History Podcasts

Macchi M.C.206

Macchi M.C.206

Macchi M.C.206

The Macchi M.C.206 was a further development of the M.C.205N, with the same long fuselage and licence-built DB605 engine as that aircraft, but with a wider wing span. The M.C.205N had been developed to take full advantage of the DB605 engine, and if it had entered production would have replaced the interim M.C.205V Veltro, but only two prototypes were ever built. The M.C.206 used the same new fuselage and engine, but with wider wings. Work began on a single prototype, but it was never completed.


AHC: Wank the Regia Aeronautica

In alternate history scenarios, almost everything can work
From the technical point of wiev, the Wikipedia lists it's engine, the Asso XI RC.40, as capable for amazing 960 HP - some 130 HP more than historically it was the case?!

This site http://www.aviastar.org/air/italy/ambrosini_ss-4.php also states the HP of the SS.4 was 960. This site http://italianaircraftwwii.blogspot.com/2015/03/ambrosini-ss4.html says the SS.4 was considered for the role of dive-bomber.

The later sites says the propeller could be blown off with an explosive charge if the pilot needed to bail out. Sleek design and I wonder if it could've been converted into a jet?

Marathag

NOMISYRRUC

  • 37 squadrons of fighters, mostly with Fiat C.R.20bis and C.R.30 biplanes
  • 34 squadrons of bombers, including Caprioni Ca.72s and Ca.101s
  • 37 squadrons of reconnaissance and observation aircraft, such as the Romeo Ro 1s, Caprioni Ca.97s, and Fiat R.22s, and including several squadrons of floatplanes and flying-boats, such as the SIAI S.62bis and S.55M.
  • The first-line strength exceeded 1,200 aircraft, and Italy had emerged as a major air power.
  • The expansion of the Regia Aeronautica continued steadily, and the force played a decisive role when Italian forces invaded Ethiopia, on October 3, 1935.

Archibald

Mack8

An idea about getting the DB-603 in RA service. Let's say that in this ATL the italians do not go radials only for their fighters in the mid thirties, and they look both in and out for suitable new generation V-12 engines. One of the most promising is the new DB-600 so they negociate with the germans in 1937-38 and get the DB-600 and 601 earlier, powering Fiat and Macchi fighters in 1940 armed with one 20mm Oerlikon cannon and two 12,7mm Breda-SAFAT MGs. Poor Hurricanes are totally outclassed- a period known as the Macchi scurge.

Meanwhile, sensing an oportunity, as the RLM is ignoring their new DB-603 project, DB propose this engine to be co-developed with the italians. And so it is that Isotta-Fraschini /Daimler-Benz DB-603 engines of 1500HP are used in several new Macchi, Fiat, Reggiane and Caproni prototypes. The stunning performance prompts the italians to give top priority to the project, and the first Fiat and Macchi DB-603 powered fighters enter service in late 1941. With a maximum speed of some 650kph and armed with one 20mm Oerlikon cannon (later replaced with a MG151) and four Breda-SAFAT 12,7mm MGs, these machines fly rings around the Spitfire-V, invariably slaughtering them and the non-descript clouds of Tomahawks, Kittyhawks, Hurricanes and Mustang MK1 whenever they are met this is the second Macchi scurge, adding to the first FW-190 scurge. British Spitfire-IX and the first Griffon powered Spitfire-VII and US P-51B (single stage two speed 1750HP licence built Griffon engine) are able to equal the italian machine in 1942.

Meanwhile in Germany, with a full war on their hands and seeing the sparkling performace of the DB-603 powered italian fighters of 1940, top priority is given to this engine and the competing Jumo-213 to power the Luftwaffe. Among others, the introduction of the DB-603 powered FW-190C in late 1942 wrestles back air superiority in the second FW scurge.

In Italy, later the DB-603 engine power of the Macchi and Fiat machines is raised to 1750HP and even 2000HP with MW-50 boost (speed increasing to over 700kph) and armament increased to 3 cannons and 2 MGs. Only in 1944 the latest P-47, P-51D (V-1650-7/Merlin engine with MW boost) and Griffon powered P-51E and british Spitfire-XIV plus the new Tempest are able to face this machine on equal terms.

NOMISYRRUC

This might count as an un-wank, but here goes.

AFAIK co-operation between the Regia Aeronautica and the Regia Marina was very poor, which mean that although the RA had a lot of naval co-operation aircraft the RM often didn't receive the sighting reports and vice versa so that the RA didn't turn up to support the RM.

Therefore instead of forming the RA from the Italian equivalents of the British RFC and RNAS just make the Italian RFA the Italian RAF, but keep sea and shore based naval aviation part of the Italian Royal Navy. That might help the Italians create a force of shore based torpedo bombers and even some aircraft carriers between the wars.

Tomo pauk

Isotta-Fraschini seem to being uprating the Asso XI - Asso RC40 "Spinto" (900 CV at 4000 m) was sold to Peru on the Ca.135 bombers already in early 1937. So by early 1939, 960 CV does not seem like a stretch.
There was alos the Asso XI inteded for endurance races, supposedly good for 987 CV the related aircraft crashed during the record attempt.
(sorry to drag this around, after all I'm a tech-wannabe)

Hmm - the 'MC.201', with 900-960 HP Asso XI engine gives the RA a fighter comparable to the Bf 109E and Spitfire I the real MC.202 was equal tot the 109F1/F2 or Spitfire V despite the lower engine power. Though the firepower is light.

Mack8

Tomo pauk

Mack8

Fully agree about the Bf-109E, in fact as i have read in other places and came to see it myself, pretty much any other fighter with a DB-601 to be built in series other than the 109E was better and faster! The MC-202, G-50V, Ki-61 etc. Although i think now the Re-2001 was a bit slower, however i have read the prototype was as fast as the 109E but series production was slower because of the poor quality of italian built DB engine. The Bf-109F though finally became what the E could have been in 1938.

A cleaner Bf-109E with a smoother nose more like He-112 or He-100 (or Macchi, Ki-61 etc.) and with some small airframe refinement like no struts for the taiplane, revised wheel wells and other similar stuff would be easily 30kph faster, maybe even more. Still not quite an 109F, but getting closer to it. It's one of ATLs i like to ponder on. Those 30kph plus would make a big difference against the Spitfire.

Anyway, back to the Macchi, indeed 550 kph is the sort of figure i had in mind for the 960HP Asso "MC-201", the 109E has a better engine and the Spitfire-I is a tad faster, hence guesstimating that it would be slighty inferior to both, but still a tough opponent. Could also give it a bit more potent armament, like four 12,7mm Breda-SAFATs, or even just two SAFATs and two 7,7 mm MGs, still an improvement. Most everyone else were still using 7,7 to 7,9mm MGs in 1940-41.


Indice

In attesa della possibilità, prevista per i primi mesi del 1943, di poter disporre del motore DB 603, versione potenziata del DB 605, capace di erogare 1 750 cavalli vapore (1 290 kW), il team di progettisti guidato dall'ing. Mario Castoldi proseguì nella progettazione, su iniziativa della ditta Macchi, di una versione ad interim ancora con motore DB 605 [1] che identificò come C.206. Per ridurre il carico alare e portarlo ai valori del Macchi C.202, allo scopo di mantenere una buona manovrabilità in quota ed inoltre accrescere la robustezza strutturale della cellula, in particolare in corrispondenza delle giunzioni alla fusoliera, Castoldi progettò una nuova ala con una superficie di 21 m 2 e costruita in un solo pezzo con solo le estremità smontabili, evitando la complessità della giunzione ala-fusoliera [N 2] [2] . Particolare attenzione fu dedicata al contenimento del peso a vuoto. L'armamento previsto ero lo stesso del seconda prototipo dell'Orione, ossia tre cannoni da 20 mm e due mitragliatrici Breda-SAFAT da 12,7 mm , mentre la velocità fu stimata prossima ai 640 km/h.

Alla data dell'8 settembre, il prototipo era quasi completato e privo di matricola militare, trattandosi di iniziativa privata. Purtroppo il 22 ottobre 1943 il prototipo rimase danneggiato a causa di una esplosione accidentale ed accantonato, quando mancavano solo trenta giorni al suo completamento [3] .

Nel marzo de 1944, l'ing. Castoldi era intenzionato a riprendere il progetto, introducendo nuovi radiatori dell'olio e dell'acqua di maggior finezza aerodinamica, ma i bombardamenti alleati della primavera del 1944 agli stabilimenti Macchi causarono ulteriori danni alla cellula, precludendo definitivamente ogni velleità di completamento del progetto.

Rispetto al precedente C.205, Il Macchi C.206, motorizzato, con il Daimler-Benz DB 605, aveva un'ala dalla superficie alare incrementata a 21 m², mentre la velocità massima stimata, secondo la motorizzazione prevista, era di 640 a km/h e una velocità di salita di 8 minuti e 50 secondi a 8 000 metri. L'armamento era costituito da due mitragliatrici calibro 12,7 mm in fusoliera e tre cannoncini calibro 20 mm , di cui uno sparante attraverso il mozzo dell'elica e gli altri due installati sulle semiali.

Il Macchi C.206 fotografato dopo il bombardamento alleato dell'aprile del 1943


The Superprop Meta: What's Broken and How to Fix It

With upcoming Update 1.71 “New E.R.A.” it is evident that some newly introduced high-performance props, namely the P-51H, F4U-4, and Hornet F.3, are going to further upset the balance of late Tier 4 matchmaking by virtue of their outstanding performance and capability. In response to this shifting paradigm, there was recently a thread about potential Axis “superprops” that could potentially compete with both current and soon-to-be Allied opposition. However, as well-meaning as that thread may be, it is rife with misinformation.

