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"What If" Aeronautica Macchi C.202 Variants

Retired In Kalifornia

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The Aeronautica Macchi C.202 was WWII Italy's best interceptor fighter produced in quantity - at least 1,070 produced - though better Italian interceptors appeared later in the war albeit in far smaller quantities.

In July 1939 the Regia Aeronautica Italiana (RAI) requested Officine Meccaniche Reggiane SpA to redesign their Re.2000 to accommodate the German Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa engine as the Re.2001; in November 1939 Alfa Romeo acquired a license to produce the DB 601Aa as the RA.1000 R.C.41-I Monsone for the Re.2001 well as for other Italian aircraft, Aeronautica Macchi meantime independently acquired its own DB 601Aa for what would become the C.202 as a private venture. Based on the Fiat A.74 R.C.38 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine powered Macchi C.200 designed by Mario Castoldi (1888 - 1968), the prototype MM.336 first flying on December 24, 1937, in January 1940 Castoldi began design work on the C.202 mating the C.200 wings, landing gear, vertical & horizontal tail units to a new fuselage incorporating the DB 601Aa, construction of the sole prototype MM.495 commencing shortly thereafter first flying on August 10, 1940.

From the time of the C.200's first flight in 1937 Castoldi later in competition with Re.2000 designers Roberto Longhi & Antonio Alessio had wanted to power their aircraft with in-line engines. Few indigenous Italian in-line aero engines in the late 1930s produced over 1,000 horsepower so because of inadequate Italian aero engine production capacity never mind intransigence by RAI leadership, Chief of Staff Giuseppe Valle (1886-1975) in particular, years of development opportunity was lost. For "What If" purposes here its assumed the RAI soon after the C.200's first flight would lend priority in getting Italy's first fully modern in-line engine powered monoplane interceptor flying by early 1939 to favorably compete against British Hawker Hurricanes & Supermarine Spitfires operating in the Mediterranean & North Africa by 1940 instead of relying on obsolescent FIAT CR.42s, G.50s & Macchi C.200s.

Below are selected photos of my "What If" builds of 1/72 scale, 1963-vintage FROG Macchi C.202 kits incorporating four Breda-SAFAT 12.7 mm fuselage-mounted machine guns arranged ala the 1943 Macchi C.205N-1 as base armament, some fitted with extra machine guns, 150 kg bombs, German Waffenfabrik Mauser MG-151 15 mm guns in underwing pods:

"Mid-1940" Interceptors & Fighter-Bombers









"Late 1940" North African Fighter-Bomber





"1941" Six Breda-SAFAT Machine Gun Night Fighter





"1942 Russian Front Ground Assault" With MG 151 15 mm Underwing Pod Guns



 
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Retired In Kalifornia

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The 1963-vintage FROG Aeronautica Macchi C.202 was the first 1/72 scale injected plastic kit of the Folgore, clunky well as inaccurate it nevertheless is easy to build, out of production since the mid-1970s affordable aftermarket kits are still available. All my above previous "What-If" FROG C.202 models with early 1943 C.205N-1 style fuselage-wing root-mounted Breda-SAFAT 12.7mm machine gun packs utilizing SUPERMODEL FIAT CR.32 wing-mounted machine gun blisters were in pre-June 1940 Regia Aeronautica Italiana (RAI) liveries & markings well as wartime extensions thereof assuming Folgori entered RAI service early in 1940, these below, my last-ever FROG kit builds, are in post-June 1940 RAI Tavola X liveries & markings, one in a colorful though not without precedent "What-If" livery. Two of the kits are 1963-1974 FROG releases third a 1964 AIR LINES release:

1st Build















2nd Build













3rd Build











 
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