Hasegawa 1/48 Macchi C. 205 Veltro
Mussolini's Greyhound
by Vince Tassone
When a more powerful version of the German Daimler Benz became available, the last Italian fighters of the war were built. These aircraft were on a par with the best American, British, and German aircraft. The Macchi MC.205 was the first Italian airplane to be powered by the new engine, and it was also the first 'Series 5' airplane to see substantial service before the 1943 armistice.

The prototype took to the air on April 19, 1942. It was derived from the MC.202. The only apparent difference between the MC.205 and its predecessor was the engine housing. The MC.205 also had two cyclindercal oil radiators on the sides, while the earlier airplane had a single belly radiator. Because of the greater power of the Daimler Benz DB 605 (1,475 hp), the MC.205 was a far better plane than the MC.202. The prototype reached a speed of 407 mph (655 km/h), and it could gain 20,000 ft (6,096 m) in 4 minutes and 52 seconds. The MC.205 was the first Italian fighter to carry 20 mm cannons on the wings, indispensable for bomber interception. This was the first Italian airplane to be as heavily armed as those of other air forces, and with the bigger and more powerful engine, the MC.205 was an extremely maneuverable airplane, especially at medium and low altitudes.

Large-scale production was ordered at once, but production was slowed down by scarcity of strategic materials and engines.  Between October 1942 and September 1943 about 200 aircraft  were built. Macchi continued to build the airplane even after the 1943 armistice and another 112 airplanes were built before the assembly line was put out of commission by Allied bombing raids. All these aircraft were delivered to Mussolini's ANR.

The aircraft became operational in 1943 and was used chiefly in the Mediterranean and in Sicily at the time of the Allied invasion. The period of greatest activity, however, was after the 1943 armistice. At this time thirty-four aircraft were used by the Allies, especially on the Yugoslavian front, while in the north there were 29 Macchi MC.205s in addition to the 112 new ones that were already built. All these aircraft remained in active service until the summer of 1944.

A few MC.205s were kept in service after the war. They were assigned to the 5th Fighter Group until 1947 and were then reassigned to flying schools, where they remained operational until as late as 1951.

This is the 1/48 scale Hasegawa MC. 205V Serie III and is painted in  the color and camoflauge scheme adopted by the ANR which followed closely the German schemes of the period using RLM 74/75 over RLM 76 with RLM 75 mottles on the fuselage sides.  The cockpit interior and the wheel wells were painted Verde Anticorrosione FS 34272.  Polly Scale Acrylics were used for all paints.  Aeromaster decals were used.

The aircaft depicted is Red 18, 1a Sq., 1o Stormo ANR operating in Northern Italy in 1944.  Red 18 was the personal mount of Italian Ace Adriano Visconti who had claimed 14 aerial victories (some sources state 10 confirmed victories) with the RA and the ANR and many more shared and destroyed on the ground and is by far the most reconized Italian Ace of WWII.

Technical Data:
Macchi C.205 Serie III
Aeronautica Macchi S.p.A.
Daimler Benz DB 605A, 12-cylinder V, liquid-cooled, 1,475hp
34 ft 8 1/2 in (10.59m)
29 ft 1 in (8.85 m)
10 ft (3.05 m)
7,120 lb (3,224 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed:
403 mph (650 km/h) at 24,300 ft (7,400 m)
37,200 ft (11,350 m)
646 miles (1,040 km)
2 x 12.7 mm SAFATs (0.5 in), 2 x 20mm cannons

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