FIAT CR.42 Falco
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Starting from the C.R. 32 “Freccia” success proved by a great reliability and operational efficiency during the Spanish Civil War, the Italian manufacturer Fiat developed, in the late ‘30s, the new C.R. 42 “Falco”. The new biplane single-seat fighter had – as its predecessor – the fixed landing gear and the open cabin but was equipped with important innovations such as the alloy and steel frame covered by canvass and metal panelling. Thanks to Its supercharged air-cooled Fiat A.74 radial engine the Fiat C.R. 42 was able to reach 400 Km / h. It had an extraordinary manoeuvrability, much appreciated by the Italian pilots, but suffered the “biplane” configuration limits. It was able to successful engage the Gloster Gladiators but it was soon outclassed by faster and heavily armed monoplanes as the Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire. Several Fiat C.R. 42, together with G.50 fighters and BR.20, CANT Z 1007 bombers has been used by the Italian Regia Aeronautica during the Battle of Britain within the “Corpo Aereo Italiano”.
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