The real Re.2007 story

Skybolt

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Discussing the CC.2 in the Campini projects thread, the talk went on the Re.2007, a notorious fake. Since there is some interest in this and it seems that the "fekeness" ot the Re.2007 is not widely aknowledged, I give here a (somewhat lenghty explanation). Since we are in Secret projects, I attached some projects draft to helm me summarize the matter. Here we go. Afinal warning: nothing of what follows is true: Italian aviation historians alla gree on this version since at least the late '80s...
What follows is the story of the Re2007. Story, not history, since the Re 2007 as is widely, and incorrectly, known, i.e. a late war prototype fighter powered by a Jumo jet engine, is a fantasy (even if the right word is "fake"...). First the facts and then the interpretation of them, since even fakes are done for a purpose, freak as it could look.
Just after the war italian aviation buffs knew that the Re.2007 existed and the way it looked. A perspective view is in picture 1, as published in the magazine "L'Ala" in February 1948. Actually, first mention of this project comes from a report written by Ing. Alessio, General Manager of Reggiane, in late 1945, describing the projects that were well advanced: this particular project was a mail and six passenger transport. Alessio described it as a derivative of the Re.2005, but in reality it derived from the Re.2000 and had a radial engine (see picture 4). Same article in L'Ala described also a Re.2008 like a racer derived from the Re.2005 (pic 2). Alessio didn't mention this but instead a single engine, single crew postal plane, wich was similary derived by the R.2005. In fact this was a straightforward derivative of the Re.2000 with a P&W or Wright 1500 Hp water-cooled radial (pic 3). Alessio described a third desing, a translatlantic flying boat, i.e the Ca.8000.

To summarize: Reggiane general manager said that he had in the wings (literally) a mail carrier, a mail and passenger carrier and a large transport. L'Ala attributed to the second one the Re.2007 designation (probably on Alessio input) and the Re.2008 to the racer.
 

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Skybolt

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This scenario endured until the early '60s, Reggiane exited the aviation business and so the matter was more and more one of historical interest only.

Circa 1963 started circulating in the UK press news of a jet powered prototype almost completed during the last month of the war by Reggiane. There was fist a rough perspective sketch (pic 1) and then, in 1965 did appear (pic 2) an internal arrangement seen from the side and at the same time Ing. Roberto Longhi, former chief-designer of Reggiane and then working in the US in the airplane maintenenace, supplies and spare parts business.
In his letters, Longhi said that he started in late 1943 a project for the Re.2007, a swept wing, jet-powered (Jumo 004) fighter build using the better part of the Re.2006 second prototype. He went on describing the airfoils and other technical data. More, he gave details: the protoype was being built in a dispersed Reggiane site (probably Correggio), by October 1944 it was 70 per cent complete, that it was ordered transferred to Ponte San Pietro (near Bergamo, where the Design Office, Ufficio Tecnico of reggiane, had been transerred); that the trasfer happened by a lorry and interested both the Re.2007 and the first Re.2006 prototype; that just before entering Ponte San pietro factory, Count Caproni himself had phned Longhi to send the two prototypes to Taliedo, near Milan; that the two prototype and their construction designs were lost in the bombardment of Taliedo and the sack in the last days of the war; that Reggiane had requested officially two Jumo 004 from Junkers for use in the Re.2007, and he had his (Longhi) letter to Count Caproni dated 7 January 1944 reminding him a previouos verbal accord in this sense. More, in a later letter, Longhi said thai during 1947 and 1948, when in the US, he further worked on the Re.2007 concept and designed a more advanced airplane, even using area rule (no comment) and calling it Re.2008, This airplane had been presented in June 1949 to the Aeronautica Militare, after a first meeting with Valletta, General manager of the FIAT Group, who advised him of the non-interest by the Italian Air Force or the Ministry in advanced projects (BTW, FIAT was in that month bulding the first G-80 prototype....). The result was discouraging and Loghi said he decided to return in the US. In the same letter he attached a three view of the project (pic 3).

