Italeri 1/48 Reggiane Re.2002
Ariete (Ram)
by Jean Barby

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With the Re 2002 the Caproni-Reggiane designers went back to the radial engine. Thus the Re 2002 was the direct successor of the 1939 Re 2000, but it had the technical and structural features of the Re 2001. The Re 2002 was an agile and sturdy aeroplane and played an important role in operations during the last months of Italy's participation in the Second World War, as it was the best fighter-bomber and ground-attack aeroplane in the Regia Aeronautica. Its fine qualities were also acknowledged by the German Luftwaffe, which decided in 1943 to develop a Re 2002 powered by a 1,600 hp B.M.W. engine (this was the engine that powered the Focke Wulf Fw 190 fighter). However the plan was never carried out. When Italy withdrew from the war in 1943, the Germans took over about 60 of the Re 2002s for their ground attack units. Total production reached 225 aircraft 149 for the Regia Aeronautica and the rest for the German Luftwaffe.

The Re 2002 project was developed in the summer of 1940. The basic structure was that of the Re 2001. The Daimler Benz in-line engine that powered the Re 2001 was always in short supply because Alfa Romeo was slow in producing the Italian version and deliveries from Germany were limited. The Re 2002, therefore, was powered by a new Piaggio radial engine, the 1,175 hp 14-cylinder air-cooled P XIX RC 45. Thus the wings and the tail-plane were those of the Re. 2001, but the fuselage was remodelled. I Caproni-Reggiane Re 2002 - 1943 Armament consisted of a pair of 12.7 mm machine guns in the forward section of the fuselage, which were syn-chronized to fire through the propeller disc. A belly carrier could accommodate a 924 pound (419 kg) or a 1,100 pound (498 kg) bomb, and two 352 pound (159 kg) bombs could be carried in racks under the wings.

The prototype first took to the air in October 1940. It was an excellent aeroplane and in some cases superior to the Re 2001, but it took some time to complete the final refinements to the aircraft's structure, especially in the engine, and it was September 1941 before the Italian Air Force placed an order for 200 aeroplanes. The first aeroplanes were delivered in March 1942, but they did not become operational immediately. The 5th Dive-bomnber Group became operational in July 1943, when a series of missions were carried out to try to block the Allied invasion of Sicily.

After the 1943 armistice, about 40 Re 2002s continued operations with the Allies. Mussolini's forces in the north made almost no use of the aircraft. The Luftwaffe took 60 of the aeroplanes to Germany, 40 of them were brand-new and the other 20 requisitioned. The German aeroplanes were used in France in operations against the Maquis, particularly in the areas of Limoges, Aisne, and Vercors.


This is the recently released Italeri 1/48 Re.2002.  The kit is duiffcult to build with some fit issues. The model was finished in RLM 70 from Gunze on top and GAC from Mr Kit for the undersides. As mentioned, this kit needs allot of work to render it accurately.  Oversized rivets, too high and too large hump, a wrong slope on the engine cover, a funny cockpit, more of a Re.2000 than a Re.2002, the spinner is too large and a badly shaped propeller, just to mention a few of the things about this kit. My article in WingMaster is still valid for someone who wants to tackle this model. The undercarriage and wheels were taken from Italian Classic range now OOP, they were a true improvement compared to the undercarriage included in the kit.

Technical Data

Aircraft: Caproni-Reggaine Re.2002
Manufacturer: Officine Meccaniche 'Reggaine' S.p.A. (Caproni)
Type: Ground Attack
Year: 1943
Engine: Piaggio P.XIX RC 45, 14-cyclinder, radial, air-cooled, 1,175hp
Wingspan: 36 ft 1 in (11.0 m)
Length: 26 ft (8.16 m)
Height: 10 ft 4 in (3.15 m)
Weight: 7,150 lb (3,240 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 329 mph (530 km/h) at 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
Ceiling: 36,100 ft (11,000 m)
Range: 684 miles (1,100 km)
Armament: 4 x 12.7 mm (0.5 in) BREDA-SAFAT machine guns;  1,400 lb (640 kg) of bombs
Crew: 1

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January, 2012
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