Flying Machines 1/48 FIAT G.50bis/AS
Italian Ace Aldo Buvoli
by Jean Barby

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Although produced in comparatively fewer numbers than corresponding Macchi aircraft of WWII, the Fiat G.50 nonetheless draws as much interest, particularly amongst scale aviation modelers.  The most interesting use of this aircraft was in the Battle of Britain and the clash between Finland and Russia in 1940-1944.  In the hands of Finnish pilots, the Fiat G.50 achieved remarkable success and was responsible for 101 Soviet aircraft shot-down for the loss of only two Fiats.  This success mirrored the Italian performance in southern Russia using the more effective Macchi MC.200.  The total production of Fiat's amounted to 791 of all types.  The Fiat G.50 was designed by the young and gifted Ing. Giuseppe Gabrielli in 1937 and he drew upon this experience to design one of the war's most effective fighters, the Fiat G.55 Centauro.  He later designed the highly successful Fiat G.91 multirole combat jet aircraft, winning the European competition for its type and the plane was subsequently adopted for use by the AMI, the Luftwaffe and the Portugese air force.

In 1940 the Regia Aeronautica joined the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain with an expeditionary force "Corpo Aereo Italiano - CAI" equipped with bombers (Fiat Br. 20 and CANT Z 1007) and fighters (Fiat G50 and Fiat CR42).  G50s operated from Belgium (Magden and Ursel) and the the plane was used up until April 1941, completing fighter sweeps between Calais and Dunquerque.


Markings are for Italian Ace Sergente Maggiore Aldo Buvoli, 378a Sq. 155o Gruppo Autonomo, Castel Benito, 9 July 1941.

Colours: Well it's hard to answer this one since all my colors are self mixed, only the Griggio Mimetico is Gunze 36320, the GM1 for the overspray is Gunze Radome color plus 10% of yellow, Green is the H-302 and the Red brown, is Gunze Hull red. Decals are from Stormo No.1 sheet, but as there is only one data Fiat G50plus serial, I made mine starting from the kit's decals and using a 4 from the decal dungeon.

The plane feautures a yellow engine cowl in keeping with a directive for the period April-October 1941 to coordinate aircraft recongnition with its axis allies. Buvoli took-off alone in this aircraft on the evening of 9 July 1941 to patrol over Tripoli harbour and intercepted seven Blenheims sent to attack shipping in the area. Diving on the bombers as they perfomed a low level attack on the port, he chased the formation out to sea firing at each one of them in sequence and destroyiing four. Buvoli was subsequently credited with the four kills, No.110 Sqn reporting the loss of all these planes.

Technical Data

Aircraft: Fiat G.50
Manufacturer: Fiat S.A.
Type: Fighter
Year: 1939
Engine: Fiat A.74 RC 38, 14-cyclinder radial, air-cooled, 870hp
Wingspan: 36 ft (10.98 m)
Length: 25 ft 7 in (7.80 m)
Height: 9 ft 8 1/2 in (2.95 m)
Weight: 5,280 lb (2,395 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 294 mph (473 km/h) at 19,685 ft (6,000 m)
Ceiling: 35,200 ft (10,700 m)
Range: 420 miles (675 km)
Armament: 2 x 12.7mm (0.5 in) SAFAT machine guns
Crew: 1

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October, 2013
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