The final Macchi fighter was the ultimate development of this line, the MC.205 Veltro (greyhound). It first flew in April 1942 using the MC.202 airframe with a more powerful Daimler-Benz DB605 engine and also used the 1,475hp Fiat inline engine. Maximum speed was 399 mph, a range of 646 miles and a service ceiling of 37,090 ft. It was armed with 2 12.7mm Breda machine guns in the cowling and 2 wing mounted 7.7mm machine guns which were soon supplanted by 20mm cannon, with additional cannon or 12.7mm machine guns later added.
The MC.205 reached Italian squadrons in June 1943 and was used over North Africa, Pantelleria, Sicily and Italy. On their first sortie, 25 MC.205s faced a larger number of P-40’s and Spitfires. Over Sicily, the MC.205 was used to try and stop the American bombers. The first Stormo to get the MC.205 was the 1st Stormo. The 51st Stormo received their MC. 205 in April 1943 and on 8/2/43, 6 MC.205 attacked 20 P-38 and P-40s destroying 6 of the Allied fighters for the loss of only 1 MC.205.
After the armistice, the majority of the MC.205 were with the pro-Axis forces with 112 new MC.205’s built for that air force, along with the 29 that came over after the armistice. The MC.205 was capable of meeting on equal terms the Mustang and the latest German fighters. The MC.205 was produced until 1948, representing the best aeronautical engineering during the war.
|Engine||Fiat RA 1050 R.C.58|
|Max Speed||650 Km/h|
|Armament||Serie I /Breda SAFAT 7.7mm Machine gun X2
Serie III: M.G. 151 20mm Cannons X2
Article by JDG
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