The Macchi Castoldi C.200 “Saetta” at “Vigna di Valle”  Italian Air Force Museum

by Giovanni Galvan © 2005 Modeler Site

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The Saetta was the best of the Italian radial engine fighters of the early part of the Second World War. If was designed from Eng. Castoldi, the same designer of the record breakers flying boats of the Schneider Trophy of the ‘30s.

It was armed with two Breda SAFAT 12,7 mm machine guns, and was enough fast and manoeuvrable to cope with Hurricanes. In 1941 on the same airframe was mounted a Daimler Benz DB.601 license built by Alfa Romeo, and the C.202 “Folgore” was born, which was the best Italian fighter of the War until 1943.

The Saetta was used after 1941 as a fighter-bomber, and was still in service in 1943 to defend the main Italian cities, while at that time it was completely outclassed by Allied fighters. After the Armistice of the September, 8, 1943, it was used as a hack and trainer by the Co-belligerent units, and was definitively sent out of service only in 1950.

The example at Vigna di Valle was one of the few survivors, and since 1977 until 1998 was exposed with the insignia of the 359a Squadriglia of the 22° Gruppo C.T. “Spauracchio”, a unit fighting in Russia during 1942. In 1998 was restored, and painted with the insignia of the 369a Squadriglia of the same Gruppo and period.


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