Reggiane Re.2001

The Reggiane Re.2001, also known unofficially as “Falcon II”, was a single-engine fighter plane, and single-seater monoplane produced by ‘na Italy Officine Meccaniche Reggiane (controlled by Caproni) at the beginning of the forties.

Developed by Reggiane Re.2000 “Falco”, it represented the evolution with a more powerful V-engine. Built in 237 specimens, was used by the Royal Air Force in the Mediterranean theater during World War II, especially on Malta, in different roles such as interceptor, fighter-bomber and night fighter.

Was the basis for the development of subsequent Reggiane Re.2005 and Re.2006.

History of the project

The development of Reggio’s Re.2001 had its origins in the possibility for the Italian Air Ministry to have tests for assessment techniques, in the summer of 1939 the German propulsion Daimler-Benz DB 601: it was motors twelve-cylinder inverted V, liquid-cooled, capable of delivering 1,175 hp (864 kW).

The period coincided with the tests of the prototype of Reggio’s Re.2000 “Falco” that, if given the German engine, could have become a fighter with superior performance is, however, that the same engineer Roberto Longhi, designer of the King .2000, he thought of a version of that model powered by the V12 Hispano-Suiza 12Y. At Reggiane was thus asked to review the design of their aircraft, in order to install the engine German.

The changes that Longhi and the team led by him had to make to adapt the cell of “Falco” engine Daimler-Benz were not radical: it was reduced section of the front part of the fuselage, and in view of the greater length, was revised center of gravity, while it remained unchanged in spite of the criticisms raised in the organs evaluators of the Regia Aeronautica, the solution with integral fuel tanks in the wings pentalongherone.

The first prototype (MM.409) was flown for the first time between 22 and 24 June 1940 by the pilot Mario de Bernardi, who won the Schneider Cup, all ‘airport of Reggio Emilia, a city where there were Officine Meccaniche Reggiane, owned by Caproni. The aircraft then passed to Lieutenant Colonel Peter Scapinelli, who made ​​seventeen flights from 25 July to 28 August, before the machine would be moved to September in Guidonia for comparative testing. The performance (563 km / h to 5500 m and 540 km / 4 500 m) were found to exceed those of subsequent copies of the series, because the prototype was lighter and was equipped with a DB 601 German original and not the copy built on license Alfa Romeo ‘s with less refined metals. Other sources, older, trace instead the first flight of Re.2001 a few days after July 10, 1940, piloted by Scapinelli immediately. According to this hypothesis, the plane was then transferred to Guidonia 9 August, instead of September. In any case, after the tests of Guidonia, Regia Aeronautica requested some changes to be introduced at a later prototype wing trilongherone protected with tanks, retractable tailwheel and adding two SAFAT-caliber machine guns Breda 7.7 mm to 600 shots each other in the wings and two machine guns caliber 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT 350 rounds each arranged above the engine. The modifications were completed in the first prototype in November 1940, the second prototype (MM.408, the same serial number of the first prototype of the Re.2000) ready shortly after. This second specimen crashed to the ground March 14, 1941 after an engine failure, killing the test pilot Peter Scapinelli during the ‘emergency landing. Another source places the incident on 17 March and reconstructs the facts in more detail: Scapinelli, come along on the runway during landing, gas gave back but could not take off again because the pitch of the helix ( varied electrically by an actuator still experimental) had led to the fullest, and stop the engine. The plane continued its run and slipped between two trees that broke away cleanly through the wing, but the fuselage continued impastandosi on the ground, the pilot, the recoil impact slammed his head against the joystick and died shortly after . The Alfa Romeo was deemed responsible for the failure and underwent a penalty.

It was proposed the construction of a third prototype (called Re.2001bis) with radiators embedded in the wings, no machine guns, to improve the ‘aerodynamics: the sources do not agree on the actual realization of the aircraft and, while some suggest that this change is was made ​​directly in the first prototype, others indicate that a cell was constructed with serial MM.538, detailing also be a sort of hybrid, the result of the coupling of the fuselage of the Re.2000 serial MM.5068 and the drift of the first prototype MM.409. The aircraft, flown by Francesco Agello (in April or in July 1941) despite having recorded a speed 50-60 km / h faster than the standard configuration, not found later in the series and, after some evaluations useful to acquire data subsequently used for the design of Re.2006, was converted to the standard of the first models delivered.

