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Italy's Meridionali Ro.43 reconnaissance floatplane

Photos

  • Meridionali Ro.43 fighter reconnaissance floatplane
  • Meridionali Ro.43 fighter reconnaissance floatplane

Design

The Meridionali Ro.43 was based on the land based Ro.37.

The Meridionali Ro.43 was used primarily as a catapult launched seaplane. It was assigned to Italian Navy ships, with cruisers carrying two Ro.43s, and battleships could carry up to four Ro.43s.

The structure of the Ro.43 was composite. The wings could be folded backwards for easier storage.

Production

  • Meridionali Ro.43: ~125
  • Manufacturer: Industrie Meccaniche Aeronautiche Meridionali

Variants

Usage

The Meridionali Ro.43 remained in service until the Italian Armistice in September 1943.

Start of War

There were 105 (42 operational) Ro.43 available to the Regia Marina at the start of the war.

End of War

Only 48 (22 operational) Ro.43s were still available in September 1943.

Specifications

  Meridionali Ro.43 floatplane
Type Fighter, Reconnaissance
Crew 2
Engine (Type) 1: Piaggio P.XR
Cylinders Radial, Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 700
Propeller Blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 37' 11", 37' 11.5"
Length 31' 10", 31' 10 3/8", 31' 11"
Height 11' 6", 11' 6 1/8"
Wing area 358.9 sq ft
Weight  
Empty 3,916 lb
Loaded 3,900 lb, 5,280 lb, 5,300 lb
Performance  
Speed 185 mph
Speed at 6,500' 188 mph
Speed at 8,200' 186 mph
Speed - Cruising 155 mph
Climb to 6,560' 4 minutes 45 seconds
Climb to 13,120' 11 minutes
Climb to 16,400' 15 minutes 50 seconds
Service Ceiling 21,648', 23,600'
Endurance 4 hours 30 minutes - 8 hours 30 minutes
Range 407 - 932 miles, 678 miles, 930 miles
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm Breda-SAFAT MG
2: MG
Cockpit rear 1: MG
1: 7.7 mm Breda-SAFAT MG

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  3. Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945, Jonathan Thompson, 1963
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site