Fiat C.R.42 Falco: The ill-timed pinnacle.

The CR.42 was another neat and efficient biplane fighter designed by Celestino Rosatelli, the last on the long line of fighters built by Fiat. Fast and manoeuvrable, sadly it was also born obsolete. The good showing of its predecessor, the “Chirri” (Fiat C.R.32), in the Spanish Guerra Civil have given the Regia Aeronautica (Italian AF) the false impression that there was still a place for biplane fighters in future confrontations; so Italy started WW2 with arguably the best biplane fighter of the war…., but a biplane nevertheless.

As this Wikipedia photo informs us: “A crashed Italian Fiat C.R.42 Falco fighter on an airfield between Capuzzo and Bardia in Libya, 1940. The van belongs to the Australian Photographic Unit”…. nice that 1940 Chevy Panel Van.

Photo: Frank Hurley.

Others had much less luck.


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