Macchi M.C. 205V Veltro

M.C. 205 Veltro

The best Italian fighters of WWII used German engines. The M.C.205V was a development of the MC.202, powered by the Daimler Benz DB605 instead of the DB601, and armed with 20mm cannon. It was intended as an interim fighter. The M.C.205 was an effective fighter at low and medium altitudes, but only 262 were built. After the war, 42 were delivered to Egypt, and these were used in the war with Israel of 1948-1949.

Type: M.C.205V Serie III
Function: fighter
Year: 1943
Crew: 1
Engines: 1 * 1475 hp Fiat RA.1050 RC 58 Tifone
Wing Span: 10.58 m
Length: 8.85 m
Height: 3.04 m
Wing Area: 16.80 m2
Empty Weight: 2581 kg
Max.Weight: 3408 kg
Speed: 650 km/h
Ceiling: 11350 m
Range: 1040 km
Armament: 2*mg 12.7 mm 2*g 20 mm

Macchi M.C. 205 Veltro

The Veltro is considered the best fighter in World War II. But, it was too late to do any good for the Axis powers in the war. It was said that in the hands of a good pilot, it could defeat any allied plane. When the prototype of the Veltro was built, there were two other planes competeing for the same contract, the Fiat G. 55 Centauro and the Reggiane Re 2005 Sagittario. The Veltro was faster at medium and low altitude than it's competitors. And, it was also sturdier than it's competitors. It was also equally manuverable eventhough it carried heavier armament. The main drawback was that the wings were shaped just as the wings on the previous Saetta. The plane flew first in 1942 and was starting to be incorporated into squadrons a year or so later. But, the plane never saw mass production because Italy fell shortly after. But, the fighter was used to some extent by the Co-Belligerant Force with the Allies and the Aviazioni National R.S.I., the facist supporters of Mussolini, after Italy fell. The aircraft was also flown in the Egyptian-Isreali War for Israel's independence.

Year: 1942
Crew: 1
Length: 8.85 m
Height: 3.48 m
Wingspan: 10.5 8m
Wing Area: 16.80 m2
Empty Weight: 2581 kg
Max Weight: 3408 kg
Engine: 1 x Fiat RA1050 RC58 Tifone (Licence built Daimler-Benz DB605A-1)
Engine Output: 1475 hp
Max Speed: 642 km/h
Service Ceiling: 11,000 m
Range: 725 km
Armament: 2 x 12.7 mm Breda SAFAT machine guns in engine cowling and 2 x Mauser 20mm MG151 cannons in wings.

Research done by Jack Powell

Il Macchi Mc.205 "Veltro"

The Macchi Mc.205 flu for the first time in April 1942; this new plane was, practically, the same airframe used by the MC.202, but with the new and more powerful Daimler-Benz DB605. This new airplane immediately showed its excellent qualities reaching, during trails, a speed of 650 Km/h. Armament was quite good with two 12.7 mm machine guns and two 20 mm guns (the only effective weapon against enemy bomber), followed later by model with even grater firepower.

The Mc.205 reached the airfields in June 1943, with the first planes assigned to the 1st Stormo based on the island of Pantelleria and utilized over North Africa and in defense of the last convoys directed to Tunisia.. On their first sortie, 25 Mc.205 faced, with excellent results, much larger enemy squadrons of P-40s and Spitfires. Later, the "Veltro" were relocated from Pantelleria to Catania where they were used in support of MAS (torpedo boat) operations. Here, they role became solely defensive in the attempt of stopping the ever increasing enemy bombers.

When the Allied forces landed in Sicily, in addition to the 10 Mc.205 deployed on the island's airfield, there were about 50 Mc.202 and about the same number of Bf-109s. Despite the fact that more planes were sent to the front, the situation appeared immediately dramatic. The Luftwaffe has only 400 planes against the 4,900 deployed by the Allied air forces. The quick retreat from eastern Sicily, forced some of the air force personnel to destroy on the ground six of the Mc.205s based at the airport of Catania-Fontanarossa. The battle for the control of the airspace over Sicilywas short lived; heavy Allied bombing over Axis' airfields did the job. The 4th Stormo, later reorganized in Calabria where it attempted to halt the new landing by strafing ships and landing vessels along the coast.

Meantime, the Pisa-based 51st Stormo, which had received it first Mc.205 since April 1943, was engaged in harsh fights over the Island of Sardinia. On the 2nd of August, six Mc.205 attacked 20 P.38 and P.40 engaged in the shooting of a Cant Z506 rescue plane; 6 of the Allied planes will be lost to only one Mc.205. Mussolini's air force (Aviazione Repubblica Sociale Italiana) saw a conspicuous utilization of the Mc.205 with 29 planes retained after the armistice and 112 new one produced by the Macchi of Varese, which, later on, will be neutralized by Allied bombing.

The plane was produced until 1948. The "Veltro" along other planes of the so-called series 5 (Macchi Mc.205, Reggiane Re.2005, Fiat G.55) represent the best of Italian aeronautical engineering during the war and demonstrated Italy's ability to produce planes capable of fighting the much more modern enemy aircrafts. These planes could not be fully utilized to the chronic shortage of engine and weapons and, most of all, row material especially toward the end of the war.. These machines, against common belief, are witnesses of the Italian Air Force ability to deploy, although in limited number, planes of the highest quality.

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