Meanwhile, 31 October 1940, after a small order of ten to Reggiane Re.2001 to accelerate the technical tests (so-called “Zero Series”, which was part of, among other things, that in March 1943 the aircraft dropped a experimental bomb propelled by liquid oxygen, which however did not explode), two hundred copies were ordered to Reggiane percent of the Caproni factory Taliedo and fifty (later increased to one hundred) to those of Predappio. The aircraft, which would have incorporated all the changes made ​​to the two prototypes except for the tail wheel, now fixed, as an engine would have had an Alfa Romeo RA 1000 RC.41, version of the Daimler-Benz DB 601 produced under license.

Soon it was realized that delivery deadlines would have been impossible to be fulfilled: Reggio’s factories were well equipped to produce a large number of aircraft, but the laborers, taken en masse to meet the needs of war, he had not, for the most hand, experience in aircraft construction; plus the supplies of Alfa Romeo, whose construction was slowed by the shortage of raw materials, and machine guns did not follow why the rate of production of Re.2001, becoming one of the causes of the slowness with which the fighters were delivered to the line departments.

The first Re.2001 Series Zero was sent to the Royal Air Force in May 1941 and the last in September, when he was shipping the first example of the “Series I”. Given the difficulties of production, the Royal Air Force canceled the order to the factories Taliedo and Breda, which in the meantime had supported the Caproni, while the order was reduced to Reggiane hundred units (the planes that sprang from this order are framed by the sources in Series I) and the fact that the factories of Predappio reduced to ten aircraft. By the end of 1941, the Regia Aeronautica had only received ten copies of the Zero Series plus another twenty-seven Series I.

It was to compensate for the slowness of supply for Alfa Romeo engines that the Regia Aeronautica Caproni Taliedo required to install the twelve-cylinder inverted V Isotta Fraschini Delta IV RC.16-48, air-cooled, in the cell of a Re.2001.

Aware of the reduced engine power 840 hp (626 kW) at 5,300 m, the top Air Force hoped that the weight reduction it needs to maintain performance comparable to that of Re.2001 standard. Summer of 1942 was built a prototype (MM.9920) called Re.2001 Delta, ordered hundred copies on September 8, following, four days before the aircraft was flown. The performance achieved (523 km / h at 5600 m, 10 min 30 s to touch 6,000 m) were lower than those of standard machines, in addition the prototype was destroyed by fire due to overheating of the engine 27 January 1943 and the order was canceled.

Meanwhile, in December 1941, the Air Ministry had changed the order of a hundred Re.2001 done to Reggiane: thirty-nine aircraft would have to host a ventral attachment for a 250 kg bomb and two had to be equipped to launch from ships using a catapult, and twelve were to be equipped with locking hooks to employ them in the Eagle and Hawk aircraft carrier, which, however, never entered service. Some of the thirty-nine bombers, designated Re.2001CB (fighter), were tested with special bombs, or torpedoes, along with a system that correlated with the pitch of the propeller engine controls, also performing test flights by hosting a special attack ventral a 250 kg bomb. The twelve planes on aircraft carriers plus the two “catapult” were completed, and the enthusiasm was such that the Air Ministry ordered fifty Re.2001OR Organization (Rome), in the version embarked, whose only differences from the original design were the deck-arrestor hook and the preparation to be launched from catapults.

While they were building the first Re.2001OR the Air Ministry asked to adapt the aircraft for night hunting. The design of the Re.2001CN (Night Fighter) provided drains flame retardant and a gondola under each wing, each with a 20 mm Mauser cannon with sixty blows. Were eliminated by 7.7 mm machine guns in the wings. We were ordered two hundred, but in total it only built seventy-four before the ‘announcement of the’ armistice Cassibile ends all work.

