MC.202 Folgore "Thunderbolt"Item Number: 1217
MC.202 Thunderbolt Folgore airplane model. Mario Castoldi hand been convinced from the earliest days of the MC.200 flight testing that full potential of the design would be achieved only by the installation of and inline engine. This opinion was confirmed during August 1940 when the prototype Macchi MC.202 (MM 445) was tested with an imported Daimler Benz DB 601A-1 engine. The prototype was first flown on 10 August 1940, and its initial trials were so impressive that it was ordered into production without delay.
Generally similar in overall configuration to the MC.200, the MC.202 Folgore (thunderbolt) introduced a new fuselage structure with an enclosed cockpit, similar wing, but retained the tail unit and landing gear of its predecessor. However, the single MC.202 prototype, which was basically a re-engine MC.200 airframe, was flown with a retractable tailwheel. Because of the degree of commonality there was little delay in starting production, the first deliveries being made in the spring of 1941. Built alongside the MC.200 by Macchi, Breda and SAI-Ambrosini, early series aircraft were powered by imported DB 601A-1 engines until such time as Alfa Romeo had a license built version in production as the FA.1000 RC.41-1 Monsone (monsoon). However, it was limited manufacture of this engine which restricted the number of MC.202's to a total of about 1,500 when production ended in 1943, and so the MC.200 continued to be manufactured simultaneously, instead of being supplanted completely by the Folgore. Like its predecessor, the MC.202 was built in similar MC.202AS and MC.202CB tropicalized and fighter bomber variants respectively, plus a single MC.202D experimental aircraft which introduced a revised radiator for the engine cooling system.
Undoubtedly the best wartime fighter to serve in large numbers with the Regia Aeronautica, initial deliveries of production aircraft were made in November 1941 to units operating in Libya. The Folgore also took part in action against Malta and Allied convoys in the Mediterranean and in September 1942, was deployed in some numbers on the Eastern Front. They played a significant role in the defense of Sicily and southern Italy against bombing attacks launched by the USAF but were less effective as attrition had reduced the total number available.
Mahogany Wood. Scale: 1/24. Wingspan 17 1/4 inches, Length 14 1/2 inches.