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Italy's Fiat G.50 fighter
Nickname: Freccia (Arrow), Falcho (Falcon)

Photos

Fiat G.50 Freccia fighter:
Italy's Fiat G.50 Freccia fighter
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Fiat G.50 Freccia fighter:
Italy's Fiat G.50 Freccia fighter
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Fiat G.50 Freccia fighter and a Messerschmitt Bf 110:
Italy's Fiat G.50 Freccia fighter
Bundesarchiv 101I-425-0338-16A-01

Design

In 1935-1936 Giuseppi Barielli designed the G.50 Freccia. It was the first monoplane with all-metal construction, retracting landing gear, and a constant speed propeller to be used by the Regia Aeronautica. It was designed at the same time the C.R. 42 biplane.

The G.50bis had better armor for the pilot, and there was additional fuel.

Pilot Reception

Initially pilots weren't enamored with the G.50 as they were used to the lighter and more maneuverable biplanes fighters.

Armament

Initially the G.50 was to have a 12.7 mm MG above the engine, one 12.7 mm MG in the left wing, and a 20 mm in the right wing.

Prototype

The G.50 prototype flew on February 26, 1937. A batch of 45 were ordered.

The G.50bis prototype flew in September 1940.

The G.50V first flew in August 1941.

Production

CMASA, a subsidiary of Fiat, started production on the G.50 and the first twelve were sent to Spain for evaluation.

Even though the MC.200 was better, an order for 200 was placed.

  • Prototypes: 4
  • Fiat G.50: 245, 246
  • Fiat G.50bis: 421
  • Fiat G.50bis/A: 1
  • Fiat G.50B: 108
  • Fiat G.50V: 1
  • Total: 777, 778
    • Manufacturer: Fiat S.A.

Variants

  • Fiat G.50: The first 45 had canopies. Next 200 had open cockpits.
  • Fiat G.50bis: Had more armor in the cockpit. It carried more fuel. Had self sealing fuel tanks. The fin and rudder were redesigned. The fuselage was changed to improve pilot visability. Appeared in 1940.
  • Fiat G.50bis/A: Two seat carrier based fighter bomber.
  • Fiat G.50B: Two seat plane with dual controls for training.
  • Fiat G.50ter: Had Fiat A 76 engine (1,000 HP).
  • Fiat G.50V: Had Daimler-Benz DB 601A engine (1,050 HP). Top speed was 360 mph / 579 kph.

Usage

Spain

In Spain a stormo and a gruppo were outfitted with the G.50.

Often the pilot would fly the G.50 with the cockpit canopy open as they felt it restricted their view.

World War II

In November 1939 the 51° Stormo received the first batches. Soon after the 52° Stormo received them.

By the time of Italy's entry in World War II in June 1940, there were 118 G.50s in service.

Belgium

The 51° Stormo moved to Belgium in November 1940 with 48 G.50s. The G.50s suffered losses against the better performing Allied fighters.

North Africa

Five gruppi used the G.50bis in North Africa.

Croatia

Croatia received ten G.50bis.

Finland

Finland received 35 G.50s in 1940. These took part in the 1941 - 1944 Continuation War. Some were also used until 1947.

Specifications

  Fiat G.50 Freccia, Falcho
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Fiat
Fiat A.74 RC 38 piston
Fiat A 74 RC38
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
HP 840
Cooling Air
Propeller blades 3, 3 metal variable pitch
Dimensions  
Span 35' 9", 36', 36' 0.5", 36' 1", 36' 1.1"
11 m
Length 25' 7", 25' 7.1", 26' 4"
7.8 m, 8.02 m
Height 9' 8", 9' 9", 10' 9", 10' 9.1", 10' 9.25"
3.28 m
Wing area 196.45 ft2
18.25 m2
Weight  
Empty 4,328 lb, 4,332 lb
1,963 kg, 1,965 kg
Loaded 5,100 lb, 5,280 lb, 5,291 lb
2,400 kg
Performance  
Speed 300 mph
Speed @ 13,125' /
4,000 m
286 mph
460 kph
Speed @ 19,685' 294 mph
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Climb to 13,125' /
4,000 m
4.6 minutes
Service ceiling 35,200', 35,269, 35,270'
10,750 m
Range 360 miles, 420 miles, 435 miles
580 km
Maximum range 420 miles
Armament 2: MG
Nose 2: MG
2: 12.7 mm Breda SAFAT MGs
2: 12.7 mm MG
Wing 2: MG
Bombs 275 lb
  Fiat G.50bis Freccia
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
HP  
Cooling  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length 27' 2"
8.28 m
Height 9' 9"
2.97 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,443 lb
2,015 kg
Loaded 5,560 lb
2,522 kg
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 16,400' /
5,000 m
293 mph
472 kph
Cruising speed 258 mph
415 kph
Climb 2,400'/minute
731 m/minute
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
7.8 minutes
Service ceiling 32,480'
9,900 m
Range 420 miles
676 km
Maximum range 620 miles
998 km
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, General Editor Chris Bishop, 1998
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site