Classic Airframes 1/48 Reggiane Re.2001
Falco II
by Jan "Koty" Kotas
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Caproni-Reggiane's lack of success with the Re 2000 and the availability of Daimler Benz engines led the Italian company to develop a new version of its fighter. The new aeroplane was a marked improvement, and its over-all performance put it in a class with the excellent Macchi MC.202. However, its operational career was limited. There were delays in putting the finishing touches on the aircraft, production was slow, and engines were scarce (priority was given to the Macchi fighter). Although the Re 2001 was designed as an interceptor, it was gradually reassigned to fighter bomber and night fighter missions, and in less than two years a total of 237 planes were built in different versions.

The Re 2001 prototype first took to the air in July 1940. The designers, Roberto Longhi and Antonio Alessio, adapted the structure of the earlier Re 2000 to the new in-line engine. They remodelled the fuselage but kept the old wings and tail-plane. An initial delay in finishing the aircraft was caused by the authorities' rejection of the built-in fuel tanks. They had raised the same objection to the Re 2000. Several months went by before the designers came up with a new solution, and built another prototype. Tests were carried out for some time, and it was June 1941 before the first aeroplanes were delivered. Meanwhile the designers had developed a new version in which the radiators were inside the wings. This seemed to be an extremely promising innovation. The first prototype was altered and called the Re 2001bis. Testights began in 1941, with Francesco Agello, who had established the world speed record for seaplanes, at the conntrols. This aircraft flew some 40 mph (64 kmh) faster than the standard model, but it never got beyond the prototype stage. Another variant model developed in 1942 also remained in the prototype stage. Because of the delay in receiving the DB engines, the designers found a temporary alternative power plant in the Isotta Fraschini Delta, an air-cooled engine. The Re 2001 Delta, as this variant was called, made a series of test flights late in 1942.  It crashed in January 1943, and the production order for 100 aircraft was cancelled.

Production of the standard Re 2001 proceeded slowly. About 40 were built in 1941, a little over 100 in 1942, and the rest in the first half of 1943. Alongside the original fighter version there appeared the CB model, a fighter bomber, and the CN model, a night fighter. The CB had a belly bomb-rack that could carry a 220 pound (99 kg) bomb or a 550 pound (249 kg) bomb. On occasion the aeroplane carried a 1,400 pound (635 kg) bomb. The CN carried two 20 mm cannons in place of the 7.7 mm machine guns of the standard model. A naval version was also considered, and was to have been carried on board the aircraft carriers Aquila and Sparviero.

The Re 2001's operational career began in December 1941, when it was  assigned to three squadrons. The aircraft were used chiefly in the Mediterranean and over metropolitan territory as night fighters. After the 1943 armistice there were more Re 2001s with the Allies than with the ANR. Five aircraft survived the war and remained in servce for a few years.
Technical Data:
Aircraft:
Caproni-Reggaine Re.2001
Manufacturer: Officine Meccaniche 'Reggaine' S.p.A. (Caproni)
Type:
Fighter
Year: 1940
Engine: Alfa Romeo RA 1000, RC41-I 12-cyclinder V, liquid-cooled, 1,175hp
Wingspan:
36.085 ft  (11.0 m)
Length:
25.304 ft (8.36 m)
Height:
10.234 ft (3.15 m)
Weight:
7,143 lb (3,240 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed:
339 mph (545 km/h) at 18,000 ft (5,470 m)
Ceiling:
36,100 ft (11,000 m)
Range:
685 miles (1,100 km)
Armament:
2 x 12.7 mm (0.5 in) BREDA-SAFAT machine guns; 2 x 7.7mm (0.303) BREDA-SAFAT machine guns
Crew: 1

Additional Images
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December, 2010
Copyright © 2010
Construction
IThe kit of this italian aircraft has a standard quality expected from shortruns therefore I will not describe the quality of each part but I will focus on problems which can be corrected during building.

I began construction by gluing both halves of fuselages together as opposed to beginning with the customary cockpit constrcition first. The main reason for starting with the fuselagewas because the fuselage halves were different length about 1mm. Before bluing these parts together I reduced the thickness of fuselage around the cockpit side walls. I tried to clean up the fuselage and repare clutches as it was the final fitting before painting. It was much easier to fit the wing with fuselages then to do the same thing. After fitting resin part of the cooler, part #R15 and the resin exhausts I installed the resin ockpit walls.  Gluing upper part #12 of the cowling  followed afterwards. Parts of the cockpit such as the dashboard, floor and seat I painted in the meantime.

I could come up to a wing completition finally. Bottom of the undercarriage shaft is made separatelly from resin, parts # R12. Gluing these parts was a first step. Crack which come up on the inner side I cement with a “Red” Miliput. After wing completion I reduced thickness of the trailing edge.

Attaching of the wing to the fuselage were not so easy as well because left part of the wing base at fuselage was about 1 mm thicker than the same part at the wing. For finalization Miliput was used again. New clutches were also supposed to be done and repaired. Gluing  parts # R13 was without problems and also parts of underwings coolers were attached easily.

Propeler and movable part of canopy were prepared during breaks in above mentioned process. Attaching of the blades  was not easy too but I succeeded finally.

Undercarriage parts are made quite good but finishing takes sometime time. I also used plastic sprues from Evergreen for shorings as per instruction sheet. Wheels are plastic and made of 2 parts each. Using resin tyres would be better a option.

When the completed model was ready to be painted with surfacer, I added the seat and gunsight. I attached the the canopy using Testors Clear Parts Cement. After drying I created my own filling mask from Kabuki tape.

Since Regianne aircraft were painted in 2 basic colors, I applied the whole kit with surfacer 1000 from Gunze. Preshading with a matt black followed after surface water smoothing with abrasive-coated paper 2000.
Painting and Decals
Because of the camo I selected the final painting required only a single night. I used Gunze acryclic colors that dry in a short period of time. After finishing the lower surface of the kit requiring approximately after 1 hour I covered lower surface of the kit and applied the upper surface color. Both, upper and lower surfaces were raised with a drop of whote colour. Final step was done with using gloss varnish Sidolux.

This plane belonged to Italian Ace Salvatore Teja, and  decals are from
Italian WWII Aces – Part II Stormo Decals. For better adhesion, I used Gunze Mr. Mark Settle and Mark Settle Softer. After spraying 2nd level of varnish I used Wales from MIG Production. Dark for upper surface, Neutral for lower surface. Matt varnish was used Sidolux with a 20% of Tamiya X-21 flat base.

Attaching of the undercarriage, pitot tube, positional lights and antenna was very easy and fast.
I can say that this kit will have an irreplaceable place in my collection finally.