THE PARTICIPANT OF TWO WARS

THE PARTICIPANT OF TWO WARSAn Italian bomber FIAT BR.20 Cicogna. Italian aircraft FIAT BR.20 Cicogna (Italian. — AIST), created in the prewar years, engineer, Celestino Rosatelli, differed from the other two-engine bombers in service with the Italian air force. He had a successful design was completed with the most modern equipment and could carry an impressive bomb load. Combat patrol bomber began in the skies of Spain and ended with the end of world war II on the allied side of Germany, the Italian air force.

 
In the autumn of 1935 the air Ministry of Italy announced a competition to create a twin-engine bomber of medium range, which needed Italian air force. According to the contest conditions, the aircraft should have a maximum speed of 385 km/h and can carry 1200 kg of bombs to a distance of not less than 1000 km, the competition was attended by the firm Breda, Cant, Caproni, CMASA and Piaggio, who presented respectively the planes: VA.82, Z. 1011, Sa.135, EGA and R. 32.
 
Thanks to the experience obtained Rosatelli and his team in the creation of a twin-engine commercial aircraft A. P. R. 2, prototype bomber BR.20 (serial number MM.274) was built in record time. 10 Feb 1936 test pilot of the firm Enrico ROLANDI plane lifted into the air from the factory airfield in Turin.
 
During comparative tests, the car has received from pilots and flight confirmed the declared characteristics.
 
New sight mounted on the bomber, allowed to make a bombing altitude of over 4500 meters, with the deviation from the target was not more than 11 metres. The maximum speed achieved on tests that exceeded specified in the job and amounted to 432 km/h at an altitude of 5000 meters.
September 25, 1936, the first production aircraft was transferred to the 13th bomber regiment (13 Stormo Bombardamento Terrestre). The second division, in the arms of which began to receive new aircraft, became the 7th Stormo Bombardamento Terrestre.
 
Crews moved to BR.20 bomber SM.81, immediately felt that the new aircraft is structurally more perfect. Pilots and technical staff with great enthusiasm mastered BR.20.
 
Bomber FIAT BR.20 Cicogna from 230 squadron of the Italian Legion in the skies of Spain. 1938.
 
Bomber FIAT BR.20 Cicogna from 230 squadron of the Italian Legion in the skies of Spain. 1938
 
Prototype FIAТ BR.20 Italian air force in the
 
Prototype FIAТ BR.20 Italian air force in the “civil” painting. 1936
 
However, a new bomber during its trial operation began to show a previously hidden defects. So mounted on the aircraft engines Fiat A. 80 was unreliable and frequently refused. In addition, some modes of operation of the motors had excessive vibration motor and the power elements of the wing structure. Had problems with turrets and DR installed coaxial 7.7 mm machine guns Breda Safat. To the whole, often denied electrical release gear. But all of the identified deficiencies have been fast enough to resolve, and by February 1937 the Italian air force was armed with twenty BR.20 received by this time the name Cicogna.
 
In 1937 the leadership of fascist Italy who sought to conquer the authority in Europe and the world, invited the air force to submit two BR.20, just released from the Assembly shop, air races Easter — Damascus — Paris. Previously with the aircraft under the designation BR.20A, removed all weapons and a completely redesigned nose section of the fuselage. Fuel capacity was increased from 6100 to 7700 litres.
 
One of BR.20A with the registration code I-ROBO at the distance of 2921 km showed an average speed of 399 km/h and took the sixth place, the second code I-GAQU finished seventh. The crew of I-8 (the race number of the aircraft I-ROBO) was Colonel of ROLANDI, Colonel Bonini and assistant Rossi. The crew of I-10 (racing room I-CAQU) amounted to Lieutenant Gaeta, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Quest, Lieutenant, and Sergeant Coppi Bordoni. To the chagrin of pilots, both cars during the race had problems with the chassis that did not allow them to win the race.
 
To evaluate the possibilities of using aircraft in conditions of high temperatures and a large dusty desert in June 1937, a few BR.20 was sent to the 14th Stormo, stationed in Benin (Libya), two more cars joined the 15th Stormo in Castle Benito. In the difficult desert conditions, the bomber proved to be quite a reliable car.
 
But the first serious military challenge that befell BR.20, became involved in the civil war in Spain.
 
Spain
 
In August 1937 the first six bombers from the composition of the 13th and the 7th Stormo Bombardamento Terrestre was transferred to the airbase of Guidonia, where they were preparing to fly to Spain to together with aircraft the Breda BA.65 to be part of the 35-th high-speed bomber group (Gruppo Bombardamento Veloce), the Italian aviation Legion (Aviazione Legionaria). Machine prepared to be transported to Spain, had serial numbers: NC 2, NC 16, NC 23, NC 26, NC 29 and NC 30.
 
