Junkers Ju 87B-2 or R-2 “Picchiatello”: Tuffatori !!

Magnificently framed photo of a group of Regia Aeronautica early Ju 87 dive-bombers (bombardieri in picchiata). The Italians were dedicated users of the Stuka, specially, after their faulty native dive bomber interpretations were found wanting. North Africa, Greece, the Balkans and the Allied sea traffic were Picchiatelli’s main operating areas.

I’ve been reluctant to identify theses Stukas. The Regia Aeronautica operated both the B-2 and the R-2. The latter was just a long-range variant of the “Bertha”, recognisable by their 300l underwing drop tanks. Without those tanks, at this distance, they were almost identical.

CANT Z.506B Airone: Behold !!!

The middle/late 1930’s Z.506 is considered one of the best seaplane of its era, its 10 world records bear witness of that. Conceived originally as a transport/mail seaplane for the Ala Littoria company, the design soon saw potential as a military aircraft. The “B” was the main military variant and contrary to other simular cases this was happy adaptation. The Airone (Heron) proved to be a real asset during WW2 being fast, tough and very seaworthy despite its classically delicate Italian all-wood construction. The more than three hundred built served with distinction through all the war and belong. Some examples even continued to serve in Search and Rescue (SAR) until 1960.

Magnificent bird, this gorgeous photo speaks for itself.

Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero: Jorobando.

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The Gobbi were operated by both the Italians and the Nationalists (rebels) during the Spanish Guerra Civil -99 in total. In Spain the S.79 was one of the most advanced, and fastest, aircraft to see service, only the Soviet I-16 could reach it.

A pair of S.79’s on a lovely dynamic, and quite unlikely, action. The Spanish flag and St Andrew cross in the tail is really fanciful and inaccurate. I must confess I’ve a love/hate relation with them. The Italians of the 8º Stormo “Falchi delle Baleari” (Hawks of the Balearic islands), among other things, bombarded my city during that horrible conflict.

 

Gobbo= hunch-backed= jorobado / Jorobando in Spanish means “bothering”.

Fiat G.12: A beauty of evolution.

The pretty G.12 was conceived by Giuseppe Gabrielli originally as an airliner, but first flown in 1940, these trimotors soon were turned into military transport aircraft. Still three-engined, in the good ole Italian tradition of the era, the G.12 had nevertheless an all-metal construction…quite a advance for them, certainly. After a very decent service during WW2, a few of the hundred built reverted to its originally intended peaceful role. Others soldiered with the Italian AF becoming in the process the last trimotors in service with them.

Superb study of the G.12 prototype. With its long fuselage and stall undercarriage the G.12 was a slick and imposing aircraft. Always attracted to those engine cowling with teardrop-shaped bulges.