A small number of aircraft was equipped with cameras / camcorders horizontal and vertical positioned on the leading edge of both wings, but it seems that this version was never used at the operational level. Was also developed a version capable of carrying a torpedo (Re.2001G) and one designed to missions anti wagon (Re.2001H).

In addition to Italy, the only other country that took an interest in hunting Reggiane was Sweden, where the authorities are evaluated to buy Re.2001 percent without the engine, given the difficulties of Alfa Romeo, which instead would be purchased directly from the Germany. In July 1941, Sweden officially asked the availability of Reggiane to produce the planes, but a real order never materialized.

With regard to the nickname of the aircraft, which was not part of the official name, some sources do not agree on the use of the name “Falcon II” and indicate the Re.2001 as “Aries” or “The Ram”, establishing a relationship of close relationship with the Re.2002 (referred to as “Aries II”) developed almost simultaneously.

Technique

Structure

The Re.2001 was a single-seat low-wing monoplane, the all-metal construction.

The fuselage was the type to semimonoguscio in duralumin with coating workers; the cockpit was located in the median part, slightly posterior to the leading edge of the wing, and was closed by a hood with window opening to rollover side, towards the right side of the airplane; equipped with armored seat, the rear of the headrest ended (in the specimens of series) in a fairing shaped metal to ensure the pilot a visual angle, albeit minimal, toward the rear of the aircraft.

The wing had an elliptical and it was kind of a dump, consisting of three duralumin spars and ribs and Alclad Duralumin (duralumin plated pure aluminum, in order to give greater resistance to corrosion). Derived from the one, five spars of Re.2000, the specific request of the military authorities, abandoned the solution of integral tanks to accommodate two armored vehicles, in the wing root. In the inner part of the trailing edge were placed four flaps, while they were in the outer ailerons, coated canvas. Empennage was of the classical type, duralumin with the control surfaces coated canvas.

The landing gear was of type tricycle rear, with the main elements monowheel braced posteriorly and hinged in the inner part of the wing; retraction occurred toward the rear and the wheels, with a movement of rotation of 90 °, staying flat in wing thickness. The tail wheel was adjustable but not removable and the leg was made ​​of an aluminum alloy called Avional.

Engine

The engine installed on the copies of the series was the Re.2001 V12 Alfa Romeo RA 1000 RC.41, copy produced under license of Daimler-Benz DB 601, it was a power unit able to develop the power of 1175 hp takeoff and 1050 hp at 2400 rpm to 4100 m of altitude.

Even the ‘propeller was produced by Alfa Romeo and was the three-blade type, of metal construction; had in flight variable pitch, constant speed and a diameter of 3.10 m.

Armament

In version hunting day, the Re.2001 was armed with two machine guns Breda SAFAT Mod.1935-caliber (12.7 mm with 350 rounds for each weapon), housed above the engine and firing through the propeller disc, and with two Breda-SAFAT Mod.1928Av caliber 7.7 mm (with 600 rounds each), placed in the wings.

Loads of fall were set for the different variants of the aircraft and were specific, as better described below, depending on the respective type of use.

Operational use

Kingdom of Italy

The first unit to be retrofitted with the Re.2001, arrived September 9, 1941, it was the 150 Squadron of the 2nd Fighter Group Terrestrial Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Baylon, which began to take flight in the first four new aircraft from 16 September. The three squadrons of the group, the aforementioned 150 th, the 152 th and 358 th, began a job setup of the new aircraft in Ravenna, but due to adverse weather conditions a group of riders in the 152 th completed training in Gorizia at the end year. In the latter period the group framed twenty-eight of these fighters. On 12 January 1942, he was ordained to the 152 Squadron flying to Palermo, with direct flights to Rome-Ciampino (where he was waiting for the rest of the group, converted to Reggiane 2001 by the pilots of its 152 th) and Naples-Capodichino. However, due to technical problems, Ciampino was achieved only in April and Sicily on May 4, when eighteen Reggiane landed in Santo Pietro di Caltagirone. There is no agreement between the sources of when the group completed the redeployment, but it is certain that this was done within six days.

