Reggiane Re.2000 “Falco” Recovered From Italian Waters

The RE2000 Falco was discovered only in 2012 during an exercise of Comfordrag,an anti-mines unit of the Italian Navy.( Image credit repubblica.it)
The RE2000 Falco was discovered only in 2012 during  an exercise of  Comfordrag,an anti-mines unit of the  Italian Navy.( Image credit repubblica.it)
The RE2000 Falco was discovered only in 2012 during an exercise of Comfordrag,an anti-mines unit of the Italian Navy.( Image credit repubblica.it)

The “Falco” ( Italian for hawk) has come to light: yesterday the mission to recover the fighter Re.2000 was successfully completed. The  Reggiane’s fighter  had sunk in the waters of Portovenere (La Spezia) in 1943.
The operation was carried out for free by the company Micoperi (the same company which  has completed he straightening of the cruise ship Costa Concordia).The Falco, originally discovered  in April 2012, was about twenty feet deep and it crashed off the Liguria coast during a training mission.

Curiosity in the curiosity, the powerful cranes Micoperi were manufactured by Reggiane.
Curiosity in the curiosity, the powerful cranes Micoperi were manufactured by Reggiane.

Officine Meccaniche Reggiane SpA was an Italian aircraft manufacturer, owned by Caproni (Count Giovanni Battista Caproni) and situated in Reggio Emilia, a city of what today is the Emilia-Romagna region. The first aircraft produced was the medium bomber Piaggio P.32bis, which had been developed from the Caproni Ca.405C Procellaria.

Reggiane would eventually become famous for its agile single-seat fighter aircraft. When World War II erupted, Reggiane’s fighters were taken over by the Regia Aeronautica (the Italian Air Force). Other fighters found their way to the German Luftwaffe and to the Hungarian and Swedish Air Forces.

A low wing monoplane with retractable landing gear, the Reggiane Re.2000 Falco I prototype, powered by a 870 hp (649 kw) Piaggio P.XI RC.40 radial engine, was flown for the first time in 1938. Competitive evaluation against the MC.200 resulted in this latter aircraft being ordered into production for the Regia Aeronautica, although the Re.2000 had shown itself to be superior in manoeuvrability, even when flown against the Messerschmitt Bf109E.

However, the Re.2000’s deficiencies (primarily structural) did not deter export customers and the type was built for the Hungarian government, which also acquired a manufacturing licence. The type was operated by the Hungarian Air Force as the Hejja (hawk). Re.2000s were supplied also to Sweden being operated until 1945 by the Flygvapen under the designation J20. And though the type had been rejected by the Regia Aeronautica, the Italian navy acquired 12 Re.2000 Serie II fighters especially strengthened for catapult launching, followed by 24 Re.2000 Serie III aircraft with increased fuel capacity for deployment as long range fighters. ( Source Century-Of-Flight.net)

The RE2000 CAT MM 8281 aboard of the RN Miraglia during tests which took place in the Sea of ​​Taranto in Spring 1942. Note the fully glass canopy, typical of interceptors,. ( Image credit  (Timo Savolainen collection)
The RE2000 CAT MM 8281 aboard of the RN Miraglia during tests which took place in the Sea of ​​Taranto in Spring 1942. Note the fully glass canopy, typical of interceptors,. ( Image credit Timo Savolainen collection)

The aircraft was a Re.2000 Cat (catapult configuration) version based at Luni-Sarzana (La Spezia) was intended to board the battleship Vittorio Veneto. On April 16, 1943 it was making a reconnaissance flight over the gulf, with  Marshal Luigi Guerrieri at the controls  when, due to an abnormal consumption of fuel, the pilot decided to make an emergency landing and emerged unscathed.

The recovery was commissioned by by the  Aeronautica Militare Italiana (Italian Air Force) and authorized by the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage and the Superintendence for the Historical and Artistic Heritage of Liguria.The aircraft, after the immediate desalinization process, will be transported to the Museum of the Italian Air Force at Vigna Di Valle.

 

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Video Of The Recovery Of The Reggiane Re.2000 Falco
  2. Italian Air Force recovers Reggiane Re.2000 submerged since 1943 » World Warbird News
  3. L’armée de l’air italienne récupère un Reggiane Re.2000 submergé depuis 70 ans » L'Echarpe Blanche
  4. Video Of The Recovery Of The Reggiane Re.2000 Falco

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