Silver Wings 1/32 Reggiane RE.2000
Falco I (Hawk)
by Jean Barby


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The Reggiane 2000 was a modern aircraft constructed entirely of metal under the general direction of Ing. Longhi. Following Longhi’s experiences in the United States he began design of this stellar aircraft; introducing new construction techniques to the Reggiane firm such as the use of aluminum and the construction of wings as a single piece. Looking at the aircraft there are some obvious similarities to the Seversky P-35; however the Re. 2000 was significantly more powerful and modern in its design. Comparative tests against the Me.109 E indicated the Re.2000 was more maneuverable and more stable in flight; in combat simulations with the Me.109 the Re.2000 demonstrated its marked superiority. However unfortunately the Falco’s engine, as it was christened, a Piaggio P.IX R.C. 40, was not always reliable; a handicap of the aircraft that it would carry to the end of its career. Unfortunately in spite of test flights and results, the Regia Aeronautica was still undecided, pointing out the location of the fuel tanks represented a serious risk to pilots (a similar problem with the P-47); this particular problem however did not deter foreign interest in the aircraft which included purchase orders from Sweden, Hungary and Britain. The purchase order from Britain would eventually be canceled because of war.

Following the construction of the prototype, there followed four variants of the aircraft: an interceptor, a catapult launched version for the Regia Marina, the ‘bis’ and the G.A. (Grande Autonomia, Long Range Fighter). The 'bis' version was a transition aircraft before the definitive G.A. was put into production, brandishing a large additional fuel tank located behind the pilots seat as well as replacing the all glass canopy with the typical Italian scalloped headrest for safety purposes. The Re. 2000 was used by the newly formed Experimental Squadron of the 23o Gruppo, 3o Stormo based at Comiso and the 377a Sq., an Independent Squadron based at Palermo, Bocca di Falco Airforce Base and also with a section at Trapani. The 377a Sq. used the Re. 2000 extensively, and as it turned out was the only RA unit completely equipped with the fighter, having received the entire assignment to the Regia Aeronautica (18 aircraft); except those catapult types destined for use on the great battleships. From their deployment in Sicily, the Re. 2000 operated against Malta, dividing its missions into convoy escort, ground attack, the attacking of ports and interception. During one operation a Re.2000 of the 377a Sq. intercepted an British Blenheim shooting it down in the ensuing battle, this it seems being the only recorded aerial engagement of this squadron.











Construction

The Siver Wings Re 2000 in 32nd is a good new indeed, however the bad new is the level of detail provided, which can be improved. There's no proper seat belts, rivets, panel lines aren't deep enough and sometimes even non existent, gaps and alignment issues, mainly with the wings-fuselage juncture, rounded movable surfaces, edges but straight edges to fix them. Not a picnic but a welcome subject for 1/32 scale builders. The aircraft modeled is red-5, 377a Sq., Palermo-Boccadifalco, 1942.



Technical Data

Aircraft: Caproni-Reggiane Re.2000
Manufacturer: Officine Meccaniche 'Reggiane' S.p.A. (Caproni)
Type: Fighter
Year: 1939
Engine: Piaggio P.XI RC 40, 14-cyclinder radial, air-cooled, 986hp
Wingspan: 36.0 ft 1 in (11.0 m)
Length: 26.0 ft 2 1/2 in (7.99 m)
Height: 10.0 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
Weight: 6,290 lb (2,850 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 329 mph (530 km/h) at 16,400 ft (5,000 m)
Ceiling: 34,450 ft (10,500 m)
Range: 870 miles (1,400 km)
Armament: 2 x 12.7 mm (0.5 in) BREDA-SAFAT machine guns
Crew: 1

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July, 2017
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