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Italy's Reggiane Re.2002 fighter bomber
Nickname: Ariete (ram)

Photos

  • Reggiane Re.2002 fighter

 

Design

Roberto Longhi and Antonio Alessio developed the Reggiane Re.2002 in mid 1940. The design used the basic structure of the Re.2001 Serie III with a modified fuselage to contain the larger radial engine.

The Reggiane Re.2002 served as an excellent fighter bomber in the Italian Air Force.

Armament

There were a total of four machine guns, two in the upper fuselage and two in the wings. A single bomb under the fuselage and two bombs in wing racks could be carried.

German Interest

Germany even saw its usefulness and was going to develop a version with a BMW (1,600 HP) engine. However, this was never produced.

Prototype

In October 1940, the Reggiane Re.2002 prototype first flew. Refinements to the Re.2002 prototype took a long time and not until September 1941 did the Italian Air Force place an order for 200.

Production

  • Reggiane Re.2002: 50, 225
    • For Italian Air Force: 149
    • For German Air Force: 76
  • Manufacturer: Officine Meccaniche Reggiane S.p.A.

Variants

  • Reggiane Re.2002:
  • Reggiane Re.2002bis: Outward retracting landing gear.

Usage

First deliveries of the Re.2002 went to the 5° Stormo in March 1942 and these became operational in July 1943. These were used against the Allies invading Sicily.

In July 1943 the 101°, at Lonate Pozzolo, and 102°, at Tarquinia, Guppi Assalto were equipped with the Re.2002.

German Use

After Italy's surrender the Germans took over around 60 of the Re.2002s. Many of these were used in France against the Maquis.

Allied Use

Around 40 of the Re.2002s were used with the Allied forces until mid 1944.

Specifications

  Reggiane Re.2002
Type Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Piaggio P.XIX R.C.45, Piaggio P.XIX R.C.45 Turbine B
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,175
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 36' 1"
Length 26' 9", 26 9.25"
Height 10' 4"
Weight  
Empty 5,225 lb
Loaded 6,878 lb, 7,150 lb
Performance  
Speed at 18,000' / 18,045' 329 mph
Climb to 6,650' 2 minutes 46 seconds
Climb to 13,120' 5 minutes 52 seconds
Climb to 19,680' 8 minutes 48 seconds
Service Ceiling 34,450'
Range 684 miles
Armament  
Nose 2: 12.7 mm MG
Wings 2: 7.7 mm MG
Bomb - under fuselage 440 lb, 924 lb
OR 1,100 lb
Bomb - wing racks 2: 325 lb

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  3. Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945, Jonathan Thompson, 1963
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site