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Macchi MC.205 Veltro

Macchi MC.205 Veltro

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.

Specifications
Crew 1
Length 8.9m
Wingspan 10.6m
Height 3.0m
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

Sources:
Complete Book of World War II Combat Aircraft (Documents of History)
In the Skies of Europe: Air Forces Allied to the Luftwaffe 1939-1945
Jane’s Fighting Aircraft of WWII, Military Press, 1989.
The Encyclopedia of Weapons: From World War II to the Present Day
Illustrated Directory of Fighting Aircraft of World War II
K. G. Munson, Enemy Aircraft (German and Italian) of World War II, Ian Allen, 1960.
Jonathon Thompson, Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-45, Aero, 1960.
William Green, Warplanes of the Second World War (10 vol.), Doubleday, 1960-68.
Nico Sgarlato, Italian Aircraft of World War II, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1979.
Roberto Gentilli, Macchi MC.202 In Action, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1970.
Giorgio Apostola, Aer. Macchi C.202, La Bancarella Aeronautica, 1995.
SPITFIRES OVER SICILY: The Crucial Role of the Malta Spitfires in the Battle of Sicily, January – August 1943 (Hurricanes Over Tobruk)
HURRICANES OVER TOBRUK: The Pivotal Role of the Hurricane in the Defence of Tobruk, January-June 1941

Comments

  1. The engine upgrade helped its power of maneuver and the cannons gave it competent punch. But it still looked like the former MC 202 so it could be easily mistaken for the other to the dismay of enemy pilots. Only the twin chin scoops in place of one give it away (aside from those long barreled Mausers in the wings). The typical model lacked a 3rd cannon in the hub like its competition from Fiat and Reggiane.

    Since the Veltro was largely a re-engined Folgore, it was the quickest of the series 5 models to mass produce.

    Auto-rotation could spoil a tight turn if pressed too hard. Also, it lacked high altitude handling (similar to the Fw 190A compared to the Bf 109G). So, the Germans judged it average, but the Allied pilots that flew it were impressed.