Classic Airframes 1/48 Reggiane Re.2001
Falco II
by Jose Lucero
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Between the 22 and 24 of June of 1940 the first prototype of the Reggiane Re.2001 Falco II flew for the first time. At the outset, it's performance was an improvement over it's predecessor, the Re.2000. The Re.2001 inherited the characteristic shape of it's wings from the Re.2000, but were constructed in 3 spars instead of the 5 spars of the Falco and had two small radiators located beneath the wings. The fuselage was a new design specially made for the DB.601A power plant.

The production of the new type was handicapped by the limited availability of the licensed built German engine.  Several versions of the Re.2001 were constructed: Re.2001bis with the radiators inside the wings improved  speed by 60 Km/h (38 mph); Re.2001CB (Cacciabombarderi) ground attack aircraft was fitted with a ventral bomb rack for 250kg bombs; Re.2001OR (Organizzazione Roma) lightened carrier born fighter with arrester hook; Re.2001CN  (Caccia Notturno) night fighter with two 20mm wing mounted cannons instead of 7.7mm machine guns; Re.2001G (Silurante) torpedo carrying aircraft and the Re.2001GV (Galimberti Vaccari) anti-ship bomber. To reduce the dependence of DB.601 engine, the Re.2001 Delta was built incorporating the Isotta Fraschini Delta 840 hp RC-16-48 inline engine however it's performance was inferior to the original aircraft and not put into production.

Operationally, the Re.2001 was assigned to the 2 Gruppo of 6 Stormo which included 150, 152 and 358 Squadriglie based in Sicily in 1942 and to the 22 Gruppo C.T. comprised of the 359, 362 and 369 Squadriglie originally based in Rome. Operations missions were mostly bomber and convoy escort missions. Fighting was mostly performed over the skies of Malta where the aircraft demonstrated its fine flying characteristics. Pilots tried operated the aircraft mostly at low to medium altitude which took advantage of the Re.2001s strengths at these altitudes.
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

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June, 2006
Copyright 2006
Construction
In 1/48 scale, the Classic Airframes Reggiane Re.2001 is the only kit available of this Italian fighter. The Classic Airframes offering is a limited run multimedia kit with injected molded plastic and resin parts. The plastic pieces are well done with well proportioned recessed panel lines. There where some excess plastic that needed cleaning up, perhaps my kit was one of the last produced kits since various parts showed deterioration. The resin parts include parts for the cockpit, wheel wells, air intakes and the turbocharger intake. Red, green and transparent navigation lights are provided in three small plastic sprues, a great touch!

The cockpit was painted Verde Anticorrosione, the seat was painted silver with the cushion and harness in brown for leather. The detail provided in the cockpit is adecuate but some more scratch building was done to add more detail, like wires and fuel
lines. A wash of turpentine and raw umber oil color was applied to provide contrast. After painting and weathering were complete, the cockpit was fitted onto the fuselage sides after carefully dry fitting.

The fit of the fuselage sides was not bad, needing only some sanding and Mr. Surfacer 500 to remove seams. The wings fitted nicely after the resin wheel wells were sanded down. Now, the wing to fuselage join was another story. The fit here was not good at all, even after I did a lot of dry fitting. Lots of Milliput epoxy putty was used on the join on the top of the wing and the seam below it. After the seams where removed I rescribed the detail lost on the process. The flaps where rescribed as depicted on the scale plans in the Ali D'Italia Reggiane Re.2001 Monograph. Mr.Surface 1000 was used on all the seam works as a final check before going to the paint shop.

The kit was painted using Testors Model Master Italian Blue gray for the Grigio Azzurro Chiaro. The topside color was Verde Oliva Scuro # 2 from the Misterkit range. Weathering was done with turpentine wash and pastel colors. The kit decals worked great.

This is the only game in town for a 1/48 Reggiane Re.2001, but unfortunately it's out of production. It's a great build and sits up proudly next my Macchis and FIATs.

Recommended.

References
Ali D'Italia No.3 Reggiane Re.2001; Giorgio Apostolo Editore; La
Bacarella Aeronautica; 1996

Regia Aeronatica Caccia & Assalto 1940-1943, Part 2; Paolo Waldis,
Marino De Bortoli; La Bancarella Aeronautica; 2002