|Fiat CR42 Falco|
Occhi del cielo
|Class||Unarmed Air Recon|
The CR42 Falco is a modified former fighter that has kept its high price to excel at speed. The Falco can take a glimpse of the enemy base before escaping quickly unharmed. However, its high cost makes players rather use fighters to do the reconnaissance job. This plane does not have a tailgun, nor retains the forward-firing gun, making it vulnerable to enemy planes.
The CR42 was a evolutionary design based on the earlier Fiat CR32, which was in turn derived from the Fiat CR30 series created in 1932. The Regia Aeronautica had employed the CR32 during the Spanish Civil War with great success, which led to Fiat proposing a more advanced fighter based around the supercharged Fiat A.74R1C.38 air-cooled radial engine geared to drive a metal three-blade Fiat-Hamilton Standard 3D.41-1 propeller of 2.9 m (9.5 ft) diameter and a robust, clean, sesquiplane design. The rigidly braced wings covered with fabric were constructed from light duralumin alloy and steel. It reached a top speed of 438 km/h (272 mph) at 5,300 m (17,400 ft) and 342 km/h (213 mph) at ground level. Climb rate was 1 minute and 25 seconds to 1,000 m (3,280 ft) and of 7 minutes and 20 seconds to 6,000 m (19,700 ft).
In spite of the biplane configuration, the CR42 was a modern, "sleek-looking" design based around a strong steel and alloy frame incorporating a NACA cowling housing the radial engine, with fairings for the fixed main landing gear. The CR42's upper wing was larger than its lower wing, a configuration known as a sesquiplane. The aircraft proved exceptionally agile thanks to its very low wing loading, although at the same time, the CR42 lacked armour and radio equipment.
During evaluation, the CR42 was tested against the Caproni Ca.165 biplane fighter, and was judged to be superior, although the Ca.165 was a more modern design which boasted a higher speed at the cost of maneuverability. Although the age of the biplane was coming to an end a number of other air forces expressed interest in the new fighter, and a number of early Falcos were delivered to foreign customers.