The next in the series by Regianne was the Re.2001 Ariete (Ram). This was a marked improvement over the Re.2000 and the overall performance put it in the class with the MC.202, but the Macchi fighter got production priority. The first prototype of the Re.2001 flew in 7/40, using the wing system and tail of the Re.2000, but redesigning the fuselage as the engine used was the Alfa Romeo 1,175 hp in line license built version of the Daimler Benz DB 601A-1. The delay in the building of the Re.2001 was because the air force insisted that the fuel tanks be in the wing. The first planes were delivered in June 1941.
Production proceeded slowly with 40 built in 1941, just over 100 in 1942 and the rest in 1943. The Re.2001 had a top speed of 335 mph, a range of 685 miles and a service ceiling of 36,000 ft.
There were 2 main versions, the CB fighter-bomber capable of up to a 1,410 lb bomb, but usually a 550 lb bomb was used. Armament consisted of 2 12.7mm machine guns in the cowling and 2 7.7 mm machine guns in the wings. The other version was the CN night fighter version, with 20mm cannon replacing the 7.7mm wing guns. The Re.2001 was used mainly over the Mediterranean and Italy as a night fighter, beginning in December 1941 and, at the Armistice, the majority of the Re.2001′s left were with the Allies. 5 aircraft survived the war and were in service for a few years after the war.
Article by JDG
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