The bombers flew to the airbase in Tablada with one intermediate landing. When landing in the Tablada a plane number 16 NC internally demonstrated the strength of the design have been engine failure, after which the bomber abruptly “failed,” and touched the ground before the start of the runway. However, he blew a few caught in his way of orange trees. After inspection of the aircraft revealed that structural damage in his absent, except for a few scratches on the front edge of the wing.
 
4 Sep 1937 BR.20 flew to the airfield Soria, located closer to the river Ebro. In this area were the goal, which was supposed to use the bombers. From BR.20, consisting of 35-second speed bomber group formed 230-squadron (Squadriglia), under the command nello Brambilla. Bombers Breda BA.65 became part of 231 squadron under the command of Giulio Fanelli. At the same time, BR.20 received the code of “23” and tactical numbers from 21 to 23.
 
Flight performance of aircraft BR.20
 
Flight characteristics of the planes BR.20
 
 
November 26, after a month of trial flights over the combat area, 230 squadron again changed the airfield, flying to the base of the Tu-case. Two days later, the bombers joined in the battle doing his first flights in support of ground troops, defending.
 
5 December six BR.20 went to the bombing of the Republican troops. Aircraft operated without fighter cover. At an altitude of over 4000 meters the need for fighter escorts were no longer required, since the bomber had the advantage in speed over any Republican fighter, with the exception of the Soviet I-16. Successfully bombed the Republican purposes, all aircraft without loss returned to their base. The attempt of the Republican I-15 attacking bombers was inconclusive. In this area the squadron operated until February 1938.
 
During the fighting, the plane received positive feedback from pilots. It was noted the stability of the machine, precision bombing and high speed. All of this enabled the bomber to operate from high altitudes without fighter cover.
 
By the end of may 1938, 230 squadron has made 267 sorties for reconnaissance and bombing, flew in this 2052 hours and dropping on the enemy 580 tons of bombs. For all the time the squadron had no combat losses. Only one car was destroyed on landing as the result of pilot error.
 
In 1938, the main events unfolded in the area of the river Ebro. Active participation in the fighting on this front took and BR.20 230 squadron. With the purpose of approach to the area of the fighting 4 June 1938, 230 squadron flew to the airfield Puig Morena.
 
In June-July the main task of the BR.20 became aerial reconnaissance as the front line and the objectives in the deep rear of the enemy. The aircraft mounted cameras AGR.61 allows to obtain high-quality images with heights over 3000 meters. Used bomber and for its intended purpose.
 
The success of the combat use of the aircraft was forced to increase the number of BR.20 in Spain. July 14, from the airport of Viterbo in Italy soared seven additional Cicogna, the entrance to this part of the 7th Stormo Bombardamento Terrestre.
 
All seven of the bombers belonged to the second series differed from those already fighting at the front. Mainly changes were made to the weapon system. The aircraft acquired a new top turret in which was mounted a 12.7 mm machine gun (instead of two 7.7 mm caliber), and advanced lower retractable machine gun mount.
 
During the flight, the bombers made a stopover in Palma de Mallorca, pausing there for five days. Only July 19, BR.20 landed in Moreno.
 
With the arrival of new aircraft, in the 35th Gruppo Bombardamento Veloce was reorganized. The command of the group took Colonel Hugo Rampelli.
 
July 21, new bombers, together with BR.20 and VA.64 composition of 230 th and 231 squadrons participated in the RAID on targets near the cities Segale and weaver.
 
25 Jul 230 squadron suffered its only combat loss. When the bombing of a bridge in the town of Flex in one of the planes consists of 75-mm anti-aircraft shells, with the crew consisting of captain, Lamberto Frattini, major Moreau and Sergeant Ceruti died.
 
6 Aug all able to rise into the air BR.20 participated in a massive RAID on the Republican crossings and bridges over the river Ebro. While Cicogna dropped sixty 100-kg bombs.
 
Such bombing committed on 7 and 12 August, helped to thwart the advance of the Republicans. In the days that followed, BR.20 bombing of the Republican parts, particularly the air attack was subjected to the international division of “Lister”.
 
Flights of bombers were performed at altitudes of 4,000 to 4,500 meters. A good sighting equipment allowed the crew even from this height to put a 50 kg bomb right on target, although in some cases the positions of the Republicans and Franco were just a few tens of meters.
 
At the end of 1938 the division of BR.20 took part in the reflection of the latest Republican counter-offensive in the area of Barcelona. The fighting here ended January 26, the capture of the city by Franco.
 
Early in 1939, 230 squadron supported the air offensive of Franco to Toledo and Valencia.
 
