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Italy Br.20 CR.32 CR.42 G.50 MC.202 MC.205 Re.2000 Z.506 Photos & Drawings

MC.205

Fighter

Macchi

C.205

From C.202 to C.205. Through the first two years of its operational life, the C.202 had gone through virtually no modification. From Serie VII on a bullet proof windscreen was fitted, an auxiliary plate of armored glass that could stop a .50 cal round. Later Folgores also had armor plate for the pilot's head and back. The last few Serie had a small supplementary air intake immediately in front of the cockpit and had the venturi tube moved from the aircraft's belly in front of the radiator to position on the aircraft's starboard side. The last group had wing racks for fuel tanks or bombs but these were rarely carried. All but the first several Serie had space in each wing for the mounting of a 7.7mm machine gun, but these were not often actually fitted until late in the production run. Even after Folgores were delivered with the 7.7mm guns in place, they were rarely, if ever, armed because they were utterly ineffective against the large American bombers or well-protected fighters that were being encountered in 1943. One C.202, MM.7768, was tested with chin radiators, and named C.202D, but wasn't particularly successful. Another, MM.91974, was tested with 20mm Mauser gun pods, similar to those used on Luftwaffe Bf109s. The Italians, however, weren't willing to accept the degradation of performance as the Germans were, and the gun pods never were used operationally.

By late 1942, the C.202 was facing far superior opposition and the search for improved performance became critical. The DB601, from which its engine was derived, was already out of production in Germany. Plans for the Germans to overhaul worn Italian engines fell through. Production of the RA 1000 by Alfa-Romeo never exceeded 50 units per month, which had to be shared with Reggiane. This meant that airframes often had to wait for engines, forcing Macchi to keep the C.200 in production well into 1943.

Logically, a more powerful engine which could be supplied in relatively large numbers had to be found. Equally logically, the DB605, the 1475hp uprated 601, was chosen. A prototype mating the 605 to the C.202 airframe first flew on 19 April 1942, called theC.202bis. The only visible differences from a standard Folgore were a retractable tailwheel, twin cylindrical oil coolers replacing the single, chin mounted cooler on the Folgore and a blunter spinner for the Piaggio 2001 propeller. It retained its C.202 serial, M.M.9487, incorrectly painted as 9287. The second prototype was M.M.9488. The new fighter was ordered into production well before that first flight because of the obvious ease of transition on C.202 production lines and the justified confidence in its performance and handling. It was eventually dubbed the C.205V, for Veltro (Greyhound). Production was authorized in the following batches:

Builder Quantity Serials
Serie I Macchi 100 9287-9388
Serie II Fiat 150 90050-90149
Serie III Macchi 150 92153-92302
Macchi 300 98218-98517

Fiat started producing the DB605 as the RA 1050 R.C.58 Tifone (Typhoon), tooling up to full production rapidly. Nevertheless, Veltros only appeared in small numbers, Serie / Veltros had the late C.202 armament of two cowl-mounted 12.7mm machine guns and two 7.7mms in the wings. The first of those were delivered in early 1943 to 1-st Stormo. These were followed on Macchi's lines by Serie III which mounted two 20 mm cannons in the wings in the place of the rifle-calibre machine guns. Before the Armistice, 77 Serie III Veltros were completed. No Serie II Veltros were ever finished because Fiat's Turin works were largely demolished by Allied bombing in December 1942. The C.205V was judged an excellent fighter, fast and only slightly less maneuverable than the Folgore. Its main drawback was high altitude performance, which suffered because it retained the relatively small C.202 wing.

The C.205V was always considered by the RA as an interim fighter. At the same time that the Veltro was ordered into production, specifications were issued for the so-called Serie 5 fighters (after the last digit of the 605), which resulted in the Fiat G.55, Reggiane Re.2005 and Macchi C.205N Orione. The prototype Orione (Orion) first flew on 1 November 1942, serialled M.M.499. It was an entirely new airframe, with a powerful armament of one 20mm cannon firing through the propeller hub and four 12.7mm guns, two in the wings and two above the wing roots. A second Orione prototype, M.M.500, eliminated all four machine guns, replacing them with two more 20mm cannons in the wings. The Orione flew well and was ordered into production but the contract was cancelled in the spring of 1943 when the RA changed its mind and opted for the Fiat G.55.

Specification
MC.202 MC.205V
Crew 1
Dimensions
Wing span, m 10.58
Length, m 8.85 8.8
Wing area, m² 16.8
Powerplant
Engine DB 601A DB 605
Power, hp 1175 1475
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 2350 2581
Maximum takeoff weight 3005 3408
Performance.
Maximum speed, km/h 599 642
at altitude, m 6000 7200
Time to altitude 5min 55 s 7 min 6 s
altitude, m 6000 7200
Service range, km 765 1040
Service ceiling, m 11500 11000
Photo Description
C.205V

C.205 V 'Veltro'.

C.205 N-1

C.205 N-1 'Orione'

The sole Macchi C.202D, M.M.7768, as fitted with a chin radiator.

The sole Macchi C.202D, M.M.7768, as fitted with a chin radiator.

The C.205V (Veltro-Greyhound) prototype

The C.205V (Veltro-Greyhound) prototype, showing the twin cylindrical oil coolers, blunter spinner and retracting tailwheel, at the Guidonia Test Center.

A Serie I Veltro, M.M.9338, with late-style C.202 armament

A Serie I Veltro, M.M.9338, with late-style C.202 armament, two cowl-mounted 12.7mms and two wing 7.7s. The name on the tail was to remind the reluctant pilots of the 'official' nickname.

The first C.205N Orione (Orion) prototype, M.M.499

The first C.205N Orione (Orion) prototype, M.M.499. The armament was a single 20mm cannon firing through the propeller hub and four 12.7mm MGs, two in the cowl and two above the wing roots.

The second C.205N Orione prototype

The second Orione prototype replaced the MGs with a pair of wing-mounted cannon

References

  • "Macchi C.202 in action" /by Roberto Gentili & Luigi Gorena/
  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "50 best fighters of World War II" /Gennadiy Kornukhin/

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