In 1968 Interconair Aviation & Marine published the first post-war study in the Reggiane fighter. Piero Prato, the author, tried to untangle all information he presumed to have and established a new
nomenclature of the late Reggiane projects. During the research a three-view of the Re.2006 prototype was uncovered and so so he went:
Re.2006, Re.2005 derivative with a DB.603 and radiators in the wings
Re.2006P, derivative for mail transport with a liquid cooled radial, intended for post-war
Re.2006PP, derivative for mail a passenger transport with a liquid colled radial and larger fuselage, intended for post-war use
Re.2006C, race-oriented derivative, intended fot he Bendix transcontinental race post-war.
Re.2007, Jumo 004 fighter
Re.2008, unspecified engine Re.2007 evolution, circa 1948

The reconstruction seemed having sense, and it was known that imemdiately post-war some numbers (some say a couple, other more) of Jumo 004 were in Italy. Longhi in one of his letters said tnat in late 1945-early 1946 he was contacted by two Germans mercenaries offering him two Jumos (HIS jumos!!!).
Even the editors and publishers of the great "Profiles" series bought the story and produced a profile devoted to the Re2007.
 

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Skybolt

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For a couple of years nothing happened, but a surge of aviation nationalism in political nostalgics who pointed out that Italy also had a wartime jet-powered fighter after CC.2 experiment. Then, the details given by Longhi started, as happens with wannabe fakers (mind you, Longhi was a great airplane designer and a remarkable man, but a naive faker) to work against him and a rain of letters and wittnesses started to pour in the Italian specialty press. First, the Re.2006 wasn't transferred by a lorrie but towed in a small trailer by the same small tractor used to move the airplane around in the factory; it was trasferred alone directly to Taliedo, (200 km... desperate times, desperate acts); this was the only Re.2006 prototype ever built (Germans were more interested in the seres production of the Re.2005), the second one wasn't even started so it could not have been converted; the Re.2006 wasn't destroyed at all until June 1946 when the Allied Aicraft Commission decided it was not interested in it and authorized (actually, asked) its demolition. Teachers at he Milan Polytechnic University learnt of the airplane and asked that after being partially dismantled it could be used for didactic purposes. For a certain number of year the remains of the Re.2006 remained at the University (there was no engine, the wing was sawed in two pieces, etc.), and only the leg of the main landing gear is still extant (in the Milan Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia, our Smithsonian...); the last straw was the demonstration that the Longhi letter to Count Caproni was a vulgar fake, simply it was written using the letterheaded paper used by Reggiane after the war.... Longhi was himself considerably naive, since he produced a ittle later letter to him by the President of Reggiane granting him a considerable incentive to develop and build the Ca.8000 liner, and in this one the letterhead was right... All this fact are summirezed much better than me by Govi in his manumanmtel history of Reggiane from Re.2000 to he demise, available in CD-ROM edition published by my dear frieng Giorgio Apostolo (publiser of Aerofan, BTW...), and now is widely known and accepeted in Italy at least. Longhi died in 1994, so now there is no one with an interest in furthering the fairy tale...

So this is the story of the Re.2007 fake, an airplane that existed in a very different form (Re2000 mail derivative) but that now in in a limbo, a limbo created manipulating the nomenclature to make room for the "fantastic" Re.2007. Now it is too late for changing the nomenclature once more, even if the Re2006 P and PP had nothing in common with the Re.2006.