The debut was Re.2001 May 10 on two occasions. First of all twenty units of the 2nd Group executed a mission to free hunt over Malta, but does not meet the opposing air force, then another ten Re.2001, along with twenty Macchi MC202 of the 4th Squadron, escorted bombers CANT five Z.1007 bis radar installation in flight to hit the island. On this occasion there was the first clash with the Spitfire Mk.V, who managed to put down a bomber and a MC202 for the price of three fighter jets destroyed plus two others damaged by Reggiane, which also destroyed a Bristol Beaufighter heavy fighter. Two days later there was a similar action, that involved nine and fifteen Spitfire Reggio’s 2001 2nd Group escorting (along with other fifteen Macchi MC.200) three Savoia-Marchetti SM84 of the 4th Bombardment Group Earth. The British fighters shot down a bomber and it severely damaged a second, but the pilots of Reggio’s claimed the killing of two Spitfire, one of which was the work of killing Sergeant Paul Morcino, but was forced to make an emergency landing near Ispica as his carriage (as was the case also in his group commander) had been damaged by enemy fire. In fact, that day the RAF lost two Spitfires: a pilot, Sergeant Charles Graysmark of No. 601 Squadron, was killed, and the parigrado C. Bush No. 603 Squadron wounded. May 12 for the same source also speaks of a sergeant Mark who claimed two discouragements in the late afternoon of the day, however, having to make an emergency landing near Syracuse because of the damage inflicted by the enemy and dying some time later from his injuries in ‘ action. It is not clear whether this is the same episode of Sergeant Morcino rebuilt in a different way. The budget of the Reggiane May 10 to 18 shows sixteen British aircraft shot down another more probable and three damaged, against the loss of a Re.2001 and damage to three others. On May 19, the Re.2001 did precipitate a Spitfire and a Beaufighter, damaging five other Spitfire, although the Italian bombers (which were escorting the Re.2001) had to desist from the mission due to the intervention opponent. On May 25, five drivers of the 2nd group each claimed the downing of a plane, from its part, the RAF claimed to have shot down a Re.2001, but in reality there were no casualties among the ranks of Italian. The clashes continued: from May 26 to June 2, the RAF fighters Reggiane deprived of eight aircraft (five destroyed and three damaged) for the price of three planes fallen. On June 6, the Reggiane shot down a Spitfire while they were escorting the bombers headed to Micabba, but an Italian fighter was forced to ditch. The companions, once refueled in Sicily, and returned to find him, encountering again the RAF that precipitated another Reggiane, although losing to turn a Beaufighter. He was made ​​to take off then a hydro rescue CANT Z.506 but, besides not find any lost, fell into the sea two other Re.2001 escort. The next day, June 7, the Re.2001 in collaboration with the MC202 intercepted some British planes used to hedge a naval convoy, plunging into the sea a Beaufighter and two Albacore torpedo bombers. Fifteen or seventeen Re.2001 were employed on June 14 during the battle of mid-June, along with seven-MC202, to escort fourteen Savoia-Marchetti SM79 torpedo attack on the convoy Harpoon, claiming the abatement of a Hawker Hurricane and managed to damage two others sent to intercept them, which in turn were able, however, to damage a Reggiane so severely as to force the pilot parachuting.

The easy handling of Reggio’s 2001 sturdy and able to withstand well the damage was noted after the first battles against the Spitfires in the diary historic 150 Squadron, and in fact the Italian pilots tried to draw opponents at medium-low , where they were able to outclass the Hurricane and equalize with the Spitifire Mk.V, however, faster and more armed. In the hands of an experienced pilot, however, as he admitted the ‘British ace Laddie Lucas, in his Malta: The Thorn in Rommel’s side, the Italian fighter could prove to be a very formidable opponent for the Spitfire Mk.V, especially below 7000 m, while at higher altitudes the British fighter was more handsome.

