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

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Reggiane Re.2000 fighter:
Italy's Reggiane Re. 2000 fighter
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Reggiane Re.2000 fighter:
Italy's Reggiane Re. 2000 fighter
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Design

In 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 on May 24, 1939. Mario De Bernardi was the pilot. In trials the Re.2000 performed well but the engine was unreliable.

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: 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: 12 were strengthened for catapult launching for the Italian Navy.
  • Reggiane Re.2000 Series III: Were to be catapult launched from Italian warships. 10 / 24 converted.
  • 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.

First Regia Aeronautica Use

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

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.

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
Propeller blades  
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
Wing area  
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 @ 16,400' 329 mph
Speed @ 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  
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 ft2
20.4 m2
Weight  
Empty 4,563 lb
2,070 kg
Loaded 6,349 lb
2,880 kg
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 16,405' /
5,000 m
329 mph
530 kph
Climb to 13,125' /
4,000 m
4.5 minutes
Service ceiling 30,510'
9,300 m
Range 708 miles
1,140 km
Armament  
Nose 2: 12.7 mm Breda SAFAT MG

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
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site