Regia Aeronautica: Pre-war aircrafts

Discussion in 'Between the wars 1918-1939' started by gekho, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Among the earlier adopters of military aviation, Italy's air arm dates back to 1884, when the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) was authorised to acquire its own air component. The Air Service (Servizio Aeronautico) operated balloons based near Rome. In 1911, reconnaissance and bombing sorties during the Italo-Turkish War by the Servizio Aeronautico represented the first ever use of heavier than air aircraft in armed conflict. On 28 March 1923, the Italian air force was founded as an independent service by King Vittorio Emanuele III of the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia). This air force was known as the Regia Aeronautica (Royal Air Force).

    At the beginning of the twentieth century, Italy was at the forefront of aerial warfare: during the colonization of Libya in 1911, it made the first reconnaissance flight in history on 23 October, and the first ever bombing raid on 1 November. During World War I, the Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare, then still part of the Regio Esercito (Royal Army), operated a mix of French fighters and locally-built bombers, notably the gigantic Caproni aircraft. The Regia Marina (Royal Navy) had its own air arm, operating locally-built flying boats. The Italian air force became an independent service—the Regia Aeronautica—on March 28, 1923. Benito Mussolini's fascist regime turned it into an impressive propaganda machine, with its aircraft, featuring the Italian flag colors across the full span of the undersides of the wings, making numerous record-breaking flights. It reached its zenith when two squadrons of flying boats, led by General Italo Balbo, crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1931 and 1933 respectively. During the latter half of the 1930s, the Regia Aeronautica participated in the Spanish Civil War, as well as the invasion of Ethiopia.

    During the Ethiopian war, the Regia Aeronautica performed massive poison gas bombings and sprayings over the Ethiopian country side using mustard gas and phosgene. Despite being inadequately equipped, the Regia Aeronautica managed to decimate Ethiopian forces and undertook massive bombings of Ethiopian cities (particularly Addis Abeba). The operations of the Regia Aeronautica were crucial for the success of the invasion of the Regio Esercito and was enhanced by the near total lack of an opposing Imperial Ethiopian Air Force.

    During the Spanish Civil War Italian pilots fought alongside Spanish Nationalist and German Luftwaffe pilots as members of the "Aviation Legion". This deployment took place from July 1936 to March 1939 and complimented an expeditionary force of Italian ground troops titled "Corps of Volunteer Troops". In Spain, the Italian pilots were under direct command of the Spanish Nationalists and took part in training and joint operations with the pilots of the German "Condor Legion".
     
  2. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Fiat CR.20 was an Italian biplane fighter used during the 1920s and 1930s. Designed by Celestino Rosatelli, it represented an intermediate step from the early biplane CR.1 and the later, successful series CR.30-CR.32-CR.42. For the new aircraft, Rosatelli used a traditional sesquiplane configuration. The engine was a V Fiat A.20 providing (306 kW/410 hp), with liquid cooling. Major variants were the CR.20 Idro, a pontoon floatplane, and the CR.20 Asso, using a more powerful (336 kW/450 hp) Isotta-Fraschini engine. CR.20bis, produced from 1930, differed from the original version only for the addition of a more advanced landing gear.

    At its peak in 1933, the CR.20 equipped 27 squadrons of the Italian Regia Aeronautica. The aircraft was used against Libyan rebels and in the early stages of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War in the attack role. The CR.20s remained in service with the Regia Aeronautica in the aerobatics and training until the 1930s. In 1933, Italy sold five CR.20s to Paraguay, which was fighting the Chaco War against Bolivia, these serving as Paraguay's only fighters through to the end of the war.
     

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  3. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The M.7 was similar to the earlier M.5 but had a modified hull and was powered by a Isotta Fraschini V.6 engine. Due to the end of World War I, only 17 aircraft were delivered to the Italian Navy. In 1919, two each were sold to Argentina and Sweden, and in 1921, Brazil bought three. In 1920, Tonini designed the M.7bis a racing version of the M.7 for the Schneider Trophy. The M.7bis had a lighter structure and reduced-span wings. Five M.7s entered the 1921 competition at Venice, which was won by Giovanni di Briganti flying the M.7bis. At the 1922 competition at Naples, the M.7bis came in fourth. In 1923, a revised variant of the M.7, the M.7ter appeared. This had a redesigned hull, revised wing configuration and a new tail unit. Three different versions of the M.7ter were built, including the M.7ter AR, which had folding wings to allow them to operate from the seaplane-carrier Giuseppe Miraglia. In 1924, six Italian naval squadrons were equipped with the M.7ter and over 100 were built. The aircraft was also used as late as 1940 by civilian flying schools.
     

