However, pilots were able to keep personal log books, so the few that survived through World War II give individual statistics.  The Macchi C.200 Saetta (Italian: both Arrow or Lightning), or MC.200, was a World War II fighter aircraft built by Aeronautica Macchi in Italy, and used in various forms throughout the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force). Actually the air war against Greece cost the Italians just 65 losses (but 495 damaged) while RAF losses in the Greek campaign were 209 aircraft, 72 in the air, 55 on the ground, and 82 destroyed or abandoned during the evacuation.. The last of these fighters was returned to the United States in May 2012, following the Italian Air Force's acquisition of a sufficient number of Typhoons over a period of several years. Its air arm dates back to 1884, when the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) was authorised to acquire its own air component. Giovanni Massimello in his article “Gli Assi Italiani” Aero Fan N69 April 1999 notes that “It is a well-known fact that contrary to WW1 the Italian government did not release an official list of Aces”. After a period of neutrality, Italy entered World War II on 10 June 1940 alongside Germany. In 1952, the Italian Air Force was granted jet fighters for the first time, American F-84G Thunderjets and F-86D Sabres, together with over 200 licence-built British de Havilland Vampires; these were followed by F-84F fighters and C-119 Flying Boxcar transport planes from the United States. It was named Corpo Aereo Italiano, or CAI.  But during the siege, the RAF's losses were even heavier, amounting to 547 in the air (including some 300 fighters) and 160 on the ground, plus 504 aircraft damaged in the air and 231 on the ground.  Some of these aircraft were outdated, but the Italians had Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 (12 examples) and Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 bombers and Fiat CR.42 fighters. , The Regia Aeronautica played a limited role during the Italian invasion of Albania. Italian pilots were constantly fighting against Allied efforts to sink Regia Marina ships. In Spain, the Italian pilots were under direct command of the Spanish Nationalists and took part in training and joint operations with the pilots of the German "Condor Legion". This left the Regia Aeronautica very weak, but aircraft continued to arrive from Sardinia, southern Italy, and southern France. For night missions the fuselage bands and fin crosses were usually blacked out. In reality, only 2000 aircraft were fit for operations, of which just 166 were modern fighters (89 Fiat G.50s and 77 Macchi MC.200s), both slower than potential opponents as the Hawker Hurricane, the Supermarine Spitfire and the Dewoitine D.520. These squadrons, initially consisting of 22° Gruppo CT with 51 Macchi C.200 fighters and 61° Gruppo with the Caproni Ca.311 bomber, supported the Italian armed forces from 1941 to 1943. Armed conflicts in Somalia, Mozambique and the nearby Balkan Peninsula led to the Italian Air Force becoming a participant in multinational air forces, such as that of NATO over the former Yugoslavia, just a few minutes flying time east of the Italian peninsula. In 1942, for its operations against Malta, between 1 January and 8 November, the Regia Aeronautica had 100 more aircraft lost in action. The Air Ministry, blinded by the success of the Fiat CR.32, persisted in its belief that the biplane could still dominate the sky, and ordered large numbers of Fiat CR.42s, the last war biplane in history. Here is a list of the aces attributed with ten or more kills. The CR.42s clashed with British Hawker Hurricanes and Supermarine Spitfires just two times, in November. In the years leading up to World War II, the Italian government encouraged its aviation companies to develop innovative aircraft to meet the needs of the pre-WW2 Italian air force, the Regia Aeronautica . In 1994, with the Typhoon still some years from introduction to service, 24 Panavia Tornado Air Defense Variant (ADV) interceptors were leased from the United Kingdom for a period of 10 years. Continued concern over German and Italian influence in the area led to the Allies' Syria-Lebanon Campaign. . The bombing of Tel Aviv on September 10 killed 137 people. The story of the Italian Air Force in World War II is really three stories. Possibly the most brilliant successes were the floatplane's world speed record of 709 km/h (440.6 mph) achieved by Francesco Agello on the Macchi-Castoldi MC-72 in October 1934  and the long-range formation flight to the USA and back to Italy in 1933, a total of 19,000 km (11,800 miles) on Savoia-Marchetti S.55 flying boats. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Italy was at the forefront of aerial warfare: during the colonization of Libya in 1911, it made the first reconnaissance flight in history on 23 October, and the first ever bombing raid on 1 November. In July 1939, the Regia Aeronautica was seen as splendid air arm, holding no fewer than 33 world records, which was more than Germany (15), France (12), the United States (11) Soviet Union (7), Japan (3), the United Kingdom (2) and Czechoslovakia(1). The CAI was based in occupied Belgium. It later saw action in Albania and Greece, where it acquitted itself surprisingly well against British hurricanes. Up to the end of 1940, the Regia Aeronautica carried out 7410 sorties against the island, dropping 550 tons of bombs, but losing 35 aircraft. Its origins are in the A.D.R.A Arditi Distruttori Regia Aeronautica (Royal Air Force Brave Destroyers), a corp of World War II. Most or some 125,000 Italiam civilians were killed after the Armistice and with the German occupation and Allied invasion (September 1943). At the beginning of the hostilities, Regia Aeronautica achieved aerial superiority and occasionally skilled Italian pilots, flying their Fiat biplanes, managed to shoot down even the faster and better armed Hawker Hurricane monoplanes. During Rommel's second offensive, the Regia Aeronautica and the Luftwaffe suffered considerable losses due to stronger Allied resistance during air battles over El Alamein and bombing raids over Alexandria and Cairo. During World War I, the Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare, then still p… The Macchi C.200 Saetta (Italian: both Arrow or Lightning), or MC.200, was a World War II