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Italy's Reggiane Re.2001 fighter
Nickname: Falco II

Photos

  • Reggiane Re 2001 Falco II fighter
  • Reggiane Re 2001 Falco II fighter
  • Reggiane Re 2001 Falco fighter

Design

The Reggiane Re.2001 was designed by Roberto Longhi and Antonio Alessio to overcome the weaknesses of the Re.2000.1,3 The Re.2001 was to be an interceptor but it was to become a fighter-bomber and night fighter.3

The Reggiane Re.2001 was an all wood fighter plane.1

Adopting the Re.2000

The Re.2001 had its fuselage changed because of the inline engine.3 The wing design was kept.3 The designers wanted to have the fuel tanks in the wings but the military refused.3 It took several months to make a new prototype that had the radiators in the wings.3 This was to become the Re.2001 bis.3

Cockpit

The pilot sat in a cramped cockpit with poor visibility.1

Engine

The Alfa Romeo RA.1000 RC 41-1a Monsonie4 engine was a copy of the Daimler-Benz DB 601 / DB 601 A-14.1,2

Fuselage

The fuselage had a metal frame with a stressed skin cover.6 There were also Z type longitudinal stiffeners.6

Tail

The tail used a metal frame with the fixed surfaces covered in metal and the moveable surfaces with fabric.6 There were trim tabs in the elevators and rudder.6

Undercarriage

The tail wheel was fixed / retractable6.1

The legs raised backwards and turned 90 degrees to lay flush.6

Wings

There were three sections in the wings.6 The wings had a stressed skin covering.6 The flaps went from the ailerons to the fuselage.6

Prototype

The Re.2001 prototype first flew on July 14, 1940.2,3

The Re.2001 bis was first test flown by Francesco Agello in 1941.3 Francesco had broken many records flying seaplanes.3

The Re.2001 Delta was test flown in 1942 but crashed in January 1943 causing the military to cancel an order for 100 planes.3

Production

Deliveries of the Re.2001 started in 19413 / mid 1942.2,3

  • Reggiane Re.2001: 1007
    • Production
      • 1941: ~403
      • 1942: >1003
  • Reggiane Re.2001 bis prototype: 13
  • Reggiane Re.2001 CN: 1501,7
  • Total: 2373, 2521,2,4
  • Manufacturer: Officine Meccaniche Reggiane S.p.A.3,6

Variants

There was to be a trainer, tank buster, torpedo, and fighter versions.1

  • Reggiane Re.2001:
  • Reggiane Re.2001 CB: Fighter-bomber.3 Rack under the fuselage that could carry a 220 lb, 550 lb, or 1,400 lb bomb.3
  • Reggiane Re.2001 bis: Had radiators in wings.3 Flew 40 mph faster.3 Only prototype.3 Had deck arrestor hook installed for landing on the aircraft carriers Aquila and Sparviero.7
  • Reggiane Re.2001 Delta: Had Isotta-Fraschini Delta, V-12, air cooled engine (840 HP).1,3 A bad performer.1
  • Reggiane Re.2001CN: Night fighter.1,3
  • Reggiane Re.2001G: Torpedo fighter.7
  • Reggiane Re.2001H: Anti-tank.7
  • Reggiane Re.2001??, Reggiane Re.2001bis7: Had arrester hooks added for carrier deck trials.1 Only two built.1
  • Reggiane Re.2002 Ariete (Ram): Ground attack.2 Could carry 2,800 lb / 1,270 kg of ordnance under the fuselage and wings.2 Many were used by the Luftwaffe in France after the Italian Armistice.2

Usage

First Use

Three squadrons first received the Re.2001s in December 1941.3 The first operation was over Malta in 1942.4

The 2° Gruppo Caccia received the Re.2001 Falco II fighters in 1942 in Sicily.7

September 1943

The units that were still equipped with the 43 Re.2001s remaining (21 operational) were:

  • 59° Gruppi Intercettori at Venegono7
  • 60° Gruppi Intercettori at Lonate Pozzolo7
  • 22° Gruppo C.T. at Capodichino7
  • 167° Gruppo Intercettori at Littoria7

Night Fighting

Many of the Re.2001s were used as night fighters in central and northern Italy.2

After the Surrender

After Italy surrendered the Co-Belligerent Air Force continued to use eight of the Re.2001s.1,7

The rest joined the 2° Gruppo with the Aviazione della RSI.7

After World War II

Five of the Re.2001s survived World War II and were used for a few years.3

Specifications

  Reggiane Re.2001
Type Attack3, Fighter2,5,6
Crew 11,2,3,6
Engine (Type) Daimler-Benz DB 6016
Daimler Benz DB 601 A-13,7
Mercedes-Benz DB 6015
OR Alfa Romeo RA.10001
Alfa Romeo RA.1000 RC 41 (Daimler-Benz 601)2
Alfa Romeo R.A.1000 R.C.41-Ia Monsonie7
Cylinders In-line 121, Inverted V 122,6,7, V 123
Cooling Liquid3,5,6
HP 1,1505, 1,1751,2,3,7
Propeller blades 32,5, Constant speed 3 blade6
Dimensions  
Span 36' 1"3, 36' 2"5, 36' 9"6
11.2 m6
Length 25' 10"5, 27' 5"2,3, 29' 3"6
8.36 m2, 8.9 m6
Height 10' 4"3, 12'5,6
3.6 m6
Wing area 220 sq ft6
20.4 sq m6
Weight  
Empty 5,423 lb2
2,460 kg2
Loaded 5,650 lb5, 6,700 lb3, 7,000 lb6, 7,231 lb2
3,178 kg6, 3,280 kg2
Performance  
Speed 336 mph1, 360 mph5
542 kph1
Speed at 17,700' 350 mph3
Speed at 17,945' / 5,470 m 339 mph2
545 kph2
Speed at 22,000' / 6,710 m 348 mph6
557 kph6
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 6.3 minutes2
Service ceiling 36,000'3, 36,090'2
11,000 m2
Range 684 miles2,3
1,100 km2
Armament 4: MG3
Nose 2: 12.7 mm MG2,6
Wings 2: 7.7 mm MG2,6
OR 2: 20 mm2
Bomb under fuselage 1: 1,410 lb2
1: 640 kg2
1: 250 kg6
  Reggiane Re.2001 Serie I
Armament 2: 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT MG7
  Reggiane Re.2001 Serie II
Armament 2: 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT MG7
Wings 2: 7.7 mm MG7
  Reggiane Re.2001 Serie III
Dimensions  
Span 36' 1"7
Length 26' 10.75"7
Height 10' 2.75"7
Wing area 219.5 sq ft7
Weight  
Empty 5,500 lb7
Loaded 7,230 lb7
Performance  
Speed at 16,400' 337 mph7
Speed - Cruising 282 mph7
Climb to 26,240' 12 minutes 10 seconds7
Service ceiling 39,200'7
Range 646 miles7
Armament 2: 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT MG7
Wings 2: 7.7 mm MG7
  Reggiane Re.2001 Serie IV
Armament  
Bombs 1: 1,408 lb7
  Reggiane Re.2001 CN Caccia Notturna
Type Night Fighter7
Crew 17
Armament  
Wings - Under 2: 20 mm1,3
2: 20 mm Mauser MG 1517
  Reggiane Re.2001bis
Engine (Type) Isotta-Frashini Delta IV7
Cylinders Inverted V 127
Cooling Air7
HP 8407
Performance  
Speed at 14,760' 320 mph7

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  7. Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945, Jonathan Thompson, 1963
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