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  4. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The IMAM Ro.1, sometimes referred to as Romeo or Ro.1 Ro.1 OFM, was a single-engine biplane reconnaissance and bombing produced by the Italian Southern Railway Workshops (OFM), which later became "Mechanical and Aeronautical Industries Southern "(IMAM). It was a version produced under license in Italy of the Fokker CV-E, a biplane reconnaissance and bombing of Dutch twenties and thirties. The Fokker CV was a large biplane with a mixed structure: the fuselage was of tubular steel, while the wing was made of wood. He flew for the first time in 1924 and could be targeted to a wide variety of tasks, including reconnaissance, co-operation with the army, bombing, but also hunting. The different versions of the Fokker CV were characterized by different engines and different wing structure. In total there were 5 different types of biplane wings for this aircraft family. The Fokker CV in all its versions enjoyed some success in exporting and was also produced under license in Italy by the Southern Railway Workshops (OFM), then "Mechanical and Aeronautical Industries Southern" (IMAM), starting in 1927.

    n 1926 the Southern (OFM) bought the rights to reproduce the model CV-E, at the time considered the best model from observation, version characterized by biplane wing configuration-sesquiplana uprights interalari to 'N'. Initially, while Italy is provvedeva to install the chain of production, the first units were built in the Dutch Fokker factories with Italian workers. The first Italian specimens came from Neapolitan factories in March 1927, adopting the improvements to the landing gear and applying a fin at the bottom of the fuselage, a solution that improved the stability of the route. The Ro.1 adopted a radial engine Alfa Romeo Jupiter IV, version produced under license in Italy at the Bristol Jupiter.

    The Royal Air Force used the Ro.1 theater in colonial campaign in the Jebel Akhdar (August 1924 - September 1927), the 'Aviation of Cyrenaica was awarded the bronze medal for military valor. Units equipped with this aircraft participated in the bombing of Kufra in 1931, during the reconquest of Cyrenaica. Discrete light bombers and reconnaissance good, early thirties, were outdated when they were used during the war in Ethiopia. He stood in front-line service until 1935 and progressively increases in subsequent years to the role of training aircraft in flight school of the Royal. He was finally expelled from the gun air at the beginning of World War II. The success of the aircraft and experience in the construction and operational service led to the development of subsequent IMAM Ro.30 and Ro.37.
     

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  5. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    No info
     

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  6. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Macchi M.18 was a flying boat produced in Italy in the early 1920s. Originally planned as a passenger aircraft, it entered production as a bomber before eventually being offered on the civil market that it was originally intended for. A conventional design for World War I, it was a biplane flying boat with unstaggered wings of unequal span braced by Warren truss-style struts. The engine was mounted pusher-fashion in the interplane gap, and the pilot and observer sat in side-by-side open cockpits. An open position was provided in the bow for a gunner. In addition to the standard military version, a version with folding wings was produced for shipboard use as the M.18AR. This equipped the Italian Navy's seaplane tender Giuseppe Miraglia[2] and the Spanish Navy's Dédalo. The latter service used the type in action against Moroccan rebels. Six of the 20 machines purchased by Spain remained in service at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and were used to attack Nationalist forces on Majorca as well as flying reconnaissance patrols. Portugal also operated the type, buying eight examples in 1928.

    The Paraguayan government bought two Macchi M.18 A.R. in the late 1932 for the Naval Aviation. They received the serials R.3 and R.5 and were intensively used in the Chaco War (1932-1935). Both fulfilled many reconnaissance and bombing missions in the North Front during the war. The first aerial night bombing was done by R.5 on December 22, 1934. R.3 was destroyed in an accident at the end of the war and R.5 was in service until the mid-1940s. Three civil versions were eventually produced. The first of these, the M.18 Economico ("Commercial"), was generally similar to the military version, but was followed by the M.18 Lusso ("Luxury") which featured an enclosed cabin. The M.18 Estivo ("Summertime") again reverted to open cockpits.[2] Some 70 civil examples were produced in all, some being purchased by joyriding firms such as Ad Astra Aero in Switzerland and some others being used by SISA for training flying boat pilots for airline service in the Adriatic.
     

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  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    That's not an M.4 but the NC-4
     
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