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Italy's Meridionali Ro.57 fighter

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  • Meridionali Ro.57 fighter

 

Design

The Meridionali Ro.57 was designed in 1938/1939 by Engineer Giovanni Galasso but it took until 1942 before it went into production. By this time it was outclassed by the Allied fighters that went up against it.

The Ro.57 was a low wing, two engine fighter.

Construction

The wings were made of wood and the steel tube fuselage was duralumin covered.

Tail Wheel

Initially the tail wheel was retractable in the early prototypes but it was later replaced by a faired fixed one.

Production

  • Total:
    • Manufacturer: Industrie Meccaniche Aeronautiche Meridionali (IMAM)

Variants

  • Meridionali Ro.57:
  • Meridionali Ro.57bis: Ground attack / dive bomber. Two 20 mm cannons. One 1,000 lb/1,100 lb bomb carried in a mount under the fuselage. Diving brakes installed.
  • Meridionali Ro.57 ?: Fighter. Two 12.7 mm machine guns.

Usage

In 1942 Ro.57s were delivered to interceptor squadrons. They were found to be inadequate against Allied fighters and were withdrawn and turned into fighter-bombers and dive bombers.

July 1943

There were still fifteen Ro.57s in the 97° Gruppo Intercettori based at Crotone.

Specifications

  Meridionali Ro.57
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 2: Fiat A.74 RC.38
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 840 each
Propeller blades 3 metal
Dimensions  
Span 41', 41' 1/8"
Length 28' 10.5", 28' 11"
Height 9' 6", 9' 6 1/8"
Wing area 247.6 sq ft
Weight  
Empty 7,694 lb
Loaded 8,950 lb, 11,000 lb
Performance  
Speed at 16,500' 311 mph
Speed at 17,200' 320 mph
Speed - Cruising 242 mph
Climb to 19,680' 9 minutes 30 seconds
Service Ceiling 25,590', 30,500'
Range 745 miles, 746 miles
Armament 2: Machine guns
2: 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945, Jonathan Thompson, 1963
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site