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Italy's Meridionali Ro. 51 fighter

Photos

  • Meridionali Ro. 51 fighter
  • Meridionali Ro. 51 fighter

Design

Construction

The wings were made from a wood frame and plywood cover. The frame and coverings for the fuselage were all metal with the tail being welded steel tubes with fabric coverings.

Prototype

The first Meridionali Ro.51 prototype had fixed landing gear covered by spats.

The second Ro.51 prototype had rear retracting landing gear.

The third Ro.51 prototype was built as a floatplane to replace the Ro.44.

Production

  • Meridionali Ro.51 prototypes: 3

Specifications

  Meridionali Ro.51 - 2nd Prototype
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Fiat, FIAT A.74 R.C.38
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 840
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 30', 32' 0.5"
Length 24' 5", 24' 5 2/3"
Height 9', 9' 0.25"
Weight  
Empty 3,674 lb
Loaded 4,600 lb, 4,620 lb
Performance  
Speed 305 mph
Speed at 16,400' 304 mph
Speed - Cruising 255 mph
Climb to 19,680' 7 minutes
Service Ceiling 29,530'
Range 745 miles
Armament  
Nose 2: 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns

Sources:

  1. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  2. Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945, Jonathan Thompson, 1963
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site