fighter aircraft built by Aeronautica Macchi in Italy, and used in various forms throughout the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force). All Military aircraft in Italy during WW2 were part of the AirForce and with Air Force crews. These masqueraded as Iraqi aircraft and were painted as such en route. Initially the Italian Air Force did reasonably well but with the introduction of the RAF’s Hawker Hurricane towards the end of 1940 the balance of forces was tipped to the Allies’ advantage. The last of the Italian F-104s was withdrawn from service in 2004. Not quite on par with her contemporaries of World War 2, Italy nonetheless fielded a variety of useful aircraft in the conflict. The last mission of the Regia Aeronautica before the truce with the Allies was the defence during the United States Army Air Forces' bombing of Frascati—Rome on September 8, 1943. There was also the usual lack of co-operation between the Italian Navy and Army. Between 1 April 1939 and 1 November 1939, Italian airmen established no fewer than 110 records, winning world championships in round trips, long-range flights, high speed and altitude flights. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. When the Greco-Italian War started on 28 October 1940, the Regia Aeronautica fielded 193 combat aircraft, which initially failed to achieve air superiority against the Royal Hellenic Air Force (RHAF), which had 128 operational aircraft out of a total of 158. In mid 1942 the more modern Macchi C. 202 was introduced to operations in Russia. This support role continued during the occupation of Greece and Yugoslavia that followed.  Training and achieving full operation strength took far longer than anticipated, and the 274th only became operational in June 1942. The Italian Air Force had begun the war with nearly 2,000 operational aircraft ready for combat and with almost the same number in reserve.  However, from that point on, the role of the Regia Aeronautica in the Balkans Campaign was primarily that of supporting the Luftwaffe. (Schreiber, Gerhard: S. 54, in Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, Band 3) If those numbers sound a bit off, well, Operation Barbarossa was largest military invasion in history and it was conducted by around 4 million soldiers.  During the final stages of the war, the Regia Aeronautica deployed up to 386 aircraft, operating from Eritrea and Somalia. Humbrol Colour System Binder. An MC-205, among the best WW2 Italy airplanes The Royal Italian Air Force – The Regia Aeronautica – was considered one of the most advanced in the world. It was concluded that this was nothing more than a myth, arising from the reaction to the Italian attack, the fame of the Italian air force and the heated and confused climate.. Only two airfields – Tirana and Valona – had macadam runways, so autumn and winter weather made operations more difficult. In relative terms, these were some of the best aircraft on hand to either side at the beginning of the East African Campaign. , The Regia Aeronautica began its attacks on the British crown colony of Gibraltar and its important naval base from July 1940. The Typhoons are intended to replace all of the F-104, Tornado ADV and F-16 aircraft. Working with the Luftwaffe, the Regia Aeronautica performed better due to the exchange of tactical doctrine and the arrival of more modern aircraft. See more ideas about italian air force, wwii aircraft, ww2 aircraft. Tornado fighters were still in service with all three countries, plus a few more, as of 2019. The Regia Aeronautica tended not to keep statistics on the individual level, instead reporting kills for a certain unit, attributed to their unit commander. , After the war, there was a widespread rumour in France, especially between Paris and Bordeaux, of Italian aircraft strafing civilian columns, with many people claiming to have seen the tricolour roundels painted on them.  However, this advantage did not stop the Hellenic Army from forcing the Regio Esercito onto the defensive and back into Albania. 80 Squadron, led by the outstanding ace Marmaduke Pattle and equipped with Gloster Gladiators, No. It was under command of Generale Rino Corso Fougier. The 17 bombing raids carried out by the BR.20s did not cause much material damage, moreover aircraft were needed on the Greek front and in Cyrenaica  so in January 1941 the bombers and CR.42s started to be withdrawn to Italy. The commanders of the Italian Air Force soon saw the need to improve the Italian air defences. A popular vote by the people resulted in the end of the Kingdom of Italy and the establishment of the Italian Republic on 18 June 1946. Up to October 1942, the Regia Aeronautica carried out 14 raids with a total of 32 bombers. By the time of the Tunisian Campaign, the Regia Aeronautica and the Luftwaffe rarely enjoyed parity let alone air superiority in North Africa.  Technical assistance provided by its German ally did little to improve the situation. The only unit of the Regia Aeronautica to fly the Piaggio P.108 was the 274th Long-Range Bombardment Group, which was formed in May 1941 as the first machines came off the assembly lines. This air force was known as the Regia Aeronautica (Royal Air Force). In early 1941, the tide was turned as the German Wehrmacht launched its simultaneous invasions of Yugoslavia and Greece. 211 Squadron and No. After the Italian armistice, the Regia Aeronautica was briefly succeeded by two new Italian air forces. Probable kills are usually left out of the list. There are a total of [ 58 ] WW2 Italian Aircraft (1939-1945)entries in the Military Factory. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Italy was at the forefront of aerial warfare: during the colonization of Libya in 1911, it made the first reconnaissance flight in history on 23 October, and the first ever bombing raid on 1 November. During this short war, Regia Aeronautica lost 10 aircraft in aerial combat and 24 aircrew personnel, while claiming 10 kills and 40 French planes destroyed on the ground. To provide direct air recon capabilitiesto the Army and Navy, two separate Commands (“Air Force for the Army” and”Air Force for the Navy”) were established, to act as a go-between the”owner” of the airplanes and crews (i.e. The Air Service (Corpo Aeronautico Militare) operated balloons based near Rome. 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