Bomber FIAT BR.20
 
Bomber FIAT BR.20
 
Bomber FIAT BR.20:
 
1 —machine gun Breda SAFAT 7.7 mm caliber; 2—turret type-NO; 3 — front cable of the broadcast antenna; 4 — antenna of radiolucency; 5 wind power; 6—back front antenna of the radio station; 7—turret type DR; 8 — twin 7.7 mm Breda SAFAT machine gun; 9—tail AHO; 10—wheel of the rear landing gear; 11 —the front door (only on the left side of the fuselage); 12 —three-blade metal variable-pitch propeller; 13—cabin Windows Navigator; 14—rudder; 15 Kil; 16—machine gun Breda SAFAT 12.7 mm; 17—FIAT M. I turret; 18 — LDPE; 19—removable hood motor; 20—oil cooler; 21 —exhaust pipe; 22—wheel main landing gear (retracted); 23—the lower hatch and machine gun; 24—machine gun Breda SAFAT 12.7 mm; 25—sentry TEPAV; 26—turret type Lanciani Delta; 27—machine gun with electric Breda SAFAT 12.7 mm; 28—rod of the actuator of the rudder; 29—drive rod of the rudder trimmer; 30—trimmer of the rudder; 31 —the tail wheel fairing; 32 — machine gun Breda SAFAT 12.7 mm bottom pivot installation; 33—lower hatch machine gun in the open position; 34—fold of the bomb Bay; 35—strut main landing gear; 36—wheel main landing gear; 37—strut main landing gear; 38—antenna direction finder; 39 — top ANO; 40—side blister; 41—machine gun Breda SAFAT 7.7 mm caliber; 42—tail wheel landing gear in the retracted position; 43 — weight compensator Aileron; 44—pull Aileron; 45—wing of ANO; 46 rocking Aileron; 47—engine FIAT A. 80 RC41; 48 -brace the keel; 49—glazing of the cockpit; 50 — trimmer of the Elevator; 51 —steering wheel height; 52—section landing flap-a flap; 53—trimmer Aileron; 54—Aileron; 55—landing light; 56—the access hatch to the oil tank; 57—air intake carb

 
January 31, 1939, the command of the 35th group was received by the Colonel of the Empire.
 
On March 11 Puig Moreno airfield upon impact with a SM.81 was lost the next BR.20 (no. 23-18, factory — NC 140) from the second group of aircraft arrived in Spain.
 
The last combat sorties of bombers BR.20 made at the end of March 1939.
 
The end of the war found 230 squadron on the airfield Valenzula.
 
After the war, the bombers Cicogna took part in the victory parade in Barcelona and the big paradespotato in Leone.
 
May 12 at the airport Barajas on the outskirts of Madrid, took place the official transfer of the remaining bombers BR.20 the air force of Spain. All these aircraft are included in part II. Grupo Mixto Regimento, based on the aerodrome Barajas and Alcala. In accordance with the reform of the Spanish air force bombers received new hull designation “b-3”.
 
In the late forties the remaining aircraft were withdrawn from the air force of Spain and scrapped.
 
Export
 
Italy was extremely interested in the export of weapons, which in addition to financial benefits provided the opportunity to spread their influence in various regions of the world. To this end, in 1937 in Milan was organized by the international aviation salon Salone Aeronautico Internazionale with the aim of attracting potential buyers. One of the exhibits was and BR.20. However, in relation Cicogna calculations are not justified. In addition to several transferred to Spain and Croatia aircraft, as well as one acquired by Venezuela, only Japan has shown interest in a new bomber.
 
About the fate of the Venezuelan plane virtually nothing is known. Life, most likely, was short-lived. And with the beginning of world war II, Venezuela had terminated the relationship with fascist Italy and new procurement Cicogna could not be considered.
 
The most significant agreement for the supply of bomber BR.20 was signed by the Italians with Japan. It was preceded by comparative tests of the two aircraft — Caproni CA.135 and the Fiat BR.20 — in the operations of the Imperial Japanese army air forces (Imperial Army Air Force) in China. Test result was the signing in October 1937 contract between Japan and firm FIAT for the supply of 75 BR.20 additional engines and spare parts for the huge sum of 182 million lire, which could be increased by another 2.5 million lire for 10 additional cars, the delivery of which is envisaged for next year.
In early 1938, the first batch of “Japanese” BR.20 in a disassembled view of the sea was delivered to the port of Dalian, where they were unloaded and transported to Sushizu. The Assembly was performed by Japanese staff under the direction of Italian military experts and representatives of the company FIAT.
 
After you build and fly the bombers were transferred to the 12th and 98th regiments (Sentai), which had armed bombers Mitsubishi Round 93. These shelves were in the territory of Inner Manchuria and took an active part in the fighting.
 
In accordance with the adopted in Japan notation the Italian BR.20 received code Type I Model 100 (American code name Ruth).
 