In an effort to right the wrongs of that thread, my post shall clarify four things:

The definition of a “superprop”,

That the Axis powers and USSR have absolutely zero indigenous competitors to field against Allied superprops,

That the current matchmaking superprops get is inherently unfair,

An alternative proposition to balance Allied superprops is to have US vs. UK matchups so they don’t get downtiered into clubbing Axis props, or uptiered into getting clubbed by Axis jets.

Hopefully I can hold your attention on this long, detailed journey. My goal is that by the end of this post, you understand my reasoning for the above convictions.

So first things first, what exactly is a “superprop”? This appears to be a term which has no historical usage during the time piston-engined hotrods were being produced, prior to the advent of the jet age. It seems to primarily have come to light on aviation forums, and therefore, it has been picked up by the WT community. For our purposes, we shall define a superprop as a post-war, high-performance fighter that generally boasts flight characteristics - predominantly speed and rate of climb (RoC) - which put any and all WW2-era fighters to shame. The exceptions to this rule are few and far between, with the Allies being responsible for them.

But which specific props currently in the game are superprops? Here’s a list of them, with potential additions thrown in as well:

US: P-51H-5, F8F-1/1B, F7F-3

Future US Additions: P-82B, F4U-5, F8F-2, F7F-3N, A2D-1, XP-72, and others

UK: Spitfire F. Mk.22/24, Tempest Mk.II, Hornet F.3 (20 PSI)

Future UK Additions: Spiteful F. 14/16, Seafang F.31/32, Sea Fury F.X, Fury 1 (Sabre VII), Tempest Mk.VI, Hornet F.1 (25 PSI), Sea Hornet NF.21 (20 PSI, derated engines), and others

Yep, that’s right. There’s not a single non-Allied superprop on there. No, your Bf 109 K-4 isn’t one, nor is your Ta 152. The La-9 isn’t one either, and the G.56 sure as hell isn’t one even if it’s proven to be one of the deadliest Axis fighters in WT. Japan hasn’t got anything either, save for possibly their Ki-83. But do any of these nations have indigenous designs which could compete if added to the game?

The short answer is no. But I promised gory details and a long post, so let’s wade through the murky waters of late-war, prototype, and/or paper Axis prop design. Keep in mind that for aircraft types to be truly viable in WT, they must have reasonably detailed flight data and design specifications need to be readily available. This generally means that prototypes and well-documented planned production runs are possible, but napkin drawings have little place within WT’s confines. Let’s discuss the possibilities, shall we?

Ta 152 H and Fw 190 D-12 with Jumo 213EB engine. This engine provides 200 more HP over the current 213E that is fitted in the production planes. Full production of these planes with the Jumo 213EB was intended to take place by July ‘45, but for obvious reasons that plan never came to fruition. Nevertheless, there does appear to be some performance data for the Ta 152 H and D-12 with this engine, although the engine was also slated for the D-11 and D-13. While this would be an extremely significant boon to Germany’s ability to compete with Allied superprops, they still wouldn’t hold a candle to props like the P-51H, Fury 1, and Hornet F.1 - all props which boast 26+ m/s RoC at optimal altitude (SL), and are much faster than these Teutons at nearly any given altitude. Not to mention that their handling would be worse than their Allied counterparts as well, considering their airframes were designed largely for bomber interception rather than air superiority. Sadly, simply throwing more power at the existing Kurt Tank designs will not save Germany, but it will mitigate part of the issue for sure.

Bf 109 K-14, a plane of mystical nature. In short, this plane is an absolute joke. First of all, there is the highly controversial debate over the K-14’s existence - with erroneous reports of the period either intending to say “G-14” or “K-4” rather than “K-14”. Many of the basic hallmarks of the K-14’s design were never actually completed or pursued - its DB 605L was simply a late ❃/early ❄ DB 605 A with a two-speed supercharger on it that made 1700 HP, and its 4 bladed propellor was neither produced nor agreed upon for the prototype stage. Regardless, even if the K-14 was built, it would have 300 HP less than the K-4’s existing DB 605 DCM on 1.98 ata boost which produces 2000 PS. Development of the DB 605 L was later abandoned in late ‘44 as production efforts were focused on the new 605 DC engine to be fitted to the K-4, as well as further testing of more advanced Doras and Ta 152s as shown above. We also do not have a definitive source which can agree on armament for the K-14, with some stating a complement of 3 30mm cannons ( 2 MK108s in wings, 1 MK103 in motor) or just 1 30mm cannon in the motor (MK 103). Yet others claim that armament was identical to the K-4. Confusion aside, even if we assume that the K-14 did fly with the DB 605 L, this plane would be extremely underpowered, with performance that’d likely be worse than the Japanese Ki-94-II, a plane that already has been a huge disappointment in the eyes of many. In all respects but altitudes at 10K meters and higher, the K-14 is much worse than the K-4. It is extremely slow at SL, with only about 530 kph being achieved, and the calculated RoC of

14-15m/s is pitiful as well. As much as I hate to say it, the pinnacle of 109 development ends with the fantastic K-4 of 2000 PS, which is represented in-game. However, even our ideal-performing K-4 can struggle against the late-war 18 PSI Spitfire F. Mk.14 though, largely due to the airframe rather than the engine. Unless Gaijin invents their own K-14 (which shouldn’t happen), there's nothing from Messerschmitt's stable…or is there?

Bf 109 K-6, the bomber destroyer Kurfurst. This plane is more or less identical to the K-4. Same power from the same engine, same propellor, same basic airframe. The K-6 sets itself apart from the K-4 by virtue of its internally wing-mounted MK108 cannons, with 40 RPG. MG151/20 20mm cannons were also considered as options for the internally mounted guns. The K-6 still maintains the 2x 13mm MGs and MK108 containing 65 rounds mounted through the motor. This was a Kurfurst variant that was likely the last ever made, with 1 prototype being tested before the war’s end. However, due to the increased weight, the K-6 would be a worse plane in fighter vs. fighter engagements than the K-4, so while this plane would be a good addition, it doesn’t provide the Germans any parity.

. and that's about it for the Germans. While there were some other radical prop designs, they either proved to be failures and worse than the planes they intended to replace ( Me 209/309) or never materialized as the Germans were invested in jet design.

Re.2006. Built, never flown, and has virtually no documentation besides basic schematics and performance estimates. This is essentially the revered mid-war Re.2005 modified to accommodate the larger DB 603 engine which was also used in the G.56 and a number of other applications. It was likely intended for production, but Italy’s broken manufacturing industry couldn’t support the intense labor and skill required to make the plane a reality. Due to these extenuating circumstances, I am wholly for Gaijin essentially making this plane from scratch since we have data for the DB 603 engine, schematics for the plane, and a rough idea of its performance estimates/calculations. Despite the promising nature of the Re.2006, this is still a 5.7 prop at best and does nothing to bolster the German situation against Allied superprops. Nevertheless, it is still an excellent plane to add to the 5.7 stable, and would provide Axis with yet another option to fight the Allies at this BR.

M.C.206.This plane is nothing more than the existing C.205N2 that’s been put on a diet. It has the same early DB 605A as the C.205 Serie 3 and G.55, but has a larger, lighter wing. Judging from the engine alone, it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t even capable of competing with a P-51D-30, let alone true superprops.

M.C.207. This was Macchi’s unbuilt, planned competitor to the G.56 and Re.2006, as it would’ve used the same DB 603 engine as them, with necessary modifications to the airframe. Gaijin would have to make this plane up themselves, which I am against since this plane never existed, but even if they did, it wouldn’t be significantly better than the G.56 or Re.2006.

. so nothing game-changing for the Italians, what about the other nations?

Two of their most promising prototypes, the Ki-87 (premium) and Ki-94-II (recent event vehicle) are already in the game, and needless to say, they aren't particularly good. The Ki-87's FM needs to be corrected, but even then, itɽ roughly be on par with the Tempest at best. The Ki-94-II is fairly poor as it was a design that catered to extreme high-altitude bomber interception. Neither of these designs are capable of competing with Allied superprops, as they already find themselves struggling against 4.7-6.0 Allies.

Ki-83 on high-octane fuel. While we know that the US carried out tests on the plane under this condition, we have virtually no data on it, and therefore cannot surmise how the plane would have performed. Therefore, a “boosted” Ki-83 is an impossibility.

Prototype/unbuilt Ki-84 variants with the Ha-219 engine of 2500 HP. These would be similar in concept to the Ta 152 H and 190 D-12 slated to receive Jumo 213EB engines. These Japanese counterparts would benefit from the power increase, but still likely remain the lesser plane compared to the best of the Allies. Some versions were to mount a supercharger (84-R), while others were to remain without one (84-N). For all intents and purposes, we don’t know how these two variants would perform as we have no data on them. However, if implemented, they would reduce the struggle Japan encounters at top tier prop matchmaking. Overall, not a bad idea to introduce them, even if it’s rather far fetched.

Ki-73. Entirely paper, and never built since it was abandoned on the drawing board. There is absolutely zero data for this plane, and it’s basically impossible to add. At least the Ho 229 V3 and R2Y2 V1 had fairly well documented performance estimates/calculations. This plane has none of those. Even if added, it would appear that its only saving grace is acceptable speed, and even that would be robbed from it by the P-51H, F4U-5, Hornet, and Fury.

