Italian Air Force Museum Unveils Reggiane Re. 2002

Photo by Museo Storico Aeronautica Militare
Photo by Museo Storico Aeronautica Militare
Photo by Museo Storico Aeronautica Militare

A Regianne Re. 2002 was unveiled during a ceremony held at the Italian Air Force Museum, at Vigna de Valle, near Rome, Italy. The only complete example on display of three known survivors, the aircraft was restored using an 80 percent complete airframe that had been held by the museum since acquisition in 1970. Missing parts such as the engine, propeller, cowling and portions of the left wing were either sourced or built new for the project, which is based on Serial No. 126, an aircraft that had been built for use by the Luftwaffe, mainly on anti-partisan duties in France. The Re. 2002 was a near copy of the Seversky P-35 series of fighters, and were built in limited quantities for use by the Regia Aeronatica (Italian Air Force) in World War Two.

The Italian Air Force Historical Museum is charged with collecting, restoring, conserving and displaying aviation artifacts of historical and documentary importance to the Italian Air Force. It also promotes the history and culture of aviation, be it scientific or documentary in nature. One of the most important Museum activities is the recovery and restoration of historical aircraft. Expert technicians recondition the aeroplanes using period-appropriate techniques and materials, most of which are increasingly difficult to find.

The Badoni Hall is the third of the Museum’s Halls and a classic example of a building in iron of the 1930’s. the Macchi MC.205 “Veltro” (MM 9546) in the foreground was built by Breda in 1942, modifying a MC.202 “X-series”; it displays the co-belligerent markings.
The Badoni Hall is the third of the Museum’s Halls and a classic example of a building in iron of the 1930’s. the Macchi MC.205 “Veltro” (MM 9546) in the foreground was built by Breda in 1942, modifying a MC.202 “X-series”; it displays the co-belligerent markings.

With 13,000m² (140,000ft²) of covered exhibition space, the Italian Air Force Museum is one of the largest and most significant aviation museums in the world. This is not so much for the number of aircraft on display, but for their quality, with a good number of airframes being unique survivors. Four large hangars house over sixty aircraft and a significant collection of aero engines, as well as mementos of all types that tell, in chronological order, the history of military flying in Italy and of the men who lived and shaped it. The museum tour starts in the Troster Hangar which has exhibits dedicated to the Pioneers, the Airships, and the First World War. Next comes the Velo Hangar with features on General Nobile’s epic Polar Flights, the Great Mass Formation Flights, the Schneider Trophy air races, and aircraft from the period between the two World Wars. The Second World War and large airplanes are displayed in the Bodoni Hangar. The Skema Hangar concludes the museum journey, which covers the post-war revival of the Italian Air Force, including contemporary jet aircraft of the modern military. For more information, click HERE.

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