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Picture of Fiat CR.42 Falco WW2 Fighter

Designed by Fiat designer Celestino Rosatelli as an improvement on the Fiat CR.32 the Fiat CR.42 Falco ("Falcon") first flew in mid 1938 and entered service with the Regia Aeronautica in 1939 just in time for WWII, the CR.42 Falco had a fabric covered steel and duralumin frame resulting in a light weight and low wing loading making this fighter unusually agile, although this superb little biplane was evenly matched against the Gloster Gladiator it lacked the speed and armour of the latest British monoplane fighters like the RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes.

Fiat CR.42 Falco Fighter Plane

 

Losses were so high the Fiat CR.42 Falco was quickly transferred to the Mediterranean theatre as a light ground attack aircraft, although by the end of WWII a total in excess of 1,800 Fiat CR.42 Falco fighters had been produced. It is interesting to note that the Fiat CR.42 Falco initially fought alongside Luftwaffe aircraft, then within the Luftwaffe with approximately 100 aircraft taken into Luftwaffe service, and finally following Italy's "change of sides" eventually the Fiat CR.42 Falco fought against the Luftwaffe.

Fiat CR.42 Falco Specifications:

  • Crew: Pilot only
  • Length: 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.70 m (31 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 3.06 m (10 ft)
  • Maximum Weight: 2,295 kg (5,060 lb)
  • Engine: Single 840 hp (627 kW) Fiat A.74 RIC38 radial engine
  • Maximum speed: 274 mph (441 km/h )
  • Range: 780 km (420 nm, 485 mi)
  • Service Ceiling: 10,210 m (33,500 ft)
  • Fiat CR.42 Falco Armament:

    • Guns: Twin 12.7 mm (0.500 in) machine guns
    • Bombs: 200 kg (440 lb) of under-wing bombs
     

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