From July to August the Reggiane 2001 followed the pilots of 152 Squadron in Montserrat, in Sardinia, while the 358 th was detached to Pantelleria from July to November. On 1 July 1942, the 22 ° Gruppo, with its 359 th, 362 th and 369 th Squadron stationed in Rome-Ciampino, was equipped with Re.2001CB, initially assigned to 362 Squadron, which was also sent to Montserrat. On July 12, the Canadian ace George Beurling met a formation of Reggio’s 2001 return to Sicily, and he struck one. The commander of the 2nd Group, Aldo Quarantotti, drove off immediately with three soldiers in search of fellow soldier, but he and the ace Charles Seganti, who accompanied him, never came back. Only after many years, thanks to the discovery of the diary of Beurling, you could find that were shot down by the Canadian pilot. On 13 July (when the Reggio’s 2001 operating of the 2nd group were only six, twenty-two in the cargo unit), of Malta, the New Zealander Jack Rae and his wingman Alan Yates, the No. 249 Squadron, sighted a Reggiane he was about to leave the combat and return to base. What followed impressed Rae, who later stated:

The next day, attacked by two different directions by Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Reggio’s, the same Beurling (who was at the controls of the Spitfire freshman BR130/2-H) was forced to pick and chose what he thought was the lesser evil:

Until August 10, the 2nd group was limited to a few escort mission and free hunt. At the end of the month the specialists were able to put the line twenty aircraft. On 12 August, during the middle of August, two naval battle Re.2001GV (lieutenants Riccardo Vaccari and Guido Robone) from Furbara and seconded to the 22 ° Gruppo attacked for the first and last time with a piercing bomb from 630 or 640 kg a new concept, obtained from marine shells modified with an explosive charge increased to 120 kg, the British ships in the convoy Pedestal. Thanks also to the similarity of Reggiane with the Fleet Air Arm Sea Hurricane, who deceived those involved in the anti-aircraft, the aircraft carrier was centered in the middle by a bomb but did not explode. Both Reggiane returned unharmed to Elmas (Vaccari also shot down a Hurricane just after the release of the bomb) and probably in September, were converted into fotoricognitori. In that same 12th August, the 22 ° Gruppo baptized his Reggiane 2001 escorting, together with colleagues of the 2nd Group, bombers and fighter-bombers Italians against a convoy in La Galite, knocking down three aircraft British against the loss of a fighter. The following day, 13 August, the 150 th and 152 th Squadron of the 2nd Group met at Trapani-Chinisia, losing the day after the group’s commander and ace Pier Giuseppe Scarpetta, shot down by Spitfire along with two other Italian riders while escorting three Heinkel He 111 torpedo bomber in the German version in return from Malta, all three landed unharmed at the base. With this battle had virtually end the clashes with British aircraft.

In September, even the 22 ° Gruppo landed in Sicily and, together with the 2nd Group stationed in Lecce with eighteen Re.2001, pledged to strike again in Malta. During this month, the two groups had a total daily average of twenty-two Re.2001 availability. On 17 October the 2nd Group moved to Castelvetrano with fifteen units, rising in flight the next day to Pantelleria. The landing in Morocco and Algeria of the Allied forces forced the 22 ° Gruppo to return to Sardinia, from where he undertook some attacks against the bridgeheads Bona and Lie from 7 November and then the efficient Re.2001 were twenty-three, the number dropped to sixteen 24 below. On December 6, five Re.2001 of 362 Squadron, each loaded with a 160 kg bomb took off protected by nine MC202, still directed at Bona, losing a Reggiane because of the Spitfire on patrol.

In the spring of 1943, the newborn 2nd Group Interceptors (which was created by the rebuilding of the 2nd Group CT dissolved in November 1942) was reconstituted in Liguria, in March, the 358 th sold its aircraft to 160 º Gruppo Autonomo Caccia that May 24 was able, with six King 2001 to tear down three Lockheed P-38 Lightning loss-free in June, the 152 Squadron took four Re.2001CN with underwing cannon that went to swell the ranks of the ten aircraft able to fly (in April). The last ten Reggiane 2001 of 22 º instead Group had already passed all ‘airport of Capodichino Christmas around the year 1942 or the beginning of the year 1943.

