My WW2 photos/Vids album

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Not many of you probably knew that this little fighter was operational during

The Ro.57 was preceded by another twin engine fighter design, the Ro.53, which never entered production. The Ro.57 consisted of an all metal, semi-monocoque fuselage with a steel skeleton and Duralumin structure. The wings were also Duralumin.

Powered by two 840 hp Fiat A.74 radial engines giving a maximum speed of 516 km/h, which in 1939 was better than that of the main Italian fighter, the Macchi C.200 (504 km/h). After testing at Guidonia it was proposed by IMAM for use as a dive bomber. This transformation, which involved the addition of dive brakes, provision for 500 kg bombs and an improved forward firing armament (adding two 20 mm cannon)[2], took time and delayed production. The resulting aircraft was designated the Ro.57bis. Performance dropped to 457 km/h maximum speed and to 350 km/h at cruise speed. The Ro.57bis was ordered into production in 1942 and entered service with the 97? Gruppo in 1943. About 50-60 aircraft were delivered.[3]

It is said that the Ro.57 could had been the long range interceptor that Italy lacked throughout the war. It proved to be too costly for the limited weapons it carried and it never was assigned a clear role

Two hundred aircraft were ordered, but only about 75 were produced in two versions, one flown as an interceptor, the other in the role of a ground attack aircraft.

General characteristics
Crew: One
Length: 8.80 m (28 ft 10½ in)
Wingspan: 12.50 m (41 ft 0 in)
Height: 2.90 m (9 ft 6â…› in)
Wing area: 23.0 m² (248 ft²)
Empty weight: 3,497 kg (7,694 lb)
Loaded weight: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb)
Powerplant: 2× Fiat A.74 R.C.38 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, 627 kW (840 hp) each

Maximum speed: 501 km/h (270 kts, 311 mph) at 5,000 m (16,400 ft)
Cruise speed: 390 km/h (210 kts, 242 mph)
Range: 1,200 km (648 nm, 745 mi)
Service ceiling 7,800 m (25,590 ft)
Wing loading: 217 kg/m² (44.4 lb/ft²)
Power/mass: 0.25 kW/kg (0.15 hp/lb)
Climb to 6,000 m (19,700 ft): 9 min 30 sec
2 August 1947: At 1:46 p.m., British South American Airways Flight CS59 departed Buenos Aires, Argentina enroute Santiago, Chile. The airliner was an Avro Lancastrian Mk.III, registration G-AGWH, named R.M.A. Star Dust. The flight was under the command of Captain Reginald J. Cook, DSO, DFC, DFM, with First Officer Norman Hilton Cook, Second Officer Donald S. Checklin, Radio Operator Dennis B. Harmer and “Stargirl” Iris Morcen Evans. On this flight, in addition to the five-person airline crew, there were just six passengers. Speculation immediately started because of the passengers onboard that fateful flight. Including one of the royal families most confidential messengers, that some claim was carrying exremely important documents. Another passenger, a south american businessman reportedly had a huge uncut diamond sewn into his jacket lining. Plus other predominant official figureheads and even a british spy. What ever happened to Stardust its unlikely we will ever know the truth after all these years

At 5:41 p.m., Santiago airport received a routine Morse code signal from G-AGWH indicating the flight would arrive in four minutes: “ETA SANTIAGO 17.45 HRS STENDEC”. The radio operator at Santiago did not understand “STENDEC” and asked the airliner’s radio operator to repeat it, which he did, twice. The airliner never arrived. A five-day search was unsuccessful. The meaning of the last word in the message has never been determined.

The fate of Star Dust remained a mystery until 1998, when two mountain climbers on Mount Tupungato—at 21,555 feet (6,570 meters), one of the highest mountains in South America—50 miles east of Santiago, found a wrecked Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engine in the ice of a glacier at the 15,000 foot level (4,572 meters). A search of the glacier in 2000 located additional wreckage and it was confirmed that this was the missing Lancastrian.

Investigators determined that the airliner had flown into the glacier at high speed and the crash caused an avalanche which buried the wreckage.

In 2002 the remains of eight persons were recovered from the glacier, five of which were identified through DNA. Although much speculation surrounds the aircrafts last message...
S.T.E.N.D.E.C. To this day aviation experts are baffled by this term, and it was later incorporated into a popular UFO magazine that took the name STENDEC.
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