Reggiane Re.2000 Falco

Officine Meccaniche Reggiane SA was a subsidiary of the Caproni company, for which it built aircraft during World War I, but it had no direct association with the aircraft industry from the end of that war until resuming design and manufacture in the mid-1930's. In 1937 the company began development of a single seat fighter which was based very closely on the US Seversky Aircraft Corporation's P-35 designed by Alexander Kartveli. A cantilever 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.

(Reggiane Re.2000 Serie III Falco "Falcon")

Type: Single Seat Long Range Fighter

Design: Ingeniere Antonio Alessio and Roberto Longhi of Officine Meccaniche "Reggiane" S.A. (Caproni) based on Seversky P-35. Roberto Longhi had previously spent two years working in the United States

Manufacturer: Officine Meccaniche "Reggiane" S.A. (Caproni) in Reggio Emilia. Also built under licence by Mavag and Weiss Manfred in Hungary under the name Hejja or "Hawk"

Powerplant: One 870 hp (649 kw) Piaggio P.XI RC.40 14-cylinder radial piston engine (prototype); 1,025 hp (765 kw) Piaggio P.XIbis RC.40 14-cylinder radial engine (production).

Performance: Maximum speed 325 mph (525 km/h); service ceiling 34,450 ft (10500 m).

Range: 590 miles (950 km) with internal fuel stores.

Weight: Empty 4,200 lb