The Re.2001 was employed in 1943 as a night fighter for the air defense of Italy, but with null results.  The arrival from the end of 1942, large formations of U.S. bombers in the skies Italians, who preferred the activity day to night, forced the Regia Aeronautica to strengthen surveillance in the light of the day at the expense of night, however ineffective . The Re.2001CN ended then to be used as normal day fighter, with the only difference of having an armament enhanced compared to Re.2001 base. Departments that took on this task, in addition to the aforementioned 2nd Group interceptors were 59 º (232 th and 233 th Squadron – ten Re.2001CN arrived in May) and 60 º Gruppo Autonomo Interceptors Nocturnes (234 th and 235 th Squadron – unknown number of Re.2001CN arrived in May and in July reinforced by five of these devices sold by the 59th Group), the aforementioned 160 º Gruppo Autonomo Caccia (which broke away some Re.2001 to Ajaccio) and 167 ° Gruppo Autonomo Interceptors. In particular, 28 May 1943 seven Re.2001 three Dewoitine D.520 of the 59th Group claimed to have shot down four bombers in the skies of Livorno. Worth noting again that the 167 º group did take off July 19, 1943 from Ciampino four Re.2001 to counter U.S. bombers in flight to hit Rome, precipitating a B-25 Mitchell at the hands of Lieutenant Bruno serotypes, however, shot down shortly after the turrets defensive bomber or a fighter escort. The 167 º Group, however, with machines now worn out, could do nothing against another formation of bombers arrived to ricolpire Rome on August 13. Same thing for the 2nd Group 15, 18 and August 27.

At the date of the Allied landing in Sicily (10 July 1943) were operational fifty or seventy-one Re.2001, but to September 7, the eve of the announcement of the armistice, he had only thirty-able to fly: 3 of the 2nd Group in Sarzana and Albenga, 4 of the 59th Group in Venegono, 7 of the 60 th Group in Venegono and Lonate Pozzolo, 12 of 160 º Group Home Zeppera, Milis and Venafiorita and 7 of 167 º Group Lictorian.

Luftwaffe, RSI, United South and post-war

Among the aircraft surviving someone was burned or sabotaged (as did the members of the 59th Group September 10, 1943) because it was requisitioned by the Germans, who, however, took possession of some Reggiane 2001 using them later as trainers hunting in the Luftwaffe. Some sample worked with the 2nd Fighter Group “Gigi Tre Osei” Aeronautica Republican National Italian Social Republic for training duties and connection. Specimens fled to the south operated from October 1943 with the insignia of ‘Cobelligerante Italian Air Force, at the 21 ° Gruppo operations in support of the Italian units were stranded in Yugoslavia and the local partisans, as well as at the Squadron Training Hunting. On November 12, 1943 Re.2001 some of the 21 ° Gruppo damaged three heavy fighters Messerschmitt Bf 110 on the runway of the field of Berat, in Albania, November 28 Captain Paul Swordsmen of the Group dropped 21 º above Pljevlja, for the Division partisan ” Garibaldi, “the extra tank of his 2001 Reggio’s filled for the occasion with twelve million pounds in cash. These were two of the last actions before the group were disbanded on 1 January 1944, its 82 Squadron, which was in charge of the Re.2001, were ceded to the 208 Squadron of the 101st Group Divers Foggia, and soon the unit moved to Lecce, from where the Reggiane performed their last missions of the war, the last of which took place in mid-May over Montenegro in support of the partisans. The nine survivors went to air, the following month, in charge of the School Training Hunting of Leven, while two others Re.2001 ended up on the staff of a unit to be connected. At the end of the war only a Re.2001, by connecting the unit, it was still usable.

After the war, the newly formed Air Force went back five Re.2001 them airworthy, three were allocated to the meteorological center of Venice Lido and two to a unit by connecting to Rome-Centocelle. All five remained in service for some years.

Versions

PRODUCTION OF Re.2001 “HAWK II”

Description  Units built  Freshmen  Notes

1st prototype  1  MM.409  Converted into Re.2001bis and then converted back to the original version

2nd prototype  1  MM.408

Prototype Re.2001 Delta  1  MM.9920 or 9020  Factories Caproni Taliedo

Zero series (pre-production)  10   MM.8071-MM.8080

Series I  100  MM.7209-MM.7308  47 normal, 39 CB version, 2 for tests with catapults and 12 with deck-arrestor hooks.

