Fiat G.50 Freccia
1937
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Fiat G.50 Freccia

Representing the first design essay of the young technician Giuseppe Gabrielli with the Fiat company, the Fiat G.50 fighter was designed in 1935-6 but, although a break from the traditional biplane formula, offered much less in operational potential than the contemporary Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109. The prototype G.50 first flew on 26 February 1937 and was the first all-metal monoplane with constant-speed propeller and retractable landing gear to be evaluated by the Regia Aeronautica. Named Freccia (arrow), the G.50 was ordered into production with the CMASA company (a subsidiary of Fiat) and 12 of the first aircraft were sent to Spain for operational evaluation. Despite the superiority of the Macchi C.200, it was decided to go ahead and equip one stormo and one gruppo with the G.50, and an initial order for 200 aircraft was placed. In November 1939 the type was delivered to the 51° Stormo, and soon afterwards to the 52° Stormo, and when Italy entered the war in the following June 118 Freccias were in service. In November 1940 48 G.50s of the 51° Stormo moved to Belgium to take part in the air attacks on the UK; however, they saw little action, being principally engaged in 'surveillance' duties. In September that year the prototype of a new version, the G.50bis, had flown, and with improved cockpit armour and increased fuel this entered production for eventual service with five gruppi in North Africa. With a maximum speed of only 460km/h and an armament of two machine-guns, the G.50 was hardly a match for RAF fighters in the Mediterranean, yet survived in service until July 1943. Production eventually reached 245 G.50 and 421 G.50bis fighters, and 108 of a dualcontrol two-seat trainer, the G.50B. G.50s were also supplied to the Croatian and Finnish air forces.

3-View 
Fiat G.50 FrecciaA three-view drawing (972 x 616)

Comments
Barry, 01.09.2016

Power plant 1 x 870 h.p Fiat A.74 RC38 14 cylinder air cooled radial

Span 36'1" Length 26'3" Height 10'9" Wing area 196 sq ft
Empty weight 4,328 lb Max take off weight 5,295 lb

Max speed 292 mph at 16,400 ft
Range 276 miles Service ceiling 35,105 ft

Armament 2 x 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns

Göran Bruun, 16.07.2016

The closed cockpit was a disadvantage causing bad visibility. The closed cockpit was removed in Finland. It was not uncomfortable flying The Fiat G. 50 during wintertime. You could get warm air blowing into the cockpit. My father Carl-Erik Bruun flew the Fiat G. 50 in Finnish Air Force against Sovjet during The WW II.

Klaatu83, 26.08.2012

The photo shows one of the early G-50 fighters with a fully-enclosed cockpit. However, the Italian fighter pilots apparently preferred to fly with the wind in their hair, so most G-50s were built with an old-fashioned open cockpit, as depicted in the three-view drawing. They must have been awfully uncomfortable flying over Finland in the wintertime!

Barry, 02.12.2010

I am unable to say exactly when this aircraft was first delivered to the Regia Aeronautica, but most sorces say early 1938.

Fernando Diaz, 05.01.2007

Your information is very interesting. Do you know the exact delivery date to the Regia Aeronautica of operational G.50?

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