World War 2 Aircraft Logo
Home » Italy » Fiat CR.42

Fiat CR.42

Aircraft Lists

After World War I, the Fiat company commenced production of a series of biplane fighters. These aircraft became the mainstay of the Italian air force's fighter squadrons. By the early 1930s, the CR.32 was in service. This was to be the main fighter in Franco's forces during the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

By the late 1930s, most of the world's major air forces were gradually re-equipping with low-wing monoplanes fighters. Fiat still believed that there was a place for the biplane and designed the CR.42, with the prototype making its maiden flight in January 1939. It was instantly ordered into production for the Italian air force. With a number of export orders following, some 1784 had been built by 1943.

In service with the Regia Aeronautica, CR.42 were used as day fighters and escort fighters in the Mediterranean theatre and as night fighters for home defence.

By 1942, Fiat had managed to raise the top speed tp 518 km/h (322 mph) but the design still fell short in other respects. Biplane fighter production was at an end.

By the late 1930s most of the leading warplane producers were abandoning open-cockpit, fabric covered biplane designs in favour of stressed skin monoplanes with a retractable landing gear. But in Italy, Celestino Rosatelli of Fiat believed there was still a role for a highly manoeuvrable biplane fighter. Fiat thus produced the CR.42 Falco, the best fighter available to either side in North Africa from the start of the war unitl the arrival of the RAF's Hawker Hurricane.


Fiat CR.42

Fiat CR.42 the single seat biplane fighter Fiat CR.42 aegean theatre Fiat CR.42 at the foreign sales
Flying in the Soviet Union during late 1941, this CR.42 was flown by 1/3 Sqn, 1/II group of the Hungarian Fast Corps. Italian CR.42 operated in 1941 from the Isle of Scarpanto. Sixty eight CR.42 were ordered by the Hungarian air force in 1941. Falcos took part in the campaign against Yugoslavia.

Fiat CR.42 (Technical Specification)
Role Single seat biplane fighter
Manufacturer Fiat
Maximum Speed 420 kmh (261 mph)
Maximum Range 775 km (482 miles)
Loaded weight

1,782 kg (3,929 lbs)
2,295 kg (5,060 lbs)
Wing Area

9.70 meters (31 ft 10 in)
8.27 meters (27 ft 2 in)
3.59 meters (11 ft 9 in)
22.40 square meters (241 sq ft)
Engines One Fiat A.74 R1C.38 14-cyclinder which provides 626-kW (840 hp)
Two row radial piston engine
Armament Two fixed forward-firing Breda-SAFAT 12.7 mm (0.50 cal) machine guns plus up to 198 kg (437 lbs) of bombs

Photo Gallery

Click here to submit your photo

Have A Passion For Aircraft?
Subscribe to our 14 series FREE newsletter
delivered weekly on World War 2 Aircraft factfile...
NB:- We hate spam as much as you do, so your email address will NEVER be shared with or sold to anyone else. That's a Guarantee.

Best 10 Aircraft   Top 10 Favorites   United States   Germany   Great Britain   Japan   Russia  
Italy   Model Gallery   Resources   Contact Us   Guestbook  
Copyright © All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.