Reggiane Re.2005 - Aviation Art
THE ARCHER - PLATE 02
by Dan Zoernig
Summer 1943. A Reggiane Re 2005 of the 362nd Squadriglia, 22nd Gruppo shoots down a Spitfire VB with a head on pass somewhere over the Italian countryside. Considered by many to be the most beautiful of the three "Serie 5" fighters Italy produced around the Daimler-BenzDB 605 engine, the "Sagittario" (Archer) was capable of holding its own in combat with either the US Mustang or the English Spitfire. The Re 2005 was a sleek and graceful design that was lethal to adversaries in the hands of a competent pilot, and although its handling was considered to be exquisite, it still mounted a heavy weapons load. With a pair of Breda-Safat 12.7mm machine guns in the upper cowling, one 20mm MG 151 cannon firing through the propeller hub, and two more Mauser 151s in the wings, the Sagittario was a serious threat to Allied fighters and bombers. However, because of production difficulties compounded by aerial bombing of the Reggiane factories, only 30 or so of these fine aircraft were completed before Italy capitulated in September of 1943.


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