Macchi MC.202 Folgore

Item Number: FIMTE

MSRP Price: $169.95

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Scale: 1/24 scale model

Wing Span: 14.5

Length: 17.25
Macchi MC.202 Folgore
Model Description

The Macchi C.202 Folgore (Lightning) was a World War II Italian fighter aircraft built by Macchi Aeronautica. While little known outside Italy, it was the best fighter plane of the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force or RA) during the conflict. The C.202 was evidence that Italy could design and build world-class fighter aircraft. It was based on an earlier Macchi design, the C.200 Saeta (Thunderbolt). Considered one of the most beautiful fighters to fly with wartime Axis forces, the C.202 also excelled as a dogfighter.

To create the Folgore, Macchi chief of design Mario Castoldi adapted the Saeta airframe to the Daimler-Benz DB 601 liquid-cooled engine. The resulting C.202 was almost 97 kph faster than its predecessor and made its first flight on August 10, 1940, two months after Italy's entry into World War II. The aircraft inherited the Saeta's durability and light, responsive flight controls. Its inline engine offered clean aerodynamics which allowed dive speeds high enough for pilots to encounter the then-unknown phenomenon of compressibility. By late 1942, the C.202 outnumbered all other fighter aircraft in the RA. About 1,200 C.202s were produced between 1941 and 1943.

Deliveries of the first production aircraft began in the summer of 1941, and by November the C.202 was deployed to Libya. It saw limited service on the Eastern Front, where, along with the C.200, it achieved an 88 to 15 victory/loss ratio from 1941 to 1943. The C.202 also participated in Operation Crusader (1941) and Operation Harpoon (1942). Following the Armistice with Italy on September 8, 1943, the aircraft was used as a trainer in the Italian Social Republic. After the war, two examples served as trainers at Lecce until 1947. By 1944, the combat career of the Folgore was almost over. However, some aircraft had survived and were used by the Egyptian Air Force until 1951.