Ki-64: This plane was actually built and flown. It doesn’t have a wealth of data for it, but there’s at least some information available. The prototype never had its proposed armament fitted to it, but like many of the prototypes already in the game, Gaijin could make an exception in this case since this seems like a plane where reasonable judgement could be exercised regarding its implementation. Based on the performance indicated in the linked article, it still doesn’t offer much in the way of competing with superprops, but it would surely be among the best that Japan has.

Beyond the above listed prototypes, there isn’t much else. I suppose there's the never-flown, only-built-as-a-wooden-mockup Ki-94-I? Looking at the design though, even with the overly optimistic performance estimates, it doesn't look like itɽ stack up all that well.

On to the USSR, which despite technically being an “Allied” power, finds itself in the same position as its Axis enemies.

The Russians have nothing that could compete on an allied superprop level. They barely even compete at the existing high tier level, let alone future superprops. After the La-9, Russia heavily invested its resources in jet development. There's still some options, but they don't flesh out much:

La-9/11 are in the game already, and as per their recent revision to their FM, are both overtiered a tad. La-11 isn't even close to being a superprop, and the La-9's revision has made it a 5.7 prop rather than the 6.0 prop it once was. Neither of these planes are capable enough, and the Lavochkin line ends here.

Yak-3 (VK-108). Better performance than the VK-107 with worse overheating, but still an exceedingly shitty airframe for high speed prop combat, with the same Vne as other Yak-3s. Would work, but always be at a disadvantage due to low rip speed. A worthwile addition to the main-tree in any case.

Yak-3U. More akin to a 5.7 prop, doesn't solve much. It’s a standard Yak-3 with the same engine from the La-7/9 and the appropriate modifications to the fuselage.

La-7 prototypes with the M-71 and M-83 engines. Quite good performance, and a decent airframe, unlike their Yakovlev brethren. These are pretty good planes, but would likely be 5.7 for the M-71, and 6.0-3 for the M-73 versions. Don't really compare to the proposed Ki-84s or Germans, let alone allied superprops. However, the M-73 would provide some parity, although I can't imagine that an entire USSR team would consist of VK-107/8 Yaks and M-73 La-7s just to compete with the Allies.

As shown, every nation that isn’t the US or UK cannot compete with the latter’s superprops. But why does that matter? Don’t superprops fight early jets most of the time anyway? That should be balanced, right?

Wrong. Let’s get into the third movement of this post.

Put simply, props objectively have nothing on “true” 7.0 jets, no matter how powerful they may be. True 7.0 jets such as the P-80A, F-84B, Me 262A, Ho 229, Arado C, F-84G, Meteor Mk.3, Attacker FB.1, Vampire FB.5, MiG-9 in both variants, Kikka, and R2Y2 are all superior to props despite their (generally) worse acceleration, climb rate, maneuverability, and altitude performance. You probably find this shocking, but there is a simple truth behind this statement: Jets are able to maintain a level flight speed that is 100+ kph faster than just about any prop, and despite the fact that they are objectively worse in most other metrics, speed is all that matters in combat where jets are involved.

Now of course, current props regularly kill 7.0 jets, but is this due to the performance of said props? Or is it due to the incompetence and poor piloting of early jet players? To be honest, it’s little bit of both. For example, a slow plane such as G.55 Centauro will have great difficulty killing jets don’t go headon or stall in front of it - obviously faster, more capable props like the Tempest Mk.II will have the necessary advantages to capitalize on a rookie jet pilot’s mistakes. But therein lies the key issue: in order for superprops to win a match against a jet team (as all Axis teams are at 6.3 vs. 7.0 matches), the jets have to give up all their single biggest advantage and play into the strengths of the props. A prop vs. jet fight is never a truly balanced matchup, even from the get-go. Altitude doesn’t matter. A Spitfire Mk.24 or P-51H that climbs to 6K in under 5 minutes doesn’t have any impact on the 650+kph fight that’s evolving on the deck. Once a prop at altitude chooses to dive on the jets below them, it is unable to maintain a sufficiently high speed for pursuit and must either convert that energy back into altitude, or continue bleeding its speed in level-flight pursuit. Both of these scenarios play right into the jet pilot’s hands, since he can simply sit at his higher cruising speed and remain out of the prop’s reach by abusing the speed differential that he has over superprops.

To illustrate this concept further, let’s consider the F7F Tigercat. Easily among the fastest props in the game with incredible energy retention, it is absolutely useless against jets which outspeed it and rob it of its sole advantage against enemies, thus allowing the matchup to be skewed in the jet’s favor. Additionally, since the F7F emphasizes speed rather than maneuverability, it cannot win the maneuvering engagement either. We can find another example too in the most feared prop of WT: the Spitfire F. Mk.24. Though it’s tremendously maneuverable with fantastical energy retention and acceleration, it lacks the sustainable level speed to even come close to catching a cruising early jet. Situations like these arise among every current superprop, and will continue to pose an imbalance for all future superprops as you are unable to truly compete with a plane that maintains a vastly superior speed advantage over you in the RB environment. Regardless of the fact that inexperienced ones will regularly die to a prop’s guns, props vs. jets simply isn’t balanced and enjoyable for either party, as the props can simply choose to maintain altitude, leaving the jets with no option but to climb to them, or waste time flying around at low altitude. This proves that balance in the game must be done objectively according to plane performance rather than player performance - the crux of my argument.

As illustrated, these are the current issues with superprop MM - it is a given that in downtiers superprops will crush the WW2-era prop opposition, and in uptiers you will get crushed by the early jets, all things considered objectively. So if superprops can’t fight other T4 props or early T5 jets, what are they to do? Why are they in the game?

Do not lose all hope - I have an alternative proposition that should largely solve this issue.

Enter “The Superprop Meta”, with matchmaking that pits the very best of the US against the UK’s finest, as they duke it out over alt-history locations.

Currently, we have a slight taste of this with our current Preparation for Hokkaido map, but this map’s mechanics are poorly designed, with objectives that turn high-BR prop fights into a B-29 interception meta. There are several reasons for the map’s poor reception among the WT community, namely that the meta Hokkaido forces is one of despair, due to:

Map design that is poorly optimized for slow-climbing US planes. This bit is often blown out of proportion, especially with existing props like the P-47s and F-82s getting an airspawn, and planes like the late P-38s, D-30, F8F, and F7F climbing competitively. However, this argument is also a non-issue for US superprops. Late-war and post-war US design ideology shifted from escort fighters to interceptors, air superiority fighters, and multi-role planes. All the planes listed at the beginning of this post boast excellent climb rates, along with the typical heavy US emphasis on speed and multirole strike ability. This makes them extremely competitive against UK opposition, and comparatively are much easier to fly than their slow-climbing, one-dimensional predecessors that require long bouts of patient sideclimbing and conservative playstyle. In many cases, planes like the P-51H, F4U-5, and XP-72 are downright better than a lot of their UK counterparts. This doesn’t mean that the UK isn’t competitive though, as designs like the Sabre-powered Fury 1, Hornet F.1 w/ 25 PSI, and Spiteful are more than capable of competing with US superprops. Most importantly, the designs of each country are so evenly matched, that playing in the superprop MM would require a large knowledge of your opposition’s strengths in addition to nuanced technical skill, thus providing a challenging, high skill ceiling for experienced players. Best of all, since the US planes are finally competitive within the “Climb Thunder Meta”, this MM also boasts a lower bar of entry for newer players of that nation.

Bomber mechanics which force a B-17/29 interception meta. This is actually a huge problem at several tiers, since the bombers get an airspawn which allows them to simply rush the airfield, forcing all UK props (including the Mk.24) to immediately struggle for interception lest their base be destroyed and the match end without any fighter combat. There have been a number of solutions to this issue brought to light, such as giving bombers a lower airspawn or leaving the airspawn as is but preventing the destruction of the airfield from being an auto-win. Another helpful change would be decreasing the overwhelmingly unrealistic strength of bomber DMs. To compensate any one of these possible changes, bomber aficionados could perhaps receive a RP gain buff for dealing base damage, or a lower repair cost. All these solutions seem to be solid ways to make the meta more dynamic, and less about a race to intercept B-29s.

Poor map objectives/map design. Ground units/naval targets should be scattered out in a less predictable fashion than they are currently. There could even be a set series of variable spawn locations for AI ground units that differ from Hokkaido map to Hokkaido map.

Discussion about a Hokkaido revamp leads me to my next point: new maps and rotations for Air RB. Hokkaido is simply boring to look at, and new maps could go along way to selling people on this idea. It is also something that the RB Air community pines for with every update.

Luckily, that is extremely easy to do:

Since the British and Americans were often mutually involved in Pacific theater operations against the Japanese, there could be alternate history matchups on many Pacific maps.

Due to British and American forces cooperating against the Germans when expanding into Berlin late in the war, the current alt-history operation between the US/UK and USSR could be repackaged into a US vs. UK match. Ditto goes for the US/UK/USSR vs. GER version of the map. If Gaijin wanted to, they could even design a new map based on existing Berlin map assets with a focus on the separate districts of West Berlin occupied by the British and Americans after the war. It could serve as an excellent “what-if” scenario should the US and UK have gotten into a heated quarrel over the zone.