A couple of side issues: as for the jet Re.2008, there is no known traces of the visit of Longhi, Caproni & Co to Aeronautica Militare to tender the project. Since a number of other cmpanies tried the same and pretty much advertised the try (SAI Ambrosini, SIAI, FIAT, Castoldi at Breda, Piaggio with the P.136, and probably more) seems odd that with such an advanced project (similar to the Sabre...) Caproni would have not tried to start a fuss (NATO Treaty had been just signed and Italy was in). But early post-war history of the Italian aviation is in poor condition, so you never know (another intriguing research topic..). But I bet it wasn't an area ule compliant design...
In the web of truths, half truths and fakes, Longhi made some mistakes. E.g., trying to support the existence of a Re.2007 in late wartime he firstly attributed to the translatlantic liner the designation Ca.2008, not seeing that in the same letter he produced as a proof it was officially designated Ca.8000. To correct his mistake, he tried to justify it as a ruse he made in his working notes to deny the Germans and the fascists the existence of the project. In so doing he actually made thins worse, because he had hust say that the ca.8000 was a big project, occupying more than a third of all the Caproni design personnel and that by war end thay had completed the detailed designs of the construction parts and even desgned the machines and tools to make them (this is perfectly true: Caproni even contracted two architects to design the variuos internal accomadations etc.). Considering the amount of paper involved, is is impossible that German or Fascist authorities would have been tricked by Longhi referring to Ca.8000 with a designation reminding them a fighter.
Lastly, the Jumo 004 question. During late war there were Jumos in Italy, one of them is now in Milan at the above mentioned museum. How they had come? This was until a couple of years ago the only hole in the reconstruction of the true Re.2007 story. Then someone noticed that during late 1944 and 1945 in Udine (eastern Italy, then under direct control of Germany) were base a number of Arada 234 used for fast reconnaisance mission to uncover Allies operation and dispositions along the Adriatic coast. The Arados brought a certain number of spare engines with them.... There is no a definitive proof, but it is perfectly plausible (and give some credit to the Longhi story about mercenaries running around offering engines in late 1945 Milan...).
 

Skybolt

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Why Longhi did all this? I have a theory: he was a great and succesfull airplane designer, innovative and bold. He had worked early in his life with great aircraft manufacturer (Bellanca and Burnelli, just to mention two) in the US. He did extremely well in Italy from 1938 to 1945, in difficult conditions. Now, early 1960s, he was in the US doing a job that satisfied him economically (earning money was never a problem for Longhi) but not professionally. He looked and saw his former collegues in Italy all designing and being respected, even lecturing in universities (Gabrielli, Casiraghi), younger collegues (Stefanutti, Bazzocchi), in subordinate positions during the war, designed as well with much success. The Italian aviation was once more respected worldwide: G-91, MB-326, the Piaggio amphibian coming in the US, Agusta making copters with the world leaders, italian companies collaborating with his much admired German companies and friends.. .... He probably dreamt of returning and being again chief-designer in an Italian company, even FIAT or Macchi, that in his eyes had his beloved Re.2005 fraudolently excluded from production in the early Series 5 contest, that had rumoured him of having copied the Seversky P-35 in the Re.2000 design... Even Caproni was OK (most of Longhi letters was sent to Gianni Caproni, son of the wartime leader). But how? He was an outsider since more than ten years: he devised a plan, to reconstruct the past in a way that made him the absolute first and best in Italian jet fighter designs (area rule in 1948 !!!!). He found accomplices who drafted the fake designs on its inspiration... He fluently spoke english, at a time when in Italy few was similary able. And he knew that anglo-saxons respect the man who does the things and they trust what he says on what he did (and he did a lot, anyway). He tried, he almost succeded and ultimately he failed, tricked by the excessive details he gave. Italians are more cynical in this things, and Longhi had a lot of enemies, more: he made enemies of the people who worked for him. It was simple for them to tell the damning thruth. He retired in 1970 and died in 1994. A remarkable man, and a tragic one.
 

lark

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This is a highly interesting story Sky'.
Can you mention the used sources ?

Thanks..
 

Skybolt

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I was preparing the list.. ;D

Most important of all is:
Sergio Govi , Dal Re 2002 al Re 2005, Giorgio Apostolo Editore 1984 and
Sergio Govi I Reggiane dall'A alla Z - Giorgio Apostolo Editore 1985
bth are long out of rpint, but there is a CD-ROM editon. You can order directly to Giorgio on http://www.apostoloeditore.it

First diffusion of the fake was via
Piero Prato I Caccia Caproni Reggiane 1938-1945, Intyrama 1968 (text in Italian and english)

A condensed version of the Longhi position, with copies of the letters, both real and fakes is in
Giorgio Evangelisti, Gente dell'Aria 4, Editoriale Olimpia 1997

More info on the uncovering of the fake in
Gregory Alegy, Reggiane Re-2005, Ali d'Italia, La Bancarella Aeonautica Pub. 2001 (text in Italian and english)

