIAT G.50 are almost indistinguishable as well.
     
  9. pattle

    pattle Member

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    #9 pattle, Aug 24, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
    They had license built DB engines and canon armament so unlike earlier Italian fighters they were well powered and well armed. It was just that by the time they were ready for production Italy had signed the armistice, after the armistice was signed Italy was occupied by the Germans and the Italians were considered traitors and never allowed the resources to build these planes. The environment after the armistice was generally far from ideal for manufacturing in Italy. Notice the similarity in the reggiane's wing to the P47's, something to do with it's designer working pre-war for Seversky.
     
  10. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #10 oldcrowcv63, Aug 24, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
    Despite the small numbers, they apparently made a mark on the minds of at least some allies and opponents. From wiki about the Macchi:

    "Group Captain Duncan-Smith DSO DFC respected both the Macchi 'Veltro' and the Italian airmen: In general the standard of flying of the Italian pilots was very high indeed, and in encounters with Macchi 205s particularly we were up against aircraft that could turn and dog-fight with our Spitfires extremely well.[14] Like its predecessors, the first Veltros were insufficiently armed, but the aircraft often performed well in combat. Guido Carestiato said about the C.205, that it was the "best Italian fighter that he knew" and many pilots like the C.205 "ace" Luigi Gorrini,[15] scored 19 or 24 victories (in return, he was downed four or five times). Gorrini claimed 12 victories in July 1943 and several of them were with the Veltro.[16]"

    Wiki regarding the Fiat G.55:

    "In February 1943, a German test commission was sent in Italy to evaluate the new Italian fighters.[16] The commission was led by Oberst Petersen and was formed by Luftwaffe officers and pilots and by technical personnel, among them the Flugbaumeister Malz. The Germans also brought with them several aircraft including a Fw 190 A-5 and a Bf 109 G-4 for direct comparison tests in simulated dogfights.

    The tests began 20 February 1943 with the German commission very impressed by the Italian aircraft, the G.55 in particular. In general, all the Serie 5 fighters were very good at low altitudes, but the G.55 was also competitive with its German opponents in term of speed and climb rate at high altitudes still maintaining superior handling characteristics. The definitive evaluation by the German commission was "excellent" for the G.55, "excellent" for the Re.2005 but very complicated to produce and "average" for the C.205. Oberst Petersen defined the G.55 "the best fighter in the Axis" and immediately telegraphed his impressions to Goering. After listening the recommendations of Petersen, Milch and Galland, a meeting held by Goering on 22 February 1943 voted to produce the G.55 in Germany.
    "

    also:

    "The interest in the G.55 program was still high after the Armistice. In October 1943, Kurt Tank, who previously personally tested a G.55 in Rechlin, having nothing but praise for the aircraft, was in Turin to discuss G.55 production. However, war events and the not yet optimized production process were the reasons for which the G.55 program was eventually abandoned by the Luftwaffe. Early production of G.55 required about 15,000 man-hours; while there were estimations to reduce the effort to about 9,000 man-hours, the German factories were able to assemble a Bf 109 in only 5,000 man-hours. The DB 603 were instead to be used in Tank's own Ta-152 C."

    Well armed, fast and reputedly maneuverable, as good as they were, they were evidently hard to assemble and slow to service (fuel and rearm).

    The Fiat was armed with there 20mm (1 in each wing and 1 in the engine) and two fuselage mounted 12.7 mm. It had a WEP max speed of 417 mph at 23,000 ft.
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Hi, oldcrow,
    Care to elaborate a little bit about the alleged 417 mph speed figure for the G.55?
     
  12. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info chaps. Interesting to talk about different planes.
    Cheers
    John
     
  13. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #13 oldcrowcv63, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
    Prior thread on italian fighters: http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/macchi-mc-205-veltro-4014.html

    Wish I could elaborate, but that's only a quote from wikipedia which says max non-WEP speed is nearly 390 mph.

    According to wiki, the Macchi Veltro topped out at ~400 mph at 24,000' while Macchi MC.205 Veltro Orione | Aviation and Military History Blog | Chris Chant's Blog
    shows the following::

    "Performance: maximum level speed 346.5 kt (399 mph; 642 km/h) at 23,620 ft (7200 m) declining to 297 kt (342 mph; 550 km/h) at 6,560 ft (2000 m); cruising speed, maximum 270 kt (311 mph; 500 km/h) at optimum altitude and economical 229 kt (264 mph; 425 km/h) at optimum altitude; climb to 16,405 ft (5000 m) in 4 minutes 47 seconds and to 26,245 ft (8000 m) in 9 minutes 9 seconds; service ceiling 36,745 ft (11200 m); typical range 561 nm (646 miles; 1040 km) with standard fuel"


    For the Reggiane Re.2005, wiki claims a top speed at about 23,000 ft of 390 mph, another WW2aircraft thread perhaps provides some additional insight:

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/maximum-speed-reggiane-2005-a-3267.html

    Supposedly speaking of the Macchi, Eric Brown states is quoted by wiki as saying:

    "Capt. Eric Brown, CBE, DSC, AFC, RN, Chief Naval Test Pilot and C.O. Captured Enemy Aircraft Flight, remembered how they were impressed when they tested the Veltro. “One of the finest aircraft I ever flew was the Macchi MC. 205. Oh, beautiful. And here you had the perfect combination of Italian styling and German engineering. I believe it was powered by a Daimler Benz DB 605. It was really a delight to fly, and up to anything on the Allied programme. But again, it came just before the Italians capitulated so it was never used extensively. And we did tests on it and were most impressed. The cockpit was smallish but not as bad as the Bf 109.”[38]"

    Based upon Luftwaffe's assessment, I wonder if the allies weren't confused about which airplane was being tested. :?::oops::rolleyes:
     
  14. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    #14 swampyankee, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
    I suspect the similar profiles are due to a combination of manufacturing limits (maybe they could not blow clear-view canopies), air force specifications (seeing out would be important in a fighter), and design personnel moving between companies.
     
  15. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #15 oldcrowcv63, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
    SW, An interesting but I fear incomplete post. Your Italian? grandparent, father, mother, local baker? I only ask because I am curious and never had the opportunity or the though to ask my own Italian grandparents their opinion of Il Duche or the Germans. Now that I am headed for Italy and the heart of both my ancestral home and Italian aviation, I became more curious about Italian aircraft. I'd always heard RA fighters were beautiful, but underarmed to perform well.

    Then souring the world on Italian aviation was the infamous '60's era send up in Playboy of international ww2 aviation. Photo of the italian entry attached with the accompanying description:

    "CAPRONI-MORONI C2 "SCUD" EXPERIMENTAL FIGHTER
    When the tide of war turned against it, Fascist Italy turned with the tide. The C2, or "SCUD," was one direct result. The engineers of Aeronautico Piccolino Abagano Elari Quattori in Turin were charged with designing an aircraft of modern fighter type that could, should word come in mid-air of another change in Italian allegiance, instantly reverse course and become part of the now friendly force. Thus the unique two-engine configuration, central cockpit with swivel seat and dual controls facing fore and aft. Time for the SCUD (mean "Scuderia con curso il travala," or "turncoat") to switch directions and sides was set at less than two minutes from a top speed of 265 mph by air force consultants. This performance criterion was never tested, much less met, since pilots refused to attempt it, except on the ground with an ambulance close by. One pilot did take the sole SCUD prototype aloft, but once airborne decided to visit his mother in Salerno and wrecked the craft crash-landing on a nearby beach. The SCUD was painted gold by artisans formerly employed in upkeep of the Sistine Chapel.

    A remarkable feature of the plane, considering its fighter designation, was it total lack of armament. The designers successfully resisted all attempts to ruin its unbroken lines with ugly guns.
    "

    Lest anyone be offended, other national aircraft industries were mishandled with equal, if not quite as farcical, disrespect.
     

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  16. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    I cannot see any claim for the 417 mph figure in that thread?
    Just theoretically, for the plane to go from ~385 mph to 417 (almost 7% more) should require the HP increase of much more than 7% (difference between it's engine making Steigleistung (~'military power') and Notleistung (WER)).
     
  17. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I should have actually posted the Wiki link for the Fiat G.55: Fiat G.55 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "Maximum speed: 623 km/h (337 kn, 387 mph (417 mph with WEP)) at 7,000 m (22,970 ft)"

    Can't confirm the quote's accuracy or defend it, just post it...
     
  18. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    #18 swampyankee, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
    Ahh...my late Italian father-in-law. He had an interesting life and was, in some ways, more injured by the Allies than the Germans: his family home in Naples was destroyed during an Allied bombing raid, one of his sisters had to give birth in an open field during a bombing raid and his university records were destroyed during the fighting (he was ABD, in English Literature). Later, after the Italian surrender, he ended up having to dodge German patrols in Rome (he told a story that a resident leaned out a window and said "get off the streets! They're rounding people up!"). The main reason he gave for detesting the Germans was that he felt they were entirely responsible for starting the war in Europe.


    Everything I've read about the RA fighters (although not all their combat aircraft) is that they pretty universally had good flight characteristics, well-harmonized controls, and were maneuverable, but they were simply not very good combat aircraft as Italian industry could not produced sufficiently powerful engines.
     
  19. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #19 oldcrowcv63, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
    With their DB-605 engines, I would guess they had the power but not the serviceability required for a combat a/c. The time to produce one of these thoroughbreds was apparently approaching double that of a Bf-109. I doubt they had the resources to build enough engines or airframes to meet the need in the time before capitulation. I was also curious and not too surprised to find these aircraft performed as well as they did. The french get a lot of credit for their role in aviation history but I am surprised at how under appreciated seems the significant role played by Italy. I also find it interesting that so many of the industries that provded the arms and aircraft for the war effort in every belligerent country exists today as incarnations of their former selves. AeroMacchi, Fiat, even Reggiane (acquired by an american company called Terex) all exist today like their counterparts Mitsubishi, Messerschmitt and so on.
     
  20. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    One problem with the Macchi fighters that isn't mentioned here is their tendency to spin.

    One other thing that I find amusing is that when Italians fought on both sides after the surrender in 1943, the Germans supplied them with pretty much the same aircraft they themselves flew. The Allies supplied them with basically second rate equipment that was no longer being used by their own forces.

    - Ivan.
     
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