Saving the best for last, a totally new series of maps could be implemented using War Plan Red as the location. Originally a US plan drawn up in the ‘20s, it could easily serve as a ‘what-if’ map should US-UK relations have gone hot in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. There are 2-4 possible locations for these maps throughout North America, and it could truly be an incredible new addition to the US-UK map rotation at all tiers, with an especially huge boon for the unique facets of ‘The Superprop MM’.

Well, that’s about it. If you managed to make it through this far, you have my utmost respect - I know it was a long read. So what do you think? Would you like to see true, balanced superprop MM between the US and UK? Do you agree with my notions on superprop vs. jet MM? Would you like to see this in game?

Comment away! I look forward to reading your comments, and will respond to as many as I can.


Tired of all the "Italian Tree Gaijob plox" posts yet?

Allow me to take the wind out of the sails of all my fellow wikipedia warriors out there.

Heavy Fighters/Heavy Fighter Bombers

Strike Aircraft and Light Bombers

Medium and Heavy Bombers

Fiat G.91Y (probably not has afterburner)

Looks like the 91Y will be a new top 5 jet wow. that'll be fun

Personally I believe it's way too powerful to be in the game.

G.91 will likely be top tier unless they add a new set of jets to the game (F-100, MiG 19, and the later Hunters)

The 91Y has afterburners. Other than that, good list.

I feel like afterburners isn't really a good excuse to avoid said vehicle, other than being hard to balance and having to model mach 1 speeds.

I really love Italian float planes.

There wasn't much development in this area post-war. Italy mainly used the G.91 and the Vampire and Venom as their main strike aircraft post-war. They also had the extremely capable F-84G and F-84F.


Reggiane Re2006b Sagittario II

ungarisch Mavag Hejja I
Der Konstrukteur Roberto Longhi wurde durch seine Arbeiten in den USA stark geprägt. Zwei Jahre nach seiner Rückkehr entwarf er bei Reggiane eine an die Seversky P-35 angelehnte Jagdmaschine, die Re.2000 Falco. Erstflug war 1939. Er legte Wert auf eine gute Mischung aus hoher Geschwindigkeit und guter Manöv.
Für die aus der Re.2000 weiterentwickelte Re.2001 sollte ein stärkerer Motor verwendet werden. Der ursprünglich vorgesehene Daimler-Benz DB601A-1 stand jedoch nur begrenzt zur Verfügung daher wurde auf eine Lizenzversion, den RA.1000 RC.41-1a Monsonie ausgewichen. Es wurden nur 252 Stück her. Um die Verfügbarkeitsprobleme der Motoren zu umgehen, wurden 100 Re.2001 Delta mit einem 840 PS Isotta-Fraschini Delta RC 16/48 Motor bestellt. Der Prototyp flog am 12.9.42. Er erreichte aber nur 478 km/h auf 5760m. Nach anderen Quellen erreichte sie 513 km/h, litt aber unter vielen Motorproblemen. Daher wurde das Projekt eingestellt und die B. Nach den zu schwachen oder nicht verfügbaren Motoren der Re.2000 und Re.2001 erhielt die Re.2002 wieder einen Sternmotor Piaggio P.XIX RC.45. Die Ab Juli 43 ausgelieferten Maschinen wurden vorwiegend als Jabos gegen Malta und dann gegen die alliierten Landungstruppen eingesetzt. Nach dem Zerfall Italiens dienten jeweils rund 40 Maschinen auf a. Zur allg. Geschichte der Re.2002 siehe Index 759 (Re2002 Ariete)
Geschwader Bongart:
Im Februar 1944 wurde in der Luftflotte 3 das Fliegerzielgeschwader F.Z.G. 2 gegründet. Seine Hauptaufgabe war die Zieldarstellung für die Flak. Die Einheit erhielt die meisten Re.2002, die von Reggiane und Cap.
Die Reggiane Re.2003 war eine zweisitzige Auslegung der Re.2000. Für den ersten gebauten Prototypen wurde eine Maschine aus einem ursprünglich für Ungarn und Schweden vorgesehen Baulos verwendet. Diese wurde verlängert, um Platz für einen Beobachter zu erhalten, der hinter dem Piloten unter der länger gezogenen Klarsic. Die Re.2005
Das Entwicklungsteam um Ing. Roberto Longhi begann die Arbeiten 1941. Der Prototyp hatte eine gegenüber dem Vorgängermodell Reggiane Re.2002 verbesserte Struktur mit elliptischen Tragflächen, Flügeltanks und einen deutschen V-12-Motor DB605A-1. Der Motor war beim Transport verloren gegangen und wurde erst Monate .

Macchi M.C.206 - History


Mario Castoldi (Zibido San Giacomo, 26 febbraio 1888 – Trezzano sul Naviglio, 31 maggio 1968) è stato un ingegnere italiano, importante progettista aeronautico.
Dopo la laurea lavora alla Direzione Tecnica dell'Aeronautica militare per poi passare alla Pomilio. Passa poi alla Direzione Sperimentale dell'aviazione militare a Montecelio (Roma) che di lì a qualche lustro diverrà l'embrione della "città dell'aeronautica" di Guidonia Montecelio.

L'anno 1922 lo vede approdare alla Nieuport Macchi. Ben presto inizia a progettare una fortunata serie di idrocorsa Macchi M..33,

che lo porterà al suo capolavoro, il Macchi M.C.72 a lungo detentore del record di velocità.

Si occupò per la stessa ditta anche della progettazione di idrovolanti di maggiori dimensioni come il Macchi M.C.94, Macchi M.C.99, Macchi M.C.100.

Passa poi alla progettazione di una famiglia di caccia che si riveleranno essere tra i migliori velivoli italiani della seconda guerra mondiale, dal suo tavolino da disegno prendono vita il Macchi M.C.200, il Macchi M.C.202, il Macchi M.C.205, il Macchi M.C.206, tutti caccia aerodinamicamente ottimi (a parte qualche iniziale problema di autorotazione dello M.C.200 presto risolto), molto manovrabili e dotati di una ridotta corsa di decollo.

Nei report alleati del tempo si fa menzione del Castoldi come uno dei migliori progettisti al mondo di velivoli. Nel 1945 si dimise da qualunque incarico ritirandosi a vita privata.

In a lot of ways the development and history of the Macchi-Castoldi series of fighter aircraft used by the Regia Aeronautica during the Second World War parallels that of the Supermarine Spitfire. Unlike many other contemporary fighter aircraft, both lines of fighters weren't derived from earlier fighter designs but sprang from the design work of the elegant racing seaplanes of the 1920s and 1930s and both fighter lines were developed and refined continuously during the course of the war to improve their performance. The Spitfire was born from the Supermarine Schneider series of racing seaplanes designed by Reginald Mitchell. The Macchi-Castoldi series of fighters were the products of Italian engineer Mario Castoldi and his work on the Macchi racing seaplanes that were Schneider Trophy winners as well. Castoldi joined Macchi in 1922 with his first winning racing seaplane design being the Macchi M.39 that won the 1926 Schneider Trophy. Castoldi spent three years working on his ultimate racer, the Macchi M.C.72 that was planned to retake the Schneider from a series of British wins with Reginald Mitchell's designs. Though the M.C.72 didn't complete in a race due to not being ready in time, in 1934 it set a world speed record of 440 mph that still stands to this day for piston-engined seaplanes. For comparison, the world speed record at the time for landplanes was held by the Hughes H-1 with a speed of 352 mph. Castoldi began work on his first fighter aircraft based on his racing seaplane designs when the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire started their flight test programs. Castoldi, however, was handicapped from the start with a lack of a suitable engine like the Rolls-Royce Merlin that wasn't just only a powerful engine but being a liquid cooled inline engine, could be installed in a low drag nose cowling. The only engine that had the power Castoldi wanted was the Fiat A.74 twin-row fourteen cylinder radial developing 870 hp. In addition, the Regia Aeronautica had very stringent visibility demands from the cockpit and this required a hump-backed fuselage which along with the Fiat radial engine, eliminated any of the clean lines that would have belied its racing aircraft origins. The design was entered into the "Program R" competition for a fighter aircraft that had two hours' endurance and twin 12.7mm machine guns. Designated the M.C.200 Saetta (Arrow), it first flew on 24 December 1937.

M.C.200 Saetta

Proving to be a highly maneuverable aircraft with good ground handling due its wide spaced landing gear (something that always bedeviled both the Spitfire and Bf 109 on account of their narrow track landing gear), the M.C.200 lacked the elegance of the Spitfire but was an impressive performer capable of 500mph in a dive and a quantum leap over the current Regia Aeronautica fighter aicraft, the Fiat C.R.42 Falco biplane. The M.C.200 was declared the winner against the other entrants in 1938 and ordered into production with deliveries beginning in 1939. Thoroughly conventional in its design and construction, the M.C.200 was unique in having its ailerons interconnected with the wing flaps so that they drooped slightly during takeoff and landing to improve field performance. When the first M.C.200s were delivered to the pilots of 4 Stormo (Wing), the pilots were resistant to giving up their Falco biplanes and felt that the enclosed cockpit would delay their egress in an emergency. Castoldi switched to a partially open cockpit design as a result of pilot demands. The pilots of 1 Stormo were more accommodating of the new monoplane fighter, though, as those pilots had participated in the Spanish Civil War and took little convincing that monoplane fighters were the wave of the future. Initial operations had uncovered some unpleasant spin characteristics that had to be rectified with a modified wing and this delayed operational capability further. Only 29 Saettas were in service by the time World War 2 broke out in September 1939 as a result. Interestingly, Italy did solicit export orders for the Saetta and did get a contract for 12 aircraft from Denmark! They were ordered for the Danish Naval Air Service but the order was never finalized after the German invasion of Denmark on 9 April 1940. Two months later when Italy entered the war there were 156 Saettas on strength with the Regia Aeronautica. The M.C.200 Saetta was to have participated in the invasion of France, but another unpleasant quirk was found with high speed stalls. Again the wing required modification and the Saettas went into action over Malta against the Hawker Hurricane. Though slightly slower, the Saetta could hold its own against the Hurricane and proved just as sturdy. Saettas would see extensive service flying escort missions on strikes against Allied shipping in the Mediterranean and were also sent to the Balkans, North Africa, and even participated in Operation Barbarossa on the Eastern Front.