The bible on he Re.2006 and derivatives (and more info on the fake) is now:
Alessandro Berteletti Reggiane Re 2006 Una storia vera - A true History (text in Italian and english) IBN Editore 2002
This is more difficult to find: try http://www.aviolibri.it

Last, from various sources, the AR234's Jumos story can be also found in
Giuseppe Ciampaglia Dal SAI Ambrosini Sagittario all'Aerfer Leone A history of the first Italian supersonic fighters created by Sergio Stefanutti IBN Editore 2004 same URL as above (text in Italian and english)
 

Antonio

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Skybolt,

Thanks for this interesting and well researched work

Bravo!
 

lark

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An excellent piece of research !
Well done Skybolt.

Lark.
 

Nick Sumner

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An excellent post, many thanks!

Do we know which liquid cooled radial engine might have been intended for the Re 2006P and 2006PP?
 

boxkite

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Skybolt,

Thanks a lot for your clarification. The Reggiane Re.2007 & Re.2008 were shrouded in mystery for me. Now you bring light in the darkness putting the different parts of the puzzle (including the faked) together.

Thanks again.
Thomas
 

Skybolt

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Do we know which liquid cooled radial engine might have been intended for the Re 2006P and 2006PP?
Alessio envisioned a Wright or P&W 1500 HP liquid cooled radial. Don't know which, but I think there weren't so many model at disposal, : I confess my ignorance on this :-[
 

Skybolt

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And, naturally, thank you all for you kindness! :D
 

pevel

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Hello,

I have a question: as allies were used to write CIOS/BIOS detailed technical reports about companies and projects found during their campaign and I have found only the one about Re.2005R and Campini, isn't it possible that other reports about Reggiane projects may exist ?

Does anybody have any other information ?

Regards,

Paolo
 

Skybolt

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Pevel, actually the CIOS/BIOS files weren't intended by the Allies as a complete encyclopaedia of Italy's aircrafts... They were interested in some advanced concepts (or concepts that seemed advanced in 1944-45). They had a lot of piston-engine powered fighters, so weren't interested in them. The R.2005R was different, since the best way ahead still in late 1945 seemed to be the mixed-power airplane, expecially for carrier use. There was moreover a real interest in operations, to help complete the enormous official history of the war effort (and to gather info on the downed and missed in action pilots and airmen). That's why you find a lot of operation reports in the microfilms. Moreover, a lot of infos on late war (starting circa 1942) projects has been lost in the bombing of Guidonia's facilities in October 1943. As for the Repubblica Sociale period, the UST (Ufficio Sorveglianza Tecnica) HP of ANR was in Bassano del Grappa, and the archive has been destroyed. Best sources for that late period remain the individual companies's archives, when they survived....
 

pevel2

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Hello Skybolt,

as due to technical reason of the server I cannot send private messages, even if I logged with anew name, could you please write me with your email ?

Thanks,

Paolo
 

hesham

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Hi,

here is a Reggiane Re.2005R.
 

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Vladimir

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Hi, interesting site http://www.webalice.it/paolo.riatti/lang1/drawings-3.html
 

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!Mark

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Not to argue but I think this attempt to debunk the Re2007 story is even faultier than the story itself.
First of all I have to say that I don't know if these facts are true or not, I simply analize these messages, here's why I think what Skybolt said doesn't add up:

first you took eng. Alessio's declarations and took only the bits you agreed with, he said that the projects derived from the Re2005 but you said he's wrong and that they derive actually from the Re2000, something that has nothing to do with debunking the Re2007 but it shows that Alessio was wrong in his declarations, so why do you believe the rest of what he said about the Re2007 and Re2008?
Also, according to you the Re2006PP = Re2007, Re2006C = Re2008, and what about the Re2006P? What's so different between it and the Re2006PP to justify calling the second Re2007? And why would you call the Re2006C "Re2008" if it's just a Re2006 without guns?
So this nomenclature doesn't make sense, it's clearly an attempt to hide the true Re2007 and Re2008 (which i will discuss later).
Wanna hear what the sources say on these Re2006 variants? Wikipedia cites a book by Giorgio Apostolo Editore, which you considered trustworthy, and says that the Re2006 was just a cover for these other projects that Reggiane was developing for after the war, which if true would prove that the Reggiane staff was a bit shady, if they hid these projects behind a military project, and they prefered to develop mail planes instead of war planes during a war...
Meanwhile let's look at the errors made by Longhi, like for example the vehicle that carried the prototypes was a tractor and not a truck, or the fact that the Re2006 survived the destruction, I think these are errors caused by memory (after all those years it's normal) or he wanted to make the story sound better, either way his story makes more sense than the debunking:
the 2 Jumos were actually present in Italy (even if they weren't it doesn't mean that there wasn't a project going on), Longhi's Re2007 was supposedly a continuation of Project R, he may have decided to call it Re2007 in his own mind just like he did after the war with the Re2008, also area rule in 1949 America is in no way unrealistic, several independent researchers discovered the transonic area rule before Whitcomb, notably the american Wallace D. Hayes who even wrote a thesis about it in 1947 or even germans during ww2, Antonio Ferri discovered similar things and maybe Longhi used something similar and later called it "area rule" just to make it sound better...

So I think some parts of Longhi's story were made up, you already explained the reasons for that, and we all know that the reconstructions of the Re2007 are post-war fantasy, but the project existed, it was probably not as futuristic and more similar to the Re2005R, it probably wasn't built up to 70% but much less if even built at all, but let's remember all the Italian projects that have been hidden or forgotten, or have been stolen by germans, or destroyed or lost, and how many projects have never been mentioned after the war so that not even the experts on this website know about their existance.
Compare that to how much propaganda is spread about german projects, every little sketch is made into a model or a magazine article with drawings and descriptions, into movies and videogames... it doesn't even compare.
 
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archipeppe

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In the number of Aerei magazine of April 1974 (at that times the Italian edition of Air Enthusiast), Ing. Roberto Longhi wrote a letter (pag. 42) to the Editor, in answer of a previous article about the Re 2005 (2/1973) in which he states letterally:

"Desidero chiarire una volta e per sempre che l'amico Alessio non ha mai avuto nulla a che fare con la progettazione degli aerei Reggiane"

"I want to make clear, one time and forever, that my friend Alessio was never involved in the design of Reggiane's aircrafts".

I think that such statement definitely close the "Alessio case", and doesn't worth to talk about anymore.
 

Justo Miranda

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Posted January 15, 2008

Hi,

I have a theory that could explain part of the puzzle on the Re 2007.
Skybolt, my apologies for getting into your turf. Please remember that it is just a theory.


Reggiane Re 2006 R, Re 2007 & Re 2008

Doubtless this is one of the most elusive subjects I have ever encountered in our research. In spite of all the existing publications on the Re 2007 issued in the last 58 years (please see attached biography if you feel up to the task) the problem remains unsolved.
There are two schools of thinking on the matter, both defended by serious authors who undeniably act on good faith.

Two points of view

• The “conservative” version says that the Re 2007 never existed. It was just a project of postal airplane with radial engine derived from the Re 2006 and which original designation had been Re 2006 PP.
Logical reasoning if we consider that this is the only type of airplane derived from the Re 2006 that could have been successful in post war Italy.
There is also significant evidence. The chef test pilot at Reggiane, Maggiore Tullio de Prato who, in declarations made in October 1977 denied his knowledge on the existence of a project known as Re 2007.

• The “liberal” version states that a swept wing jet fighter was built in Italy during the war. It never reached flying stage as it was impossible to obtain the Jumo 004B turbojet that Germans have promised to deliver to the Reggiane firm.
The main argument used to defend that option is a letter dated January 7th 1944 in which Ing. Roberto Longhi, former chief-designer of Reggiane, requested the help of Count Doct. Ing. Gianni Caproni. He wished to obtain information on measurements and performances of the Jumo 004 with the objective of initiating the assembly of the Re 2007.

