Designed and built by Celestino Rosatelli’s team in 1937, the CR25 showed itself to be one of the best Fiat’s productions in the multipurpose field. The CR25 – a solid, elegant and well-finished aircraft – soon displayed its potentials. Thanks to its good characteristics, this unit showed itself as being so flexible, as to carry out several tasks: long range fighter, medium range fast reconnoiter, light bomber and even fast passenger cargo.
Unfortunately the CR25 did not get the right appreciation by the High Command of the Regia Aeronautica, which was leaning towards other models – such as the Caproni 311. In the important role of reconnoitre, Regia Aeronautica was always faulty in this area. The first prototype, piloted by Valentino Cus, gave extraordinary results, reaching a speed of 490 kmh (much more than any other existing fighter in 1937).
Nevertheless, and who knows why, only in 1940 the Command of Regia Aeronautica committed to Fiat the first (and last) ten units, slightly modified (serie Bis). In July 1941, six aircraft were employed to operational tasks in Sicily, to the Strategic Reconnoitre 173a Squadriglia, exciting the sudden enthusiasm of the pilots.
In almost 400 hours of war missions (patrolling convoys to Libya and reconnoitres on Malta) none of the CR25 had any technical accidents, but duly contrasted at their best all the intruding attempts of the English Bristol Blenheim based in Malta. In October 1942 the CR42 began to be substituted by the twin-engined Caproni Ca314 (improved version of the Ca311). In the spring 1943, Fiat proposed a new interesting prototype (probably equipped with 1175 hp engines and armed with two 20 mm Mauser guns), but the project was never carried out. The CR25 was considered so reliable as the Italian Air Force Mission of the Regia Aeronautica in Berlin (Gatow airport) adopted it for its frequent no-stop Rome-Ciampino links.
Information. picture and specifications of CR.25 courtesy Alberto Rosselli
|Weight||kg 3900 (6180 loaded)|
|Horsepower||840 at 3800 mt (each)|
|Engine||Two Fiat A74 RC.38|
|Max Speed||kmh 490 at 5500 mt (460 kmh for the Serie Bis pattern)|
|Weapons||3 Breda Safat 12.7 mm machine guns (two fore and one dorsal)|