M.C.202 Folgore in North Africa


As the development of the M.C.200 Saetta proceeded in 1938, Castoldi was asked to work on a modified Saetta that would use the new Fiat A.76 radial that produced 1,000 horsepower. Castoldi refined the M.C.200 design with an aerodynamic clean up that dropped the hump-backed fuselage and featured an enclosed cockpit for drag reduction. Designated M.C.201, it wasn't enough of an improvement over the production M.C.200 to warrant changing production. Contributing to the termination of the M.C.201 program was Castoldi's next design which was much more promising, the M.C.202 Folgore (Lightning). The Folgore was more of what Castoldi wanted in a fighter design as it featured the German Daimler-Benz DB 601 liquid cooled inline engine that also powered the Messerschmitt Bf 109. With the slimmed down airframe of the M.C.201 and its enclosed cockpit combined with the powerful and low drag DB 601 engine, the M.C.202 Folgore was an instant winner from the time it made its first flight on 10 August 1940. It evoked the lean lines of Castoldi's pre-war racing seaplanes and much of the Saetta production jigs and tooling could be used with sped its introduction into service. Early Folgores used imported DB 601 engines before Alfa Romeo was license-building the DB 601 as the R.A.1000 developing 1,175 hp. The Folgore's empennage was identical to the Saetta and the wings were also identical apart from the installation of fuel tanks in the inboard sections. Armament was basically the same and rather light compared to contemporary aircraft, but some Folgore variants also included an additional pair of wing mounted machine guns and one production batch had underwing fairings for 20mm cannons. The first Folgores went into action with 1 Stormo on 25 November 1941 in Libya. In battles over North Africa, the Folgore gave good account of itself being more maneuverable than both the Hurricane and Spitfire. The M.C.200 Saettas were soon relegated to ground attack missions as the Folgore became the Regia Aeronautica's primary fighter aircraft. Despite this, however, the Saetta remained in production due to production issues with Alfa Romeo on the DB 601 engines. Like the Saetta-equipped units, Folgore squadrons were sent to the Eastern Front but in smaller numbers than the Saetta.

M.C.205 Veltro in RSI markings

Castoldi wasn't resting on his laurels with the Folgore, though, as he continued to refine the design further and on 19 April 1942 the M.C.205V Veltro (Greyhound) first took flight. While looking very similar to the M.C.202 Folgore, the Veltro used the more powerful Daimler Benz DB 605 engine that produced 1,475 hp. In fact, the Veltro prototype was a Folgore that had been modified to take the DB 605 engine. Like the transition from the Saetta to the Folgore, the transition from the Folgore to the Veltro was relatively easy as much of the same production equipment could be used. Early M.C.205V Veltro aircraft had the same armament as the Folgore before the production standard became two wing-mounted 20mm cannons and the 12.7mm twin guns on the top of the nose. The M.C.205V Veltro went into action for the first time in June 1943 during the Battle of Pantelleria- with the surrender of Axis forces in Tunisia, the Allies prepared for the invasion of Sicily but first had to secure the small island of Pantelleria as well as the rest of the Pelagie Islands of Lampedusa, Linosa, and Lampione. The Veltro then went into action defending Sicily during Operation Husky in July 1943. Despite the fact that the Veltro could easily hold its own against the P-51 Mustang, they were overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Allied invasion force. When the Italian government capitulated on 8 September 1943, the Regia Aeronautica was a shell of its former self with only 33 M.C.200 Saettas, 53 M.C.202 Folgores, and 35 M.C.205V Veltro fighters in serviceable condition along with a variety of other aircraft. But the Macchi-Castoldi fighters were the crown jewels of the Regia Aeronautica and the Germans had no intention of respecting the Italian Armistice. Only 23 Saettas and 6 each of the Folgores and Veltros were able to make it to Allied airfields to become part of the Allied-supported Co-Belligerent Air Force. Most of the fighters were either destroyed by their Italian crews or taken in by the Repubblica Sociale Italiana (RSI) that held out in northern Italy determined to continue fighting with the Germans.

M.C.205N Orione
Castoldi had always considered the Veltro an interim design, though, as he again refined the design further to make full use of the performance of the DB 605 engine. The new design was the M.C.205N Orione (Orion) and while it used the same empennage that was used on the Saetta, Folgore and Veltro, the fuselage was slimmed down for drag reduction and the wing span increased. Four 12.7mm guns were mounted in the forward fuselage- two on the upper nose just like on the prior Macchi-Castoldi fighters but a second set were mounted in fairings on the fuselage sides above the wing roots. Like the Bf 109, the Orione featured a nose-mounted 20mm cannon. The second Orione prototype replaced the 12.7mm guns near the wing roots with a 20mm cannon in each wing. The first Orione made its first flight on 1 November 1942 and the second Orione flew on 19 May 1943. The Italian government afforded production priority to the Veltro as it could use existing jigs and tooling while the Orione would need new tooling. It had also been decided at this point that the successor to the Veltro would be the Fiat G.55 Centauro as it showed more promise at high altitudes where American bomber aircraft operated.

M.C.206. Only one prototype built, but destroyed before flown


This wasn't quite the end of the Macchi-Castoldi line, though. Always refining his designs with several parallel concepts in the works, the successor to the M.C.205N Orione was the M.C.206. Being the consummate engineer, Castoldi set out to improve upon the deficiencies of the M.C.205V Veltro and the M.C.205N Orione. Still using the DB 605 engine, a single M.C.206 was nearly complete when it was destroyed in an Allied bombing attack in the spring of 1944. The more powerful DB 603 engine that was used on the Focke Wulf Ta 152 spurred Castoldi to revise the design again with the M.C.207 which had it been built would have been the ultimate Macchi-Castoldi fighter. With 1.700 hp available, the M.C.207 was a larger aircraft with four 20mm wing cannon. Work began on the M.C.207 prototype, but it was never finished before the war ended in 1945.

The ultimate Macchi-Castoldi, the M.C.207. Prototype started, never completed

While the quantities of the Macchi-Castoldi fighters were modest compared to other fighter aircraft of the Second World War, the fighters were well-regarded by the Allies as adversaries. The Italian aircraft industry was never fully mobilized on war footing and this was one factor that was detrimental to Italian fortunes in the war. Germany proved to be a less than ideal ally through it all, often holding up deliveries of Daimler Benz engines, failing to provide requested assistance to the Italian aircraft industry. In addition, many skilled Italian workers in the industry were forcibly moved to work in German aircraft factories. Mario Castoldi retired from aviation with the end of the war in 1945, passing away in 1968.


Le modèle a été M.C.206 motorisée, comme précise sans équivoque l'ingénieur de conception originale. Mario Castoldi avec Daimler-Benz DB 605. [4] [5]

Par rapport à la précédente M.C.205, il y avait une aile de la zone d'aile a augmenté de 21 m², tandis que la vitesse, selon le moteur, il était de 640 ou 700 km / h.

Les différences entre les différents modèles de combat M.C. [6] [7]
titre mesurer C.205V
une série
C.205V
3 jeux
C.205N
MM499
C.205N
mm500
C.206 C.207 C.202
envergure m 10,58 10,58 11,25 11,25 12142 12142 10,58
longueur m 8,85 8,85 9,549 9,549 9335 9735 8,85
surface de l'aile 16,80 16,80 19,00 19,00 21,00 21,00 16,80
diamètre de l'hélice m 3050 3050 3050 3050 3050 3150 3050
poids à vide kg 2568 2581 2695 2759 2578 3292 2357
poids total kg 3268 3408 3621 3794 3650 4340 2937
puissance du moteur hp 1250 1250 1250 1250 1250 1510 1250

Armement

L'armement prévu pour les deux projets ont été développés presque simultanément:


Indice

La stessa Commissione di Valutazione della Regia Aeronautica che ebbe l'incarico di valutare gli aerei da caccia della cosiddetta "prima generazione" (Macchi C.200, Fiat G.50, Reggiane Re.2000, Caproni Vizzola F.5), nella sua relazione finale del settembre 1939, affermava di ritenere indispensabile, per la generazione successiva, l'adozione di motori aeronautici in linea raffreddati a liquido, in modo da ridurre la sezione frontale degli aerei e aumentarne le prestazioni. Data l'incapacità manifesta dell'industria italiana di progettare una nuova generazione, modernamente concepita, di motori in linea, si decise di puntare ancora su propulsori prodotti su licenza, in particolare il Daimler-Benz DB 601, di cui l'Alfa Romeo acquisì la licenza di costruzione nel novembre del 1939 la cui designazione fu Alfa Romeo RA 1000 RC.41.

