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Recce Macchis, C.200 and C.202


Graham Boak

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Well again...we've really out-run our references, and are descending into "trading assumptions in the dark" here! 😀 But:

 

1. The radiator fairing definitely seems intended as a access hatch - as noted above, it's actually bigger - and better located - than the side doors on the Bf 109 or Fw 190. It's the only obvious access to the rear fuel tank, oxygen and compressed air bottles, control linkages, etc. behind the cockpit in a normal fighter. If the aircraft's tail were raised, it would seem fairly easy to remove it and get inside the fuselage.

2. The planimetric cameras were designed for use in smaller aircraft, so weren't terribly large. The RB 30/50 measured 83 x 60 x 38 cm (38 x 24 x 15 in) overall, and broke down into three smaller components (film canister, motor body, lens). It weighed 28.5 kg (63 lb) assembled, plus the film pack and a separate vacuum motor (the latter since the negatives were so large, they had to be "sucked" down flat to the exposure plate). Two men could carry it fairly easily, note the swing-down handles on each side.

3. So, I find no compelling reason an additional hatch was needed; and thus far none of us have found a photo, drawing, or written document to indicate such existed.

4. The C.200's fuselage lacked a radiator of course, was much larger in sectional area than the C.202 and 205, and it's noted above that it used smaller planimetric cameras mounted at angles. I see no reason to assume the camera access was the same on all three types.

 

Really a fascinating question...I'd love to be shot down in flames, ha!

 

A67593-F0-4-B34-4317-A5-DA-6029746453-DF

Edited by MDriskill
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On 6/25/2022 at 6:34 AM, GiampieroSilvestri said:

What is astonishing is that while being equipped with the same engine and being much bigger than the MC205 Veltro there were no Fiat G55 Centauro ricognitori.

I've wondered the same thing, but don't forget only a tiny number of G.55's were completed in time to serve with the Regia Aeronautica. Most were in the later RSI, which no doubt had plenty of German recon aircraft to call upon.

 

And what about the earlier FIAT G.50 Freccia? That flat-bottomed "moving van" of a fuselage seems ideal for cameras! 🙄

Edited by MDriskill
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  • 8 months later...

I recently purchased this new-ish book:

 

7-FFEF7-BB-3925-4-E38-8-D16-8-C89-B79673

 

It mentions twelve individual C.202's that were fitted with photo equipment:

 

AVIA leading-edge cine cameras:

+ MM 7844 (Macchi serie III)

+ MM 9115 and MM 9116 (Macchi serie VII)

+ MM 9405, MM 9406, MM 9425, MM 9426 (Macchi serie IX)

+ Two of the twelve Breda-built machines sent to Russia (no serials noted)

 

AGR 90 planimetric camera in rear fuselage:

+ MM 7711 (Macchi serie II, served as 378-4)

+ MM 7712 (Macchi serie II, served as 97-2, 168-2, and 377-1)

+ MM 7727 (Macchi serie III, served as 73-10)

 

If this list is complete (?), it's interesting that only three very early C.202's had the planimetric camera.

 

As an aside - I got this as an e-book, and am happy with that decision. Besides being much less expensive, it works well as it's mostly text (no color or scale drawings), and adds the useful ability to zoom the photo plates. Active links to table of contents headings and bibliography are very handy too.

 

 

Edited by MDriskill
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Excellent.  However, I get the impression that this aircraft has had its codes, unit and individual, overpainted previously.  The cowling is from a different factory, and the wings yet another?  Lots of wear on the rear of the propeller.

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Macchi MC202 matricola militare 7712 was first assigned to 97°squadriglia,IX gruppo,4°Stormo.Then it flew with 73a squadriglia,IX gruppo,4°Stormo.Then with 168a squadriglia,16°gruppo,54° Stormo and after that with the 377a squadriglia C.T.You are right!

It is most probably that matricola militare 7711 changed squadron also meaning that the codes would have been repainted.

 

Saluti

 

Giampiero

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  • 2 months later...
18 minutes ago, GiampieroSilvestri said:

There is a new book about the Macchi fighters by Luigino Caliaro announced from Crecy publishing.It will be available in october.

 

Saluti

 

Giampiero

Excellent news, Giampiero, many thanks for sharing :)

 

Cheers,

Mark 

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Thank Giampiero - I'm pretty fired up for this one!

 

Hopefully it is full of accurate info and fabulous new revelations, which will all show up in the much-anticipated 1/32 Italeri C.202 kit, right? Oh, and photos of recon cameras too of course. 😁

 

https://www.crecy.co.uk/italian-fighters-volume-1?osCsid=qffpns96hit4iki0c8qtriv722

Edited by MDriskill
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  • 2 months later...
1 hour ago, MDriskill said:

I've looked at this photo many times...but just now noticed that something looking very much like a planimetric camera is standing on the ground behind it.

 

IMG-3613.jpg

I am sorry but unfortunately it is not a planimetric camera but an oil barrel with a soldier standing in front of it.

Italiankits made them in resin in all scales.

 

Saluti

 

Giampiero

Edited by GiampieroSilvestri
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On 10/4/2023 at 8:24 AM, GiampieroSilvestri said:

I am sorry but unfortunately it is not a planimetric camera but an oil barrel with a soldier standing in front of it.

Italiankits made them in resin in all scales.

 

Saluti

 

Giampiero

You sir, are...ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! Cripes...that's what I get for doing such things so early in the morning. I will erase it.

 

As a kid, I was taught the importance of humility. Nothing quite like making a fool of yourself in public to reinforce that!

Edited by MDriskill
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