Series II  50   MM.90751-MM.90800  CN version

Series III  30  MM.9921-MM.9950  CN version

Series IV  34  MM.7209-MM.7308  Sorted 50, the last 16 ever made

Caproni factories in Predappio  10   MM.6551-MM.6560 or 6547-6556

Re.2001 Total Products: 237

The data, unless otherwise specified, are taken from

•Re.2001bis: version with radiators embedded in the wings to improve aerodynamics. Initially it was decided to build a third prototype, but in the end the change was made at the end of 1940 the first prototype. This change resulted in the abolition of the wing machine guns. Flown for the first time in April 1941 by Francesco Agello, reached on August 7 following the 600 km / h at 6000 m of altitude. Despite having a speed 50-60 km / h faster than the original configuration, found later in mass production, but are instead used as a test during the spring of 1942 for the Reggiane Re.2006. Following the plane was converted as Re.2001 and sent to the Royal Air Force in September 1942.

•RE 2001CB: fighter, with ventral rack for 250 kg bombs. They were built thirty-nine specimens from initial order of one hundred specimens in normal version made to Reggio’s (so-called Series I). Some of these bombers were used for experimental flights. One was equipped with a special bomb to 640 kg, or with a torpedo, with a system that correlate with the pitch of the propeller engine controls, the aircraft was tested in September 1942 in Guidonia, reaching 950 km / h after a nosedive from 6000 to 2000 m above sea level during which shattered the windshield, but the engine did not reach excessive speed and synchronization propeller pitch / throttle worked well. October 1942, another Re.2001CB, equipped with a special ventral attachment to a 250 kg bomb studied at the core of Armament Experimental Furbara, sent Hit 15 of 20 bombs during the dive-bombing attacks against the target ships. Exceptionally, he could also be charged a 640 kg bomb.

•RE 2001CN: night fighter variant. He saw several changes, such as the exhaust pipes flame retardant, camouflage dark, and the replacement of the two wing-mounted machine guns with two MG 151 20mm cannons sixty rounds each in underwing gondolas, the wing thickness is not sufficient, although not all specimens were completed with this armament (some kept the original, others only the machine guns on the nose). We were ordered thirty in June 1942 (the “Series III”), followed by some fifty (“Series IV”) three months later, again, in March and April 1943, the Reggiane received an order for one hundred and twenty additional Re.2001CN . In any case, the numbers requested by the Air Italian were not met and came out of the factories only ninety-four planes in CN version (thirty Series III, Series IV of the thirty-four ten retrieved from the order of 1941 to the Caproni of Predappio and twenty of the “Series II “) before the announcement of the armistice of Cassibile ends all work. The heavy armament of a cell where it was not originally planned, while impairing the overall performance and handling of the aircraft, not influenced the feedback generally positive expressed by the drivers who used it. The demands of war changed the original task of this version at the end used to counter the U.S. bombers during the day.

•Re.2001 Delta: to compensate for the slowness of supply of Alfa Romeo engines the Royal Air Force ordered the Caproni Taliedo the realization of a prototype equipped with the twelve-cylinder inverted V Isotta Fraschini Delta IV RC.16-48, cooled air, capable of power of 840 hp (626 kW) at 5300 m; even in the knowledge of the lower power available, the authorities counted on the fact that the weight reduction achieved enabling it to maintain performance comparable to those of the series of Re.2001 . The summer of 1942 a prototype was built in Taliedo (MM.9920) called Re.2001 Delta, ordered hundred copies on September 8, below, before it could be tested in flight for the first time, which is what happened on September 12 . The prototype was transferred in November in Guidonia, but the performance achieved (523 km / h at 5600 m, 10 minutes and 30 seconds to touch the 6,000 m) were lower than those of the standard Re.2001 As required by ‘ Longhi engineer. The prototype was destroyed by a fire due to overheating of the engine 27 January 1943 and the order of one hundred units was canceled.