In contrast to the favorable reviews received by the bombers in Spain, in China, the aircraft was not popular with pilots. Japanese crews were not happy with defensive weapons BR.20, consisting of heavy machine guns, although for its time it was considered quite strong. It was also observed the lack of strength of the structure and its vitality. The main disadvantage of the bomber was the frequent failures of the power plant. All this became the reason for the rapid replacement of Dr. 20 on a new Mitsubishi Japanese Tour 97.
 
His far Eastern career of Italian bombers made as a training aircraft.
 
Italian air force in world war II
 
Meanwhile, continued retraining of the crews of bomber parts for the Regia Aeronautica BR.20. The center of the retraining was the air base in Lonate Pozzolo. Flight and technical personnel have not experienced difficulties in the development of new technology. In the production process, managed to get rid of some of the shortcomings revealed in the early stages of the aircraft operation in line units. Improved stability and controllability of the bomber, which reduced the fatigue of a pilot during a long flight.
 
On June 10, 1940, the date of the entry of Italy in the Second world war, in the composition of the Regia Aeronautica, there were 172 BR.20. They were armed with four bomber regiments: the 7th Stormo, consisting of 4-th and 25-th group (group), located in Lonate Pozzolo, 13th Stormo, composed of the 11th and 43rd groups based in Piacenza, 18th Stormo, composed of the 31st group in Aviano and the 43rd Stormo in the 98-th and 99-th groups in Cameri.
 
By this time tested improved modification of the bomber BR.20M, is made based on analysis of the fighting in Spain. With the same engines FIAT A. 80 RC41 variant M had a lengthened fuselage with a more clean aerodynamic hull and modified nose turret. In addition, increased glass area in the cab of the Navigator, extended fairing on the tip of the fuselage, making it more smooth, shifted back tail. The size and geometry of the wing preserved, but strengthened its bearing elements, which allowed to get rid of vibration of the consoles is transmitted from the engines. However, all these changes have increased the weight of the aircraft.
 
At the same time on type BR.20M was developed and were in operation BR.20, and the most worn-out were transferred to the category of training.
 
43, 7-th and 13-th Stormo, stationed in the North of Italy, took part in the short campaign against France. To increase the range of the bombers they were transferred to the field site in Ghemme and close to Tribunal of Florence Vaga. First sortie Cicogna made on 13 June. On this day 19 BR.20 of the 13-th Stormo attacked the aerodrome in Fayence and Charese.
 
BR.20 Italian air force
 
BR.20 Italian air force
 
On the same day the Italians formed the 172-th separate squadron of strategic intelligence, consisting of six BR.20M, which carried out reconnaissance flights deep in French territory.
 
After the fall of France to the units of the armed Cicogna, joined the 116th Stormo (part of the 37th Grirppo), formed in Lecce.
 
In October 1940, with the beginning of “Battle of Britain”, 13-th and 43-th Stormo, which had in its composition of 80 BR.20, flew to Belgium and became part of the Italian air corps (Agro Aereo Italiano), received the task to work together with Luftwaffe against England.
 
First loss of the BR unit.20 suffered, not joining the fight. In the course of flights were lost five machines. It became clear that the Italian crews have poor navigational training, and aircraft not equipped for blind flying.
 
Host to the 13th Stormo determined Melsbroek, and the 43rd Stormo — Heures.
 
The fighter cover BR.20 was assigned to the 56th Stormo, armed fighters FIAT CR.42 and FIAT G. 50. Exploration was carried out planes Cant Z. I007 from the composition of the 172nd Squadriglia.
 
By 22 October the relocation of Italian parts completed and they were ready to start fighting.
 
24 Oct twelve BR.20 composition of the 13th Stormo and five from the 43rd Stormo was involved in the RAID on Ramsgate. The result of departure was the loss of three bombers, one Cicogna was seriously damaged during landing, killing the entire crew.
 
25 Oct 16 Italian bombers attempted to attack Harwich. Already on takeoff crashed the first car while the other two got lost when you return, and crews were forced to jump out with a parachute.
 
October 29, unlike previous sorties, the crews of BR.20 participated in the daylight RAID on Ramsgate. In conjunction with the aircraft of Luftwaffe, the Italians managed to avoid losses.
 
November 5, BR.20 made two flights. In the first Cicogna attacked Ipswich and Harwich, and the second bombed again, Ipswich and London. During the campaign the Italians lost three bombers, three received serious injuries.
 
Five days later, the Italians again attacked Harwich. At the approach to the goal a dozen bombers were attacked by a Hurricane fighter 17, 46, 249 and 257-th squadron RAF. In the ensuing air battle the Italians lost five BR.20 and three escort fighters FIAT CR.42.
 
To improve the training of crews of the Italian bombers in night and blind flying some of them had to be sent to training units of the Luftwaffe, where they were trained on specialized aircraft Junkers W. 34.
 
However, BR.20 continued to participate in the