Italaerei + Italian Kits 1/72 Reggiane Re.2001 BO
Bomba Ossigeno
by Richard Mendes

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The Officine Meccaniche Reggiane Re.2001 Falco II (Falcon) fighter-bombers and night fighters designed by Roberto Longhi (1909-1994) and Antonio Alessio were powered by license-built Daimler-Benz DB.601 1,175hp / Alfa Romeo R.A. 1000 RC 41-1 Monsone (Monsoon) 12-cylinder Inverted-V engines the prototype M.M.409 piloted by Mario de Bernardi (1893-1959) first flying c. June 22-24, 1940. Based on the Piaggio P.XI radial engine-powered Re.2000 Falco I with four wing and one fuselage-mounted fuel tanks the Regia Aeronautica (RA) required those in the Re.2001 be fuselage mounted (for improved survivability) necessitating redesigning the wings, this along with production delays and Alfa Romeo engine shortages delaying its service introduction till June 1941. The RA ordered 410 Alfa Romeo-powered Re.2001s (10 evaluation + 200 production Reggiane + 100 Caproni Taliedo + 50 then later 100 Caproni Predappio) but because of engine (priority being given to the Macchi C.202) and factory production delays just 234 plus three prototypes (two Alfa Romeo, one Isotta Fraschini Delta-powered) were built by the time of the September 8, 1943 Italian Armistice.

The Re.2001 Bomba a Ossigeno Liquido
Thermobaric weapons are those utilizing combustible gases or liquids as explosives, the WWII 15 centimeter six-barreled propane gas + explosive charge canister and the German Nebelwerfer rocket launcher amongst the most notable. Italy's WWII contribution was the Bomba a Ossigeno Liquido (Liquid Oxygen Bomb) details of which are less known; breakable thermo bottles full of liquid oxygen presumably mixed with explosive chemicals such as gasoline or diesel fuel similar to jellied Napalm deployed as anti-personnel weapons though potentially as blast-effect ones against field deployed military equipment. On April 28, 1943 such a bomb was fitted on Re.2001 M.M.90754 at the Aeroporto Militare di Furbara Experimental Center, one well-known photo of it surviving WWII, whether it was armed isn't known though none were used operationally during the war.



Italaerei + Italian Kits Wings: Reggiane Re.2001 1/72 Conversion
Italian Kits Mail Order of Italy currently markets scale model hobby brand products well as their Italian Kits Wings (IKW) line of 1/72 model conversion kits and detailing parts including IKW-7220 Delta Engine and IKW-7219 Bomba a Ossigeno Liquido resin parts for Sword and SUPERMODEL Reggiane Re.2001 models, how long they’d been in production isn't known. IKW-7220 includes engine cowling halves and propeller spinner, IKW-7219 bomb body, two air glide stabilizers and extended fuselage tailwheel, they’re nicely molded though those for IKW-7220 undoubtedly fit better on the newer Sword Models Re.2001 kit.

The Build
On January 2, 2019 I purchased two complete 1970-vintage 1/72nd scale Italaerei Reggiane Re.2001 kits still in unopened shrink wrap in near mint condition boxes off eBay at very good delivered prices, till now I never owned a first-run Italaerei kit produced before 1972 though I do remember seeing a similarly boxed reissued imported Aliplast FIAT G.55 kits for sale at a Sacramento hobby store in the late 1960s. Employing them as donors for the IKW (Italin Kits Wings) builds were a no-brainer considering better-tooled Sword kits cost whole lot more, never mind being harder to find.

Building the IKW Reggiane Re.2001 Bomba a Ossigeno Liquido Italaerei model involved replicating one of my early in the 2nd Decade of the 3rd Millennium SUPERMODEL Re.2001 builds to represent M.M.90754 with RAI Verde Oliva Scuro 2 and Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1 "Continental" colors utilizing Humbrol, Testors and Model Master enamel et. al. weathering acrylic paints per the STORMO Regia Aeronautica and ANR Colors and Camouflage Schemes Guide well as left-over Azur Models Breda Ba.65 Fuselage Fasces, SEM Model House of Savoy rudder crests, SKY Models Macchi C.202 Wing Tri Fasces, Sword Reggiane Re.2005 engine cowling machine gun synchronization information, Tauro Model Re.2001 Alfa Romeo propeller logos, empty/payload weight information and "Reggiane" makers logos kit water decals. For reasons unknown SKY silkscreened just port side C.202 Tri-Fasces, these I had to cut out and reverse gluing them on starboard wing sides with white glue all whist praying they'd hold fast, fortunately they did, but for how long?! Painting the bomb itself was not so easy given only one photograph of the bomb mounted on M.M.90754, after consultation on STORMO Forums the bomb itself should have been painted red/white in keeping with RA color code specfications for these kinds of bombs.

In addition to this build, included is a scratch-built and painted instrument panel, rudder bars, control columns and San Giorgio Typo C gunsight, "added touches" not included with any of my previous Reggiane 2000-series aircraft builds.

Technical Data

Aircraft: Caproni-Reggaine Re.2001 Bomba Ossigeno
Manufacturer: Officine Meccaniche 'Reggaine' S.p.A. (Caproni)
Type: Fighter
Year: 1942
Engine: Alfa Romeo RA 1000, RC41-I 12-cyclinder V, liquid-cooled, 1,175hp
Wingspan: 36 ft 1 in (11.0 m)
Length: 27 ft 5 in (8.36 m)
Height: 10 ft 4 in ft (3.15 m)
Weight: 6,700 lb (3,040 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 349 mph (563 km/h) at 17,700 ft (5,400 m)
Ceiling: 36,000 ft (11,000 m)
Range: 684 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; 1 x Liquid Oxygen Bomb
Crew: 1

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November, 2019
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