There are two controvert drawings of the Re 2007, a cutaway and a three view, dated January 7th 1944.
The author G. Cometti has been accused of chronological fraud by some experts. Apparently, the paper on which the drawings were made was of the type used by the Reggiane firm in the post war years.
According to certain opinions they might have been made as late as 1960, under the direction of Ing. Longhi.

Known by certain

In 1942 the Regia Aeronautica decided to acquire the production license of the German engine DB 603 of 1750 hp to drive their new fighters of the “6 series”: the Fiat G.56, the Macchi C.206/207 and the Reggiane Re 2006.
The manufacturing of two prototypes of the latest model was ordered on 9 May 1943, being assigned the registration numbers MM 540 and MM 541.
According to official history, German authorities cancelled the two orders on 8 September 1943. However the Reggiane workers decided to secretly continue the construction of the MM 540 in Reggio Emilia, using a standard Re 2005 with an enlarged fuselage to compensate the bigger size and power of the DB 603.
The airplane was shipped to Corregio in January 1944 in separate parts to keep it safe from the Allies bombing while being finished at a gymnasium of the town.
After the war it was moved to the Instituto Politecnico di Taliedo where it was scrapped by the end of 1946, following orders from the Allied authorities.

Discrepancies

As per the “liberal” version the MM 541 was completed in a 70% as a Re 2007. The rear fuselage, wing spars, ribs, undercarriage and cockpit were just finished. Apparently just the engine was missing.

- Considering that the Re 2006 was essentially a Re 2005 with an elongated fuselage, how could it be converted into a swept wing jet fighter with the scarce technical means available at the beginning of 1944?

- There are different versions on the origin of the Jumo 004 that existed in Italy. Some believe that they were spares for the Arado Ar 234 recce planes of the Kommando Sommer based in Campoformido and Udine since February 1944. Others think that the engines intended to be sent to Reggio Emilia came from Germany and were stolen en route by German defectors trying to sell them at 2 millions lire.
Whatever the truth one of these engines survived the war and can be found today at the Vigna di Valle Italian Air Force Museum.

- It seems odd that no original documentation has survived. Such a complex project requires multitude of calculations, scale drawings, wind tunnel models and aerodynamic testing of which no evidence could be found.

- Finally there is the engine represented in the Cometti drawings. Evidently it was not a Jumo 004. With its length of 3.86 m could have never be installed behind the wing spar in such a small airplane without perilously altering its center of mass.
Our best estimation is that it is a Metropolitan-Vickers F-2 manufactured in Great Britain in 1942.
Although the engine was technically superior to its Power Jets counterparts, it was estimated that its excessive complexity would make mass production difficult and the project was cancelled in 1944.
If the engine would have been British, would have the Italians acquired the manufacturing licence of the Metrovick during the immediate post war? Were the Cometti drawings part of an Anglo-Italian project that did not turn out well?

A possible solution

Apparently the problems would considerably simplify if every group of opinion were talking of two different airplanes which each one tend to identify with the mythical Re 2007.
On one side we have the MM541 that, if finally built, would have been a standard Re 2005 slightly modified to fit it with a turbojet, but……how?

There are several contemporary examples of fighters originally designed with a conventional piston engine that were modified by adding a bent down turbojet to its nose, so that the gases expelled by the nozzle would not damage the structure of the fuselage.

In 1945 the Soviets transformed an all-metal second generation Yak-3 airframe installing a Jumo 004 B in the nose. The new airplane, named Yak-15, was mass manufactured entering into service without any problems. The success of the formula was such that a second model was built, specifically designed with the nose engine and under the name Yak-17.
Another Soviet manufacturer, Lavockin, also used the same system in his designs La-152, La-154, La-156 and La-174 Tk.

In Italy, the designer Sergio Stefanutti, who in 1946 have had access to the Jumo 004 engines to study them, used the same solution than the Soviets but transforming the SAI Ambrosini S.7 “Freccia” in the “Sagittario I”. He achieved that by replacing its Alfa Romeo 115 ter piston engine by a Turboméca Marboré II jet engine installed in the nose with 3º 30' rotation tilting, compared to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft.
Tests of the "Sagittario I" performed in December 1952 were successful, except by some heating problems in the lower section of the fuselage during the ground wheeling. They were partially resolved modifying the tail wheel (the Soviets also replaced it by a metallic one in the Yak-15) and recommending the adoption of tricycle undercarriage in future designs.

