Spanish Air Force during the WWII

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The Henschel Hs 126 was a German two-seat reconnaissance and observation aircraft of World War II that was derived from the Henschel Hs 122. The pilot was seated in a protected cockpit under the parasol wing and the gunner in an open rear cockpit. The prototype aircraft frame was that of a Hs 122A fitted with a Junkers engine. The Hs 126 was well received for its good short takeoff and low-speed characteristics which were needed at the time. It was put into service for a few years, but was soon superseded by the general-purpose, STOL Fieseler Fi 156 Storch and the medium-range Focke-Wulf Fw 189 "flying eye".

The first prototype was not entirely up to Luftwaffe standards; it was followed by two more development planes equipped with different engines. Following the third prototype, ten pre-production planes were built in 1937. The Hs 126 entered service in 1938 after operational evaluation with the Legion Kondor contingent to the Spanish Civil War.
 

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The IMAM Ro.43 was an Italian reconnaissance single bay seaplane, serving in the Regia Marina between 1935 and 1943. Although produced in quantity, it proved never to be really suitable for its intended role as a spotter plane for warships, and although 105 remained in service when Italy entered World War II, they were already obsolete. The Ro.43 was designed to meet a 1933 requirement of the Regia Marina (or Italian Navy), for a catapult launched reconnaissance aircraft to equip the Maritime Reconnaissance Squadrons operating from its ships. The specifiation called for a speed of 240 km/h (149 mph), with a range of 600 km (370 mi) or an endurance of 5.5 h. Other contenders were the Piaggio P.18 and P.20, CSAMA MF.10, CANT Z.504 and Macchi C.76.

Derived from the Ro.37 Lince reconnaissance aircraft, with the same designer, the Ro.43 first flew in 1934. The plane was built with steel tubes and wood covered by a soft alloy and fabric.[2] It was a two-seat biplane with folding gulled upper and inverse gull lower wings, lightly armed and capable of around 300 km/h (185 mph) and over 1000 km (620 mi) range. This performance more than met the requirements of the specification, and so the seaplane made by IMAM was declared the winner. Despite this, the Ro.43 had serious problems. Its lightweight structure meant that it was too delicate for operations at sea, and it had poor sea-handling qualities. These problems meant that when it was launched it was quite normal not to recover it at sea, forcing the aircraft to return to land before alighting.

After the italian armistice in septembre 1943, the Regia Marina hidros flew to Alcudia, Palma and Pollensa (Mallorca islands), where they were interned by the spanish authorities. These hidros, already old-fashioned when they got to Spain, remained inactive for one year, being acquired them to the new italian authorities. Six units served with the new Air Force, receiving the military codes HR 7-1 to HR 7-6. They were destinated to the hidro base of Mallorca where they remained active until 1951, when they were withdrawn from service.
 

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The Fiat G.50 Freccia ("Arrow") was a World War II Italian fighter aircraft. First flown in February 1937, the G.50 was Italy's first single-seat, all-metal monoplane with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear to go into production. At the beginning of 1938 the Freccia was in service with the Regia Aeronautica and several flew in the Spanish Civil War with Aviazione Legionaria. Armament (two Breda-SAFAT 12,7 mm machine guns) was insufficient, but the aircraft, typical of most Italian design, was very manoeuvrable. In 1938, the first operational Fiat G.50 aircraft were delivered to the Regia Aeronautica. During the Spanish Civil War, about a dozen of G.50s were sent to Spain to reinforce the Aviazione Legionaria. The type proved extremely maneuverable, it was one of the best fighters, yet by the time World War II began it was considered to be underpowered and underarmed.
 

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After the Spanish Civil War, the Chirris were used during a short period of time as fighters, but when the WWII broke out, this biplane was obviously old-fashioned. They remained at the peninsula because the Air Force decided to use its best fighters to defend the Canary Islands and Morocco, that were menaced by an american-british invasion. Spain also acquired the licence to built the Cr.32, receiving the name Hispano Aviacion Ha-132. These planes were used for trainning porpouses, being very appreciated by the pupils, who considered these biplanes a legend.
 

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More pics
 

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In 1938 four Cant Z.506 Airone arrived to Pollensa, in Mallorca Islands, from Molcafone, Italy, where the spanish crews had been receiving trainning for these floatplanes. Once the war ended, they joined the 53º Squadron of Hidros in Pollensa, where they remained until they were withdrawn from service due to the lack of spare parts. These floatplanes fitted three Alfa-Romeo 126RC engines of 750 Kw each one, with a cruise speed of 325 km/h, a crew of five men and a bombload of 1.000 kg or one torpedo.
 