L'ingegner Mario Castoldi, progettista del Macchi C.200 e degli idrovolanti da competizione (idrocorsa) della Coppa Schneider, modificò il suo aereo, soprattutto la fusoliera, per poter installare il nuovo motore. Il risultato fu un aereo completamente nuovo che venne portato in volo per la prima volta il 10 agosto 1940 dal collaudatore della Macchi Guido Carestiato [7] impiegando il motore tedesco Daimler Benz DB 601 a 12 cilindri a V raffreddati a liquido, in grado di erogare 1 175 hp al decollo, un propulsore radicalmente nuovo, rispetto alla tradizione motoristica nazionale. [8]

I piloti della Regia Aeronautica iniziarono il passaggio sul M.C.202 dal maggio 1941 con la consegna ai reparti alla fine di luglio-inizio di agosto dello stesso anno. Il caccia dimostrò di avere ottime caratteristiche di velocità e manovrabilità, ma fu penalizzato dall'armamento inadeguato (ereditato dal suo predecessore) di sole due mitragliatrici da 12,7 mm (cui potevano aggiungersi, nelle serie successive alla prima, due armi alari da 7,7 mm) e da una produzione insufficiente, conseguenza sia della complessità della struttura che, anche se molto robusta, richiedeva un elevato numero di ore/uomo per la sua costruzione, sia della produzione nazionale di motori DB 601 che non superò mai le 50 unità mensili. [6] [9] [3]

Struttura Modifica

La cellula del M.C.202 si distingueva da quella del M.C.200 per la forma della fusoliera, nel Folgore più affusolata e priva della "gobba" del Saetta. Il M.C.202 era un caccia intercettatore diurno, monoposto, monoplano ad ala bassa a sbalzo, interamente metallico, con tutte le caratteristiche più moderne per un caccia dell'epoca: carrello retrattile (anche se solo quello anteriore), ipersostentatori, tettuccio chiuso ed una radio ricetrasmittente Allocchio-Bacchini B.30 E. L'elica tripala metallica con passo variabile in volo e velocità costante era la Piaggio.P1001, dal diametro di 3,05 metri. Il serbatoio principale di carburante si trovava in fusoliera, tra la paratia antifiamma e il posto di pilotaggio. Altri serbatoi erano nella sezione centrale dell'ala, da 40 litri ciascuno e uno di riserva da 80 dietro il seggiolino del pilota ed erano tutti ricoperti da trattamento autosigillante Semape. Alla radice dell'ala sinistra poteva essere montata una cinepresa FM-62.

Motori Modifica

Sui primi esemplari del M.C.202 vennero montati motori DB 601A-1 originali. Esaurita la fornitura di 419 propulsori tedeschi, dal 1941 furono installati quelli assemblati dall'Alfa Romeo di Pomigliano d'Arco vicino a Napoli, con parti e componenti forniti dalla Germania. In seguito nel 1942 entrò in produzione l'Alfa Romeo RA 1000 RC.41 Ia, dove la sigla stava a significare che il motore poteva sviluppare una potenza normale continua di 1 000 CV a 4 100 m di quota.

Il Macchi M.C.202 operò su tutti i fronti. L'aereo ebbe il suo battesimo del fuoco alla fine del settembre 1941, a causa dei molti difetti che i primi esemplari presentavano. Alcuni difetti poterono essere eliminati in breve tempo come:

  • difetto al carrello
  • difetto comando dei piani di coda
  • vibrazioni
  • inclinazione bloccata delle pale dell'elica
  • alloggiamento armi
  • nastri delle munizioni
  • filtri anti sabbia

Il 21 agosto 1941 a Lonate Pozzolo il tenente Giulio Reiner, uno dei piloti esperti del 9º Gruppo, effettuò il volo di controllo militare e gli strumenti dell'Ufficio tecnico registrarono la velocità di picchiata in candela di 1 078 ,27 km/h ed un'accelerazione nella richiamata di 5,8 G. [10] La quota di tangenza massima fu di 11 800 metri. Durante la picchiata in candela, tuttavia, si verificarono alcuni inconvenienti: il volantino di comando dell'assetto dei piani di coda si era bloccato e non interveniva nella manovra di richiamo del M.C.202, che tendeva a rimanere in picchiata. Inoltre, alla massima velocità raggiunta si erano manifestate fortissime vibrazioni, in particolare sulla cloche. Infine, l'inclinazione delle pale dell'elica si bloccava sul passo massimo anche con la manetta al minimo, agevolando l'affondata ma ostacolando l'atterraggio. [10]

Tra gli altri difetti che poterono essere eliminati, il cofano delle armi che si spaccava, i nastri delle munizioni che si inceppavano e la presa d'aria anti-sabbia che a causa delle vibrazioni del motore si cristallizzava e poi si fratturava. Altri difetti, come il cattivo funzionamento dell'impianto dell'ossigeno e l'armamento insufficiente, non poterono mai essere risolti del tutto. Così come il problema delle radio, le quali emettevano tanti e tali rumori, che i piloti preferivano tenerle spente. [11]

Una grave limitazione dell'aereo era poi rappresentata dall'impossibilità assoluta di eseguire manovre in volo rovescio poiché, nonostante il motore tedesco avesse l'iniezione diretta meccanica della benzina, il velivolo non era equipaggiato con un sistema di pescaggio del carburante che fosse utilizzabile anche in tali condizioni di volo. [4]

Malta Modifica

Il Folgore ebbe il suo battesimo del fuoco sotto le insegne del "Cavallino Rampante". La prima unità a registrare il primo abbattimento fu il 9º gruppo del 4º Stormo il 30 settembre 1941 [11] (il 29 settembre secondo altri autori) [12] . Quel giorno poco dopo le due pomeridiane, sei Hurricane decollati dalla base di Ħal Far a Malta piombarono sull'aeroporto di Comiso, mitragliando e lanciando spezzoni. Tra le esplosioni, tre Macchi della 97ª Squadriglia decollarono per intercettare i caccia-bombardieri inglesi. Il sottotenente Jacopo Frigerio, raggiunti gli aerei britannici, diretti a Malta, attaccò l'Hurricane (Z5265) del Pilot Officer D.W Lintern, incendiandolo. Il pilota inglese si lanciò con il paracadute sul mare a 15 km a sud di Capo Scaramia, a nord di Gozo. Poco dopo, un Cant Z.506 da soccorso scortato da tre M.C.202 giunse per soccorrere il pilota, ma sette Hurricane cercarono di abbattere l'idrovolante di soccorso. I Folgore attaccarono allora gli Hurricane e diversi velivoli britannici furono colpiti. Tra questi uno esplose prima di cadere in mare. [13]

Il primo ottobre 1941, vi fu un altro combattimento tra i Folgore e gli Hurricane del 185º Fighter Squadron. A circa trenta miglia a Nord-Est dell'isola di Malta veniva colpito, precipitando in fiamme, l'Hurricane IIc del Comandante l'unità britannica, lo Squadron Leader, Peter William Olber "Boy" Mould, un asso pluridecorato [14] , nonché il primo pilota britannico ad abbattere un aereo nemico durante la seconda guerra mondiale, che si lanciò col paracadute e finì in mare, ma non fu mai più ritrovato. [15] Sempre gli M.C.202 del 9º Gruppo il 26 novembre 1941 incontravano una formazione di caccia Curtiss P-40 e secondo i registri italiani abbatterono sette P-40 senza perdite. [16] La presenza dei Folgore nel cielo di Malta durò però solo fino alla fine di novembre, quando la maggior parte dei Macchi fu trasferita in Nord Africa. Il 4º Stormo tornò in Sicilia all'inizio dell'aprile del 1942 con il 10º Gruppo, dispiegato sulla base di Castelvetrano, che ospitava già i Gruppi 7º e 16º del 54º Stormo che avevano già in dotazione qualche Folgore, oltre ai Macchi M.C. 200 e ai C.R. 42. [17] Infatti, il 16º Gruppo del 54º Stormo aveva iniziato ad equipaggiarsi con gli M.C.202 verso la fine del 1941. I Folgore del "Cavallino Rampante" compirono la prima azione su Malta il 21 aprile, scortando tre Folgore "fotografici" del 54º Stormo, durante la quale viene rivendicato l'abbattimento di uno dei primi Spitfire V sbarcati sull'isola. [18] Il 4º Stormo compie la sua ultima missione su Malta il 19 maggio, prima di trasferirsi in Africa Settentrionale, [19] lasciando in Sicilia i Macchi 202 del 51º Stormo Caccia e quelli del 23º Gruppo del 3º Stormo, arrivati nello stesso mese. Alla fine di giugno in Sicilia erano stati trasferiti circa 60 Macchi per operare contro Malta, che aveva nel frattempo iniziato a ricevere gli Spitfire V. [20]

Lo stesso argomento in dettaglio: Battaglia di mezzo giugno.

