Fiat's Fantastic Falco
introductionThe Fiat CR.42 Falco ("Falcon", plural:Falchi) was a single-seat sesquiplane fighter which served primarily in Italy's Regia Aeronautica before and during World War II. The aircraft was produced by the Turin firm, and entered service, in smaller numbers, with the air forces of Belgium, Sweden and Hungary. With more than 1,800 built, it was the most widely produced Italian aircraft to take part in World War II. The Fiat CR.42 was the last of the Fiat biplane fighters to enter front line service as a fighter, and represented the epitome of the type.
RAF Intelligence praised its exceptional manoeuvrability, further noting that "the plane was immensely strong", though it stood little chance against faster, more heavily armed monoplanes. It performed at its best with the Hungarian Air Force on the Eastern Front, where it had a kill to loss ratio of 12 to 1.
Following the Fall of France an Italian air group of CR.42 fighters and BR.20 bombers operated from Belgium in October and November 1940 and flew some operations in later stages of the Battle of Britain but with a high loss rate.
the kitThe kit is Silver Wings' superlative 1/32 scale resin kit. Ryszard didn't include much information about the building process, but from the in-progress shots, it appears that this kit (as with all Silver Wings kits) would not give an average modeller with experience building resin kits any difficulties.
The model is marked as MM5701 of 95. Squadriglia / 18. Gruppo / 56. Stormo. In October of 1940, Sergeant Pietro Salvadori was assigened to fly this aircraft as part of a bombing raid from Maldegm, Belgium. After an oil pipe broke, Sgt Salvadori was forced to land on the beach at Oxfordness and was taken prisoner. His aircraft was evaluated by RAF Intelligence and then put into storage. Restored in 1978, it was put on public display at the RAF Museum in Hendon, where it remains the only Italian Falco still in existence.
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