In 1953 it was decided the construction of 45º swept jet fighter, based on the same formula. The new airplane, named "Sagittario II", flew for the first time in May 1956, powered by a R.R. Derwent 9 turbojet installed in the nose with a 20º slope.
The “Sagittario II” was the first Italian airplane in overcoming Mach 1 during a flight made on 4 December 1953.

From these examples could be concluded that the Reggiane technicians planned to install the Jumo 004 in the MM 541 using the same system. Would that have been the case, the MM 541 might have looked similar to that shown in the attached drawing, where the tail wheel and anti-torque angled tailfin have been modified.

In our opinion its correct denomination should be Re 2006 R (Reazione) to be consistent with another jet project by the same firm, the Re 2005 R, powered by a Caproni thermojet (please see UNKNOWN! No 2)

Following this hypothesis the derived versions from the Re 2006 would be:

- Re 2006 C “Corsa” (Racing) designed to compete in the USA Bendix Trophy with a DB 603 engine.

- Re 2006 P “Postale” (Postal) designed to transport mail with a 1500 hp Pratt & Whitney radial engine

- Re 2006 PP “Postale- Passegeri” (Postal-Passengers) designed to transport either mail or six passengers with a 1500 hp Pratt & Whitney radial engine

- Re 2006 R “Reazione” (Jet propulsion) designed as jet fighter with a Jumo 004 B turbojet

Regarding the swept wing design, it seems to be inspired in the American and Soviet jet fighters of the last 40s.
If the Cometti drawings were made under the supervision of Longhi, why are they not including a Jumo engine to be consistent with the alleged design date of 1944?

It is obvious for us that this airplane was designed for an engine smaller than the Jumo, which would not be available for the Italians until much later than 1944.
Our opinion is that the design originated at 1949-1950 and, due to some obscure legal marketing issue, it was necessary to redraw it with a very earlier date on it.

The reason might be named Re 2008. This project of swept wing fighter was designed by Longhi in USA between 1947 and 1948 with the technical support of Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, which counted with a high speed wind tunnel, impossible to find in Italy at that time.
Apparently Longhi tried to manufacture the Re 2008 in Europe when the Reggiane firm took up its activities again, something which did not happen due to political reasons.

The fact is that Americans did not like this covered transfer of technology. Actually, they suspected that the Re 2000 designed by Longhi was a copy of their Seversky P.35 fighter.
The Re 2008 also looked very much alike the F-86 Sabre and, given that such wing type could not have been designed in Italy for lack of technical means, there was a legal problem of copyright as Americans considered German swept wing technology as prize of war.
It is perhaps for that reason that a phantom project named Re 2007 was “created in 1944”, possibly alleging that the swept wing was a wartime Germany originated technology transfer.

The Re 2008 (Caproni-Reggiane Ca.2008 according to other authors) was a swept wing jet fighter propelled by an axial-flow turbojet of an unspecified type with 5000 lb of thrust.

The wing had 36º swept in the leading edge and -5º dihedral angle. It had four slots in the leading edge and mid-wing transonic fences. The airfoil was a high speed NACA 66.
The fuselage had airbrakes and could be divided in three sections to facilitate the change of engine.
The cockpit, of an archaic design, was pressurized.
The armament was to be four Mauser MG 151 guns of 20 mm, located around the air-intake duct.
It could also transport 12 HVAR rockets under the wings.