Per tutta l'estate e parte dell'autunno i Folgore si scontrarono quasi quotidianamente con gli Spitfire, con perdite continue da entrambe le parti. Il 27 luglio 1942, nel cielo di Gozo vi fu uno scontro che vide protagonisti l'asso canadese George Beurling (soprannominato "Buzz"), del 249º Squadron e il capitano Furio Niclot Doglio della 151ª Squadriglia del 51º Stormo Caccia, un abile pilota italiano con sette abbattimenti accreditati e molti primati mondiali al suo attivo raccolti prima del conflitto. Beurling sullo Spitfire Mk V sigla BR 301/UFS fece saltare in aria da grande distanza il Folgore (M.M.9042) di Niclot. Prima di Doglio aveva abbattuto anche il 202 del sergente Faliero Gelli della 378ª Squadriglia del 155º Gruppo, pilota con tre abbattimenti al suo attivo. [21] Beurling, impiegava il "deflection shot", il tiro a distanza di bersagli in rapido movimento e quello stesso giorno abbatté anche due Messerschmitt Bf 109, incluso quello del tenente Karl-Heinz Preu dello Stabst./JG53, un asso con 8 abbattimenti. Colpì il Macchi del sergente Gelli prima ancora di essere avvistato [22] e la stessa sorte dovette subire anche Niclot Doglio: intento a battere le ali per poi manovrare e attaccare dal basso altri Spitfire, non si avvide dell'attacco laterale portato dalla sua sinistra dalla formazione con cui volava l'asso canadese che lo centrò con numerosi colpi dei cannoncini da 20 millimetri. "Quel povero diavolo semplicemente saltò in pezzi" [23] [24] [25] [26] riferì George Buzz Beurling, che per i successi di quel giorno ottenne la Distinguished Flying Medal.

Due settimane dopo, il 13 agosto, Adriano Visconti venne inviato in ricognizione su Malta ai comandi di un M.C.202 fotografico armato, in coppia con un altro Folgore alla ricerca di una flotta in avvicinamento all'isola. Quando fu sulla verticale delle navi i due Macchi vennero attaccati da quattro Spitfire di scorta al convoglio. Visconti, al suo secondo combattimento con il M.C.202, abbatté due Spitfire, mettendo in fuga gli altri due, permettendo al ricognitore di svolgere la sua missione. Per questa doppia vittoria aerea, l'aviatore venne insignito di una Medaglia d'Argento al Valor Militare. [27]

Africa Settentrionale, Pantelleria, Sicilia Modifica

Il Nord Africa fu lo scacchiere dove si alternarono più o meno tutti gli stormi che impiegarono il Folgore, sempre disponibile in numero insufficiente. Alla vigilia dell'attacco di Rommel contro l'Egitto che lo avrebbe portato ad El Alamein, dei 182 caccia italiani di pronto impiego, 93 erano Macchi 202. Tra il 20 e il 22 maggio, i Macchi del "Cavallino Rampante" si erano trasferiti in Nord Africa. [28] Il 25 maggio, il 9º e 10º Gruppo si schieravano sull'aeroporto Martuba 4, uno dei campi attorno a Derna. [29] Il mattino del giorno seguente una sessantina di Folgore del 1º Stormo e del 4º attaccavano l'aeroporto di Gambut, danneggiando e distruggendo molti velivoli Alleati sorpresi in fase di decollo. [30] Utilizzando tattiche "mordi e fuggi" più simili a quelle adottate con successo dalla Luftwaffe, durante la Battaglia di Bir Hakeim (26 maggio 1942-11 giugno 1942), anche se spesso soverchiati nel numero, i 202 combatterono con successo contro i caccia della Desert Air Force, ottenendo 22 vittorie aeree confermate ai danni di Hurricane e P-40, a fronte della perdita di cinque Folgore, con un rateo abbattimenti/perdite di 4,4/1, superiore anche a quello ottenuto dai più potenti e meglio armati Messerschmitt Bf 109 (con un rateo di 3,5/1). [31] Nell'ottobre 1942, il 4º Stormo cedeva i pochi 202 superstiti dei duri scontri delle settimane precedenti, una decina in tutto, al 3º Stormo, dislocato ad Abu Smeit [30] , ed il 20 dello stesso mese, il tenente Franco Bordoni-Bisleri dell'83ª Squadriglia del 18º Gruppo abbatté su Fuka nel governatorato di Matruh un bimotore Martin Baltimore (secondo altri autori, un Martin Maryland) del 203 Squadron. Sei giorni dopo, il 26, ci fu una battaglia aerea su Fuka, tra diciannove Macchi 202 da una parte e trenta P-40 e dieci Spitfire di scorta a diciotto Douglas DB-7 Boston dall'altra. Il tenente Giulio Reiner della 73ª Squadriglia colpì uno Spitfire che precipitò ed esplose al suolo, a 20 km a sud est di Fuka. Il tenente Vittorio Squarcia, sempre della stessa unità (73ª Squadriglia), in collaborazione con altri piloti del 23º Gruppo, attaccò un Curtiss P-40 e ne costrinse il pilota, Sergeant Emy Meredith, del 344º Squadron, a un atterraggio a carrello retratto a sud di El Daba. Un altro P-40 colpito da più Macchi precipitava esplodendo al suolo. Bordoni-Bisleri colpì uno dei Kittyhawk, che si distrusse in un atterraggio di fortuna, a 15 km sud-est di Fuka. Solo un Macchi non rientrò, quello del Sergente Maggiore Celso Zemella, costretto a lanciarsi col paracadute su El Quteifiya nel governatorato di Matruh per guasti al motore. [32] All'inizio del 1943, la Regia Aeronautica aveva soltanto 54 Macchi 202 ancora operativi suddivisi in 12 squadriglie. Nello stesso periodo però riusciva ad ottenere vittorie contro un nemico sempre più forte. Tra il 6 e 7 marzo 1943, nella Battaglia di Médenine, i piloti dei Macchi rivendicavano 19 aerei della RAF e due dell'USAF a fronte della perdita di due caccia. [33] Il 17 marzo, 17 caccia Macchi M.C.202 del 16º stormo abbattevano nove Spitfire e un Lockheed P-38, perdendo soltanto due del loro numero. [16]

In aria le forze Anglo-americane superavano quelle dell'Asse di 6 a 1, ma anche in questo contesto Adriano Visconti, allora in forza al 54º Stormo, l'8 aprile 1943 decollava su allarme insieme ai sergenti Giuseppe Marconcini e Domenico Laiolo. Visconti con vantaggio di quota e con il sole alle spalle guidava i suoi uomini all'attacco di una squadriglia di Spitfire V e ne abbatté il comandante britannico e mitragliò un altro Spitfire. Il sergente Marconcini abbatté il gregario di sinistra del comandante britannico. Laiolo attaccò uno Spitfire, che cercò di sfuggire invertendo la rotta ma il Folgore lo anticipò e lo colpì in pieno, facendolo precipitare. Per Visconti era la quarta vittoria. [34]

Il 18 aprile, tra le 17:25 e le 18:30, cinque Macchi M.C. 200 andarono all'attacco dei carri armati della 1ª Divisione Corazzata dell'8ª Armata britannica a Sidi Bou Ali nel governatorato di Susa. Ventidue M.C.202 del 54º Stormo di scorta alle "Saette" si scontrarono con una formazione di P-40 e Spitfire. Il capitano Sergio Maurer, il tenente Giuseppe Robetto e il sergente Mauri abbatterono uno Spitfire a testa, mentre il sergente Rodoz fece precipitare un P-40. [35] Undici giorni dopo, il 29 aprile vi fu l'ultimo grande scontro aereo prima della caduta della Tunisia. In mattinata, il tenente Oscar Patuelli della 167ª Squadriglia del 54º Stormo su un Folgore, sorprese due caccia nemici in decollo da un aeroporto a 8 km a sud di Medjez el Bab e li abbatté. Lo stesso giorno, tra le 17:45 e le 18:50, tredici Macchi 202 del 7º Gruppo di protezione a un convoglio navale in navigazione tra Capo Bon e l'isola di Zembra, attaccarono sessanta tra Spitfire e P-40 diretti contro le navi. Il tenente Visconti abbatté un P-40 con bombe alari. Altri quattro caddero sotto i colpi di altri piloti del 54º. Altri cinque P-40 furono dichiarati probabili. I piloti dei P-40 dichiararono a loro volta tre Macchi abbattuti, ma il 54º riportò una sola perdita, quella del capitano Ugo Diappi della 86ª Squadriglia lanciatosi con il paracadute più il danneggiamento grave di tre Macchi. Visconti venne proposto per la concessione di una medaglia d'argento al valor militare che gli verrà concessa il 10 giugno 1948, tre anni dopo la morte. [36] Nel pomeriggio di giovedì 6 maggio 1943, i Macchi 202 del 54º Stormo si alzarono per contrastare le decine di aerei alleati in volo sulla Tunisia. Visconti decollò da Soliman nel governatorato di Nabeul alla guida del 7º Gruppo, mentre il tenente colonnello Giovanni Zappetta decollò da Korba al comando del 16º. I 14 Macchi M.C.202 attaccarono nel cielo di Capo Bon gli Spitfire V del 31º Fighter group. Visconti colpì uno Spitfire (sua sesta vittoria individuale e ultima nella Regia Aeronautica) e probabilmente un secondo. Un altro Spitfire fu abbattuto dai piloti del 7º Gruppo di Visconti e altri due vennero dichiarati "probabili". Il capitano Sergio Mauer, comandante della 98ª Squadriglia, fu a sua volta abbattuto e ucciso quasi certamente dal Lieutenant Dale Shafer jr. Il tenente colonnello Zappetta, colpito dal maggiore Frank Hill, fu costretto a un atterraggio di emergenza su una spiaggia. Fu l'ultimo combattimento aereo della Regia Aeronautica in Africa Settentrionale: il 7 maggio 1943 Tunisi si arrese agli anglo-americani. [37]

