Re 2000 "catapultabile"

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Senior Airman
Dec 22, 2005
Manziana Field, near Rome
Ready on the catapult.

Engine start.


Take off (another plane).

The steam catapult used to launch the Re2000 from italian ships was one of the creations of Sergio Stefanutti, chief designer of SAI Ambrosini.

Even these planes weren't reusable (a transport ship had to carry the plane back to the launch ship), and the task is similar, but not completely the same.
The Regia Marina, had the need of replacing the old Ro 43 biplane as ship-board catapult plane on capital ships. Navy's high grades were impressed by the operational range and low minimum speed of Re2000, showed at the selection for the new front-line fighter made at Guidonia in 1939, so they viewed the possibility to substitute the obsolete twin-place seaplane, launched by catapult and having only reconnaissance and observation tasks, with a real fighter (two for big ships like cruisers) that could ensure aerial defense against enemy planes.

To launch such an heavy plane from a ship was a completely new task for italian navy and even the planes have to be modified, so, the first takeoff were made only on 9 may 1942, after several problems had to be solved.
However, several ships were equipped with Re2000 first than 8 september 1943, and the only surviving Re2000 in Italy today is one of this "catapultabile" planes (on board on "Vittorio Veneto" cruiser).

evangilder said:
Kind of reminds me of a Brewster Buffalo with a stretched rear fuselage,
That of the derivation of Re200X fighters from Seversky's design is a long story. :lol:
According to M. Cappone: "The P-35 darwinism gave origin to two different evolution lines: the big, radial engined, P-47 and the slender, in line engined, RE 2005, both of them at the top of the best fighters of WW 2"

However, several ships were equipped with Re2000 first than 8 september 1943, and the only surviving Re2000 in Italy today is one of this "catapultabile" planes (on board on "Vittorio Veneto" cruiser).

Do you know which ships were equipped with Re 2000?


Surely the warships Roma, Vittorio Veneto (two each) and Littorio (one), of these five, only one survived after the armistice, but six more "catapultabile" planes appear in the German inventory of requisitioned italian aircraft.

I have a pic of the Italia (which was the Littoria until August 1943. (I will see if I can scan it) that has a Re-2000 on it. It is in my 1945/1946 edition of the Janes Fighting Ship.
red admiral said:
Dogwalker, are you sure that it was a steam catapult and not pneumatic or explosive?
So I read. Surely it wasn't an explosive or rocket catapult like that of the CAM ships.
The carrier Aquila instead had to be fitted with two pneumatic catapults of german design for the launch of the Re-2001.

Can I ask what your source is please? The normal view is that steam catapults weren't developed until post war.
In this case is the De Agostini "Enciclopedia dell'Aviazione" of various autors, in the part dedicated to the various Stefanutti's secondary designs (no many people know, for example, that he is the designer of the modifications of Macchi C-200's wings to prevent the stall phenomenon).

Other images, from a french site:

the test fligth of Giulio Reiner




On board on Vittorio Veneto Battleship



The second photo of this page was taken from a british ship, the Re-2000 is visible in the rear of the Vittorio Veneto.
Here is my 1/72 model of the Re2000 Catapultabile ready to go from the seapane tender R.N. Miraglia for launch trials.
Hope you like it.





Beautiful model. The aircraft and the ship are very nicely detailed. Well done :)

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