Estimated technical data for the swept wing Re 2007 (Re 2008 between brackets)

Span 9.5 m (9 m)
Length 9 m (12 m)
Height 3 m (2.75 m)
Wing area 17 m2 (16 m2)
Empty weight 2500 kg (2400 kg)
Loaded weight 3540 kg (3900 kg)
Max speed Mach 0.85 (Mach 0.95)
Service ceiling 15000 m (20000 m)

Bibliography

• “L’Ala” No. 2, 3 and 4. 1948
• “Dal Re 2002 al Re 2005”, by Sergio Govi, Giorgio Apostolo Ed 1984
• “I Reggiane dall’A alla Z”, by Sergio Govi, Giorgio Apostolo Ed 1985
• “I Caccia Caproni Reggiane 1938-1945” Intyrama 1968
• “Gente dell’Aria No. 4” by Giorgio Evangelisti, Editorialle Olimpia 1997
• “Reggiane Re 2005” by Gregory Alegy, Bancarella A. 1991
• “Reggiane Re 2006, una Storia vera” IBN Editore 2002 by Alessandro Berteletti
• “Dal SAI Ambrosini Sagittario all’Aerfer Leone” by Giuseppe Ciampaglia. IBN Editore 2004
• “Royal Air Force Flying review”, October 1957
• “Mecanica Popular”, March 1958
• “Air Enthusiast”, July 1971
• “Aircraft Profile Publications” No. 244 by John F. Brindley, November 1972
• “The Caproni Reggiane Fighters 1938-1945” by Piero Prato 1971
• “Reggiane Re 2005” by Claudio Tatangelo, Monografie aeronautiche Italiane 1990
• “Reggiane Re 2005 Sagittario” by Mauricio Terlizi, IBN Editore 1999
• “Reggiane 2005 Sagittario” by Nino Arena, Mucchi editore
• “Ali Antiche” No. 54, September 1999
• “Air Enthusiast Quarterly” No. 2, 1976
• “Flying review” May 1966
• “Aerofan” No. 68, January 1998
• “Air war Italy 1944-45” by Nick Beale, Airlife 1996
• “Ritratto segreto dell’Aeronautica italiana nella Seconda Guerra Mondiale”, by Giuliano Colliva, Storia Militare No. 63, 1998
• "Vita ignorata del Centro Studi ed Eperienze di Guidonia” by Bruno Lattanzi
• “Re 2007” by Daniele Lembo, Storia e Battaglie No.4, Ed. Lupo 2000
• “Storia Militare” No. 59, August 1998
• “Regia Aeronautica. Registro delle Matricole Militare e delle Commesse”. AMI Archives, Rome.
• “Alas italianas en la Segunda Guerra Mundial (XXXIV)” by S. Rello, “Flaps”.
• “Les Ailes” No. 1463, 13/02/54
• “JP4” magazine No. 11, 1976
http://pub157.ezboard.com/fluftwaff...MessageRange?topicID=26.topic&start=1&stop=20
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?action=printpage;topic=835.0
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=835.0;atach=7352
http://cloud.prohosting.com/hud607/uncommon/aircraft/re2005/re2007.html
http://www.aerei-italiani.net/SchedeT/aereore2007.html
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/2569/RE2007.html
www.luftwaffe-experten.org/forums/index.php
http://m2reviews.cnsi.net/reviews/axis/ity/wanta2007.htm
http://cloud.prohosting.com/hud607/uncommon/aircraft/re2005/re2007.html
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggiane-progetti_avanzati
 

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!Mark

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I disagree that such a project would have required time and lots of documentation, Lockheed built the P80 inside a circus tent in just 143 days, with almost no documentation (as Kelly Johnson suggested, because they were a small team and they could all collaborate without the need for documentation).

Also swept wings (arrow wings or ali a freccia as the italians call them) were being studied in Italy during the whole interwar period, and before the germans, americans also had flown a couple planes with swept wings, but as usual people like to attribute everything to germans.
People in here should know all the projects that germans stole from other countries.

About the jet engine, I remember reading something in the letters about an engine designed or modified by Longhi and built in 2 prototypes, which apparently the germans were interested in. It's what kept him alive after all, he was a partisan and had often been saved from death by his fascist friends or by his talent (the germans considered him essential for aircraft production).
So that could explain the different engine in the drawings, drawings that i would ignore anyway because they are reconstructions.

And last but not least Antonio Alessio is always cited as collaborator of Longhi but he contributed very little, Longhi was responsible for bringing the projects of the P35 to Italy and, together with other designers, for the development of the following Reggiane fighters.
 

hesham

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From Aerei Nella Storia 61,

the Re.2007 and Re.2008 ?.
 

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