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When civil war broke out in Spain in July 1936 the Fascist government of Italy was quick to provide planes to the Nationalists of General Franco. The newly reorganized Regia Aeronautica sent their machines to organize Aviation Regiment, providing SM81 and Fiat CR 32, as the conflict in the Iberian peninsula had the ideal opportunity to test new aircraft. In February 1937, arrived the first three SM79, belonging to the 12 º Stormo to Mallorca and attacked ground targets such as the base of Reus and the arsenal of Cartagena. In June S.M.79 eleven additional arrived. By that moment the Sparviero was one of the most advanced bombers in the Spanish theater. During 1937 the number of SM79 grew supplied by the 111 º and 8 º Stormo and were moved to airfields on the peninsula. From this time played an important role in all national campaigns. The amount of Hawks continued to grow and operate from airfields peninsular and island in the Balearic Islands, the Falcons in the Balearics. Towards the end of the war almost a hundred SM79 launched about 1,300 tons of bombs and flew over 7,500 hours, attacking targets such as Valencia and Barcelona and the Mediterranean ports. Among the most important missions is that of January 1, 1938 that the SM79 numeral 39, adapted for night missions, attacked the port of Barcelona downloading 800 kilos of bombs in this action. After the war, nationalists SM79 retrofitted with the Air Force and continued in use until the early 60's.
 

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In July 1936 12 SM-81 took off from Cagliari (Italy) with destination to Nador, in the Spanish Morocco. After an eventful journey only 9 managed to arrive, being moved to Tablada where operations began. In all come to Spain a total of 84 bombers that are identified with the numeral 21. In the summer of 1938 several units are based in Son Bonet. In early 1939, the Squadrons 4 and 5 operate from Ecija and Tablada until the end of the war. In March 1940 there were 40 in service, being formed two groups based on one and one in Valladolid Mallorca. By that time all of them hab been converted into transport aircrafts, receiving the identification T.1. They were officially withdrawn from service in 1953.
 

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Designed as advanced trainer after the civil war, this airraft was the typical example of the very limited possibilities of the spanish industry in the forties. It flew for the very fisrt time the 5th april of 1942, and the results were acceptable, considering that the prototype had been made using the remaining parts of the duch Fokker XXI fighter (like the tail, the wings and the fixed landing gear), a design that was acquired by Spain but never took form due the war. The chosen engine was an italian Piaggio first,but it did not succed and then a british "Cheetah" was used when this british were available in Spain. The plane was not popular among the pilots because it was prone to stall at low speeds and this caused many accidents. It was substitued by the Beech Mentor in the early fifties.
 

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The Huarte Mendicoa HM-1 trainers were designed by the engineer Pedro Huarte-Mendicoa Larraga, a military man and teacher at the mechanic school. During 1936 he cooperated actively with the rebels, but the nationalist uprising surprised him at Madrid, being captured. In 1938 he managed himself to scape, joinning the nationalist forces and working as a test pilot and chief of mechanics. When the new "Ejercito del Aire" was born at the end of the war, he joined the Aeronautical Engineers Corps with the grade of Commander. His first desing, the HM-1, fly for the very first time in april 1942. Six more prototypes designed by him got into production, being the main designer of trainning aircrafts of the Spanish Air Force.
 

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The Hispano Suiza E-30 was a trainning aircraft made in Spain for Navy Air Force. The first five units were sent to the San Javier´s Trainning School in 1933. When the Civil War broke out, only 20 examples had been delivered, falling 10 of them in the hands of the Republic. At the beginning they were used as light bombers over the Aragon front, but due to its lack of speed and limited bomb load, they are reasignated to the Observer School of Los Alcazares, that already owned 20 more units built in Albacete. With the end of the war, only 13 units are recovered, joinning those that were on service with the Nationalist Air Force. In the newborn Spanish Air Force (Ejercito del Aire), they were used as liaison and trainning aircrafts, wearing the military code EE-2. They spent the rest of their lives at the Trainning School of Leon, being retired in 1952.
 

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In late 30s, the engineer Vicente Roa designed the HS-34, also called E-34 to compete in the contest organized by the Military Aviation to choose a school plane. Roa´s design couldnt won the contest, but it got an order for five aircraft from Naval Aviation. When the civil war started, the Republican Goverment placed an order of twenty-five aircrafts, but only five were built, being delivered in mid 1937 to the Republican Alcantarila School, at Los Alcazares and El Palmar. In April 1942 leaves from Sevilla´s factory the prototype of the improved version of the Hispano HS-34, fitting a 120 hp Gipsy Major engine, being registered as EC-AFJ. It flew with the flying clubs of Sevilla, Granada and Sabadell, and in 1973 it was acquired by the Air Museum, where you can admire today.
 

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