World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2019
Search:
Italy's flagItaly's Royal Airforce marking

Italy's Reggiane Re.2000 fighter; Nickname: Falco

Photos

  • Reggiane Re.2000 fighter
  • Reggiane Re.2000 fighter

Design

In 1937/1938 the Reggiane Re.2000 was designed by Roberto Longhi and Antonio Alessio. Longhi had worked in the United States in the mid-1930s and based on his experience the Reggiane Re.2000 was a copy of the Sikorsky P-35.

The Re.2000 was all metal.

The Re.2000 proved equal to the G.50 and M.C.200 but wasn't liked by the military.

The fuel tanks for the Re.2000 were located in the wings. The military felt that this made the Re.2000 too vulnerable.

Undercarriage

The tail wheel was retractable. The landing gear retracted backwards into the wing.

Prototype

The Re.2000 prototype flew in 1938 / on May 24, 1939. Commandante Mario De Bernardi was the pilot. In trials the Re.2000 performed well but the engine was unreliable.

The Re.2000 was pitted against other fighters in 1938 and was shown to be superior in maneuverability. However with the fuel tanks located in the center of the wings and unprotected by armor the Regia Aeronautica rejected the design. It was allowed to be sold for export to other countries.

Production

Production was just starting when the Italian government cancelled the order. Reggiane decided to continue production at its own expense and the first 188 were to be sold to foreign powers. The British ordered 300 in January 1940 and these were never delivered. 70 were purchased by Hungary.

After war was declared the Italian government reinstated the order.

  • Prototypes: 2
  • Reggiane Re.2000 Series I: 170
  • Reggiane Re.2000: 359, 380
    • Hungary: 192, 203
      • Produced between October 1942 and August 1944.
  • Total: 382
    • Manufacturer: Officine Meccaniche Reggiane S.p.A.

Hungary

192 Re.2000s were licensed built by MAVAG and called the Heja.

Variants

  • Reggiane Re.2000 Series I: Part of initial batch. Sold to Hungary.
  • Reggiane Re.2000 Series II: Twelve were strengthened for catapult launching for the Italian Navy. Initial trial launches were done from a cargo ship but then from the battleship Italia.
  • Reggiane Re.2000 Series III: Were to be catapult launched from Italian warships. 10 / 24 converted.
    • Grande Autonomia: Long range fighter. Delivered in 1942.
  • J 20: 60 supplied to Sweden.
  • Reggiane Re.2000 GA: Had an additional fuselage fuel tank.
  • Mavag Héjja II (Hawk): Hungarian produced. Had a Gnome-Rhône 14Kfs radial engine.

Usage

Hungary (70) and Sweden (60) received the Reggiane Re.2000s.

Regia Aeronautica Use

The 3° Stormo, in Sicily, received the first deliveries of the Re.2000 in 1941.

In 1942 the 377a Squadriglia Autonoma, on Sicily, received 24 of the Re.2000 Series III Grande Autonomia to be used as escort fighters.

Italy's Surrender

When Italy surrendered there were only two Re.2000s available but weren't being serviced.

Hungarian Use

The Hungarian 1/1 and 2/4 Squadrons of the 2nd Air Brigade used them on the Russian Front at Szolnok and Kolozsvar.

In 1943 the Hungarians were allowed to build a version under license and called it the Héjja.

Sweden's Use

Sweden used them until 1945 / 1946. They were designated the J 20.

Specifications

  Reggiane Re.2000
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Piaggio P.XI
Piaggio P.XI RC 40
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 870, 1,000, 1,040
Dimensions  
Span 36' 1", 36' 9"
11 m
Length 26', 26' 2.5", 26' 3"
7.99 m
Height 10' 6", 12'
3.2 m
Weight  
Empty 4,563 lb
2,070 kg
Loaded 5,650 lb, 6,290 lb, 6,349 lb
2,880 kg
Performance  
Speed 328 mph, 335 mph
529 kph
Speed at 16,400' 329 mph
Speed at 16,405' / 5,000 m 329 mph
529 kph
Climb to 13,125' / 4,000 m 4.7 minutes
Service Ceiling 34,450'
10,500 m
Range 620 miles, 870 miles
1,400 km
Armament 2: MG
Nose 2: 12.7 mm MG
Wing 2: MG
  Reggiane Re.2000 Series I
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Piaggio PXI RC 40 piston
Cylinders Radial
Cooling Air
HP 985
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 36' 1"
11 m
Length 26' 2.5"
8 m
Height 10' 6"
3.2 m
Wing area 219.6 sq ft
20.4 sq m
Weight  
Empty 4,563 lb, 4,576 lb
2,070 kg
Loaded 5,610 lb, 6,349 lb
2,880 kg
Performance  
Speed 329 mph
Speed - Cruising 267 mph
Speed at 16,405' / 5,000 m 329 mph
530 kph
Climb to 13,125' / 4,000 m 4.5 minutes
Climb to 19,680' 6 minutes 10 seconds
Service Ceiling 30,510', 36,736'
9,300 m
Range 522 miles, 708 miles
1,140 km
Armament  
Nose 2: 12.7 mm Breda SAFAT MG
  Reggiane Re.2000 Series III
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Piaggio P.XIbis R.C.40
HP 1,025
Weight  
Empty 4,598 lb
Loaded 6,270 lb
Performance  
Speed at 16,400' 326 mph
Climb to 19,680' 7 minutes 45 seconds
Service Ceiling 34,440'
Range 807 miles
Armament  
Nose  
Bomb or Drop Tanks 440 lb

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  7. Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945, Jonathan Thompson, 1963
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site