•Re.2001 photo: reconnaissance variant with cameras / camcorders on the wing leading edge. The nickname “photo” was not official, since it actually was not adopted any particular name, but is used by the sources to distinguish it from other versions. It was, however, a processing done outside the production line and interested in a small number (however not known) of specimens. Probably were converted to this standard, and placed on the staff of the 22nd Group, the two Re.2001GV who had attacked the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious.

•RE 2001G: a copy of the Series IV version torpedo, with a torpedo attack to 600 kg (generally referred to as “silurotto”) and tailwheel raised in order to prevent contact of the torpedo with the ground. Posted in Core Training Aerosiluranti of Gorizia, was destroyed in the period following the armistice.

•RE 2001GV: it came from three specimens with ventral attachment for reinforced bombs, capable of carrying the bomb-ship 630PD 630 kg derived by bullets from 381 mm of the Royal Navy. Two of these aircraft were used in the mission, cited above, against the British aircraft carrier HMS Victorious on 12 August 1942. The letters “GV” representing the initials of the lieutenants Galimberti Aldo and Riccardo Vaccari who first theorized and then in flight engineers tested the use of such a device, to uncouple about 100 m from the target side of the boat. Once penetrated the armor due to its kinetic energy, the bomb would explode with a special quill retardant. Failure bomb blast that struck the Victorious, however, is attributable to its fuze chosen by the squad leader aerial Furbara, other than the most sensitive, built by Fiocchi, recommended by Vaccari and Robone.

•2001H RE: another example of the series IV in anti-tank version, capable of carrying hooked to the wings, next to the 20 mm cannons in the night fighter version, the bombs. Also in this case the armistice stopped every job.

•Re.2001OR Organization (Rome, the name of the structure responsible for implementing the Italian aircraft carrier) version of the fighter-bomber boarded ordered fifty units, departments intended to be used on the aircraft carrier Eagle and Hawk. It differed from the original version for deck-landing hook and the predisposition to be launched from a catapult. These aircraft, which went on to form the so-called Series II Re.2001, did not include the folding wings since it was intended to save space attacking aircraft hangar at the ceiling of the aircraft carrier with special harnesses. The Series II was completed by constructing Re.2001CN version instead of OR.

•Re.2001S: some examples of co-belligerent Air Force were converted to this standard in 1944 with the adoption of an additional ventral tank, in which case the suffix “S” stood for use as a fighter escort.

For the Re.2001 were theorized other variants remained at the embryonic stage, in particular has been studied is the realization of a version Re.2001 Wood, disliked by the engineer Longhi (staunch supporter of the metal structure), in order to meet the shortcomings of strategic materials. Other projects never completed considered the possibility of using the Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine (later to hunt for the “Series 5″, including the Re.2005) or the Piaggio P.XI already installed on the previous Re.2000.

Users

ITA 1861-1946

•Royal Air Force

ITA 1861-1946

Southern Kingdom

•Italian Air Force Cobelligerante

RSI

•Republican National Aeronautics

DEU 1933-1945

Luftwaffe

ENG

•Air force

Specimens currently existing

The first specimens of pre-series, freshman MM.8071, was discovered towards the end of November 1991 in the sea of Sardinia, the coast of Capo Ferrato. Recovered shortly after the GAVS Turin and delivered the Air Force, the aircraft was then delivered to the Air Force Museum at Vigna di Valle, but are not known any possibility of restoration. The fighter Reggio’s also not one of those on display.

However, it was possible to reconstruct the history of the airplane: Tested in Reggio Emilia in May 1941, it ended up on the 2nd group, but because of a landing with landing gear retracted, he returned to the Officine Reggiane to be repaired. Returned to the department on November 16, in the early months of 1943 was in Guidonia and, therefore, in Rome-Centocelle at the Flight Test Unit where he was painted yellow and equipped with cameras to participate in the film First flight of the ‘Istituto Luce. Again painted with camouflage livery, the aircraft was transferred to Sardinia to 22 º Group.

Military aircraft of World War II

Military aircraft 1931-1945

Italian military aircraft

Aircraft built by Officine Meccaniche Reggiane

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