Flying Machines 1/48 Fiat G.50bis
Freccia (Arrow)
by Jean Barby


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This was the first Italian monoplane fignter. It was all-metal and had a retractable under-carriage, and was designed at the same time as the last biplane fighter, the Fiat CR.42. The G.50 was a typical transition aeroplane, and it took a some time to perfect this new formula. The pilots were sceptical as they were accustomed to the light and agile biplanes. The G.50 was not as good as the MC.200 but it was sturdy and fairly easy to handle, although it was not very fast. Like all the Italian fighters of the first phase of the war, it was armed with two machine-guns.

The design was begun in 1935 by Giuseppe Gabrielli. Power was provided by an 840 hp Fiat A.74 RC 38 radial engine, which drove a three-blade metal propeller with variable pitch. The aircraft was designed to carry two 12.7 mm machine guns, one on the engine cowling and the other on the left wing, with a 20 mm cannon on the right wing. The design was submitted to the authorities in a 1936 bid for interceptors, along with the Macchi MC.200, the Caproni- Vizzola F.5, and the Meridionali Ro 51. Comparative tests eliminated the Caproni and the Meridionali. Although the Macchi was superior, the Fiat was also chosen, and some modifications were called for, including an open cockpit (with the removal of the closed canopy of the first few aircraft to be built), the addition of under-carriage fairings, an independent ignition system, and an oxygen supply for the pilot. The first production models were assigned to an experimental unit, which was sent to Spain in January 1939 for a series of operational tests. It was on the basis of this experience that alterations were called for. It was late in 1939 before the first aeroplanes were assigned to regular units. During the same period 35 aircraft were sold to Finland, where they remained in active service until 1944.

When Italy entered the war, there were 118 G.50s in two fighter groups. The aeroplanes' first missions were flown during the invasion of France, and subsequently G.50s were sent along with CR.42s to Belgium. Italian aeroplanes did not ecounter British aeroplanes over the English Channel. The G.50 saw service in the main theatres of operation, in Greece, the Mediterranean, and Africa. A second model appeared in 1940, the G.50bis with altered rudder and increased fuel capacity. The aeroplane was gradually withdrawn from fighter duty and reassigned to ground attack. A total of 782 G.50s were built, including four prototypes. Among the chief variant models was a dual-control trainer. A carrier version, and one with a Daimler Benz in-line engine, were also considered.










Construction

A Fiat G.50bis from the 395 Sq. 15 Gruppo Autonomo Caccia Terrestre (CT) when the attack on Greece began. I did use the upper wings insignis though it seems few Freccie wore them. The Flying Machines kit requires its share of elbow grease and details to conform. Gunze Paints used: Giallo Mimetico 2 (VITO (30)), Marrone Mimetico 2 (VITO (28)) and Verde Mimetico 1 (VITO (14)). So here you are the results and best regards to Stormo!

Technical Specifications

Aircraft: Fiat G.50bis Serie VII
Manufacturer: Fiat S.A.
Type: Fighter
Year: 1939
Engine: Fiat A.74 RC 38, 14-cyclinder radial, air-cooled, 870hp
Wingspan: 36 ft 11/16 (10.99 m)
Length: 27 ft 2 3/8 in (8.29 m)
Height: 10 ft 9 1/8 in (3.28 m)
Weight: 5560 lb (2,522 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 294 mph (473 km/h) at 19,685 ft (6,000 m)
Ceiling: 35,200 ft (10,700 m)
Range: 277 miles (445 km)
Armament: 2 x 12.7mm (0.5 in) SAFAT machine guns
Crew: 1

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March, 2020
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