Russia Modifica

I Folgore arrivarono sul fronte orientale nell'estate del 1942. Gli M.C.202 andarono ad affiancare o sostituire i Macchi 200 in forza al 21º Gruppo. Durante la battaglia del Don ─ i caccia Italiani erano allora basati sugli aeroporti di Millerovo e Kantamirovka ─ gli aviatori furono impegnati in combattimento e il 13 agosto sette piloti italiani vennero decorati con la croce tedesca di seconda classe. [38] In seguito, tuttavia, il 21º Gruppo, che aveva in forza 17 M.C.202, impiegò in modo limitato i Folgore: nel corso di quattro mesi, i 202 svolsero soltanto 17 missioni. Una di queste fu la scorta a Junkers Ju 52 in volo su Stalingrado, l'11 dicembre 1942, durante la quale il tenente pilota Gino Lionello venne abbattuto e dovette paracadutarsi dal suo Folgore. [39] Cinque giorni dopo, il 16 dicembre, quando i sovietici lanciarono l'offensiva contro l'8ª Armata Italiana in Russia, o "ARMIR", i Macchi M.C.202 dispiegati sul fronte orientale erano ridotti a 11. Appena due giorni dopo, sotto la pressione dell'Armata Rossa e degli attacchi dell'aviazione sovietica, l'aeroporto di Kantamirovka dovette essere abbandonato. [40]

Italia Modifica

Uno degli "assi" del Folgore fu il veterano della guerra civile spagnola Franco Lucchini, che aggiunse 21 abbattimenti alle sue 5 vittorie in Spagna. Pilotando il Macchi M.C. 202, ottenne almeno 16 vittorie individuali e diverse altre in collaborazione sulla Libia, ma fu abbattuto e ucciso sulla Sicilia il 5 luglio 1943. [41] Il Macchi 202 rimase in prima linea anche oltre l'armistizio. Quando la Regia Aeronautica riprese l'attività bellica al fianco degli Alleati, alcuni Folgore equipaggiarono, fino alla loro completa usura, reparti come la 208ª Squadriglia Caccia-Bombardieri. Al nord i pochi apparecchi rimasti vennero utilizzati per l'addestramento delle forze aeree della R.S.I. Dopo il conflitto, i Folgore non più in condizioni di volare, o non ricondizionati in Macchi M.C. 205 da vendere all'estero, vennero usati anche come bersagli per l'addestramento degli armieri al tiro con le Breda-SAFAT da 12,7 mm, fino a completa distruzione.

Complessivamente, furono ordinati 1 454 M.C.202 Folgore. Le ordinazioni furono così distribuite: alla Breda (900), all'Aermacchi stessa (403) e alla SAI Ambrosini (150). In pratica la Breda riuscì a produrre 649 macchine, l'Aermacchi 390 e la SAI 67. Di seguito le versioni del M.C.202 ed alcuni prototipi:

M.C.202 MM.445: il prototipo presentava una sorta di tettuccio "a goccia", avendo due trasparenti fissi per lato sulla carenatura posteriore dell'abitacolo ed il ruotino di coda retrattile, chiuso da due portellini. Il castello motore non era ancora in lega leggera, ma in tubi d'acciaio. Non aveva il prolungamento della presa d'aria sul lato sinistro del cofano motore, né l'antenna radio.

M.C.202: la versione di serie iniziale non aveva l'asta di sostegno del filo dell'antenna, che comparve solo con le radio trasmittenti. I primi aerei operativi, infatti, avevano soltanto un ricevitore.

M.C.202 AS: era il Folgore Africa Settentrionale, dotato di un filtro antisabbia Corbetta alla presa d'aria (applicato praticamente a tutti gli esemplari). Con la serie VII fu introdotto il parabrezza in blindovetro e l'ala era predisposta per ospitare due mitragliatrici da 7,7 mm con 500 colpi per arma, montate dal maggio 1941. A causa dell'aumento di peso, per evitare di ridurne la maneggevolezza, i piloti le facevano spesso smontare. [42]

M.C.202AS/CB: dalla Serie XI in poi, i M.C.202 potevano diventare AS/CB, cioè Caccia-Bombardieri, con due attacchi alari per bombe da 50, 100 o 160 kg, oppure serbatoi ausiliari sganciabili da 100 o 150 litri (raramente usati). Gli attacchi in realtà vennero montati su pochissimi velivoli.

M.C.202EC: il Folgore MM.91974 - collaudato il 12 maggio 1943 - era dotato di due gondole subalari per cannoncini aeronautici Mauser MG 151/20 da 20 mm con 200 colpi per arma. Ne furono realizzati altri quattro esemplari, ma i piloti italiani, che già avevano rifiutato le Breda-SAFAT da 7,7 mm nelle ali, per l'aggravio di peso, non gradirono sufficientemente l'innovazione.

M.C.204: già nell'autunno 1940, per svincolarsi dalle consegne di DB 601, fu progettata una variante propulsa dal motore Isotta Fraschini Asso L.121. [43] Si arrivò alla costruzione di un mock-up in legno del nuovo muso per definire le installazioni, ma il progetto venne abbandonato perché ci si rese conto che avrebbe comportato un inaccettabile calo delle prestazioni. Noto semplicemente come "C.202 Isotta Fraschini", dopo la realizzazione del M.C.205, che prendeva l'ultima cifra dal motore DB 605, il progetto fu in seguito rinominato M.C.204, per occupare il numero rimasto libero. La denominazione M.C.203 venne invece assegnata, sempre in seguito, ad un idrovolante bimotore rimasto ai disegni preliminari.

Gli autori non concordano sul numero esatto dei M.C.202 prodotti. [42]

"Circa il totale degli esemplari consegnati alla Regia Aeronautica, la stima più attendibile si situa a 1 094-1 106, ma esistono anche valutazioni diverse, pari a 1 164 o a 1 207 aerei." [44]

Rispetto ai precedenti caccia dotati di motore radiale, il Folgore aveva migliore velocità di salita (salita a 6 000 metri in 5 minuti e 55 secondi) ed era in grado di picchiare ad oltre 900 km/h. I controlli risultavano leggeri, ben bilanciati e pronti alla risposta. Nonostante la potenza dei loro motori V12, gli M.C.202 non imbardavano da un lato in accelerazione durante il decollo perché, come per i M.C.200, le loro ali sinistre erano più lunghe di 21 centimetri di quelle destre: l'ala più lunga generava più portanza e così compensava quella che sarebbe stata la normale tendenza di imbardare verso sinistra [45] . La capacità di competere con gli Hurricane, i Curtiss P-40 di fornitura americana e gli Spitfire V "Nei primi combattimenti, sul Deserto Occidentale, costituì una sorpresa per i piloti della RAF e divenne un temibile avversario" [6] grazie anche all'addestramento dei piloti italiani nel volo acrobatico.

"Molti dei piloti da caccia italiani incontrati dalle forze aeree della RAF e del Commonwealth erano abili e molto esperti, avendo combattuto nella guerra civile in Spagna se attaccati, anche da forze preponderanti, non si sottraevano al combattimento, anche in situazioni in cui i tedeschi avrebbero preferito allontanarsi rapidamente." [46]


Italian fighters "Serie" (1 Viewer)

Could someone please explain the various "Serie" of the Italian fighters.

For example, I see the Fiat G.55, Macchi C.205, and Reggiane Re.2005 referred to as "Serie 5" Italian fighters.

What does "Serie 5" mean?
Where there Serie 1 through 4?

Elmas

Staff Sergeant

Generally Italian aeroplanes had the name from the Firm name, say ( Macchi, or M) the initial of the Designer (C for Mario Castoldi, designer of Macchi or G for Gabrielli, designer of Fiat, Z for Zappata, a Breda designer, M for Marchetti of Savoia-Marchetti) and a serial design number.
But not always, as Re 2000, Re 2005 etc. did not have the initials of the designer(s).
Macchi from 200 to 206 were, for example:

Macchi M.C.200 Saetta - Attack and fighter low-wing aeroplane. Single-seat, single Fiat A.74 engine. Nearly 400 completed and saw service 1939-1947. (1939)

Macchi M.C.201 - Fighter design modelled on the M.C.200. Fiat A.76 engine. (1940)

Macchi M.C.202 Folgore - Sleek low-wing fighter. Nearly 400 examples produced. Most fitted with Alfa Romeo engines, first example had a Daimler-Benz DB601 engine. (1941)

Macchi M.C.203 - A twin engined reconnaissance-bomber floatplane project.

Macchi M.C.204 - Monoplane project based on the M.C.202 with the installation of an engine by Isotta-Fraschini.

Macchi M.C.205 Veltro - Low-wing fighter or fighter bomber. Prototype first flew on 19 April 1942. (1942)

Macchi M.C.205 N/1 - Low-wing fighter prototype first flew on 1 November 1942 with a Daimler-Benz DB605 powerplant. (1942)

Macchi M.C.205 N/2 - Low-wing fighter prototype first flew on 19 May 1943. Differed to the N/1 in armament configuration. (1942)

Macchi M.C.206 - Land-based fighter project. A follow-on design from the M.C.205 project, powered by a Daimler-Benz DB.603 engine. (1944)

They were called unofficially “Serie 5” as all the three fighters were fitted with DB 605 engines, but Fiat G 56, Macchi MC 206 and Reggiane 2006 were not fitted with a DB 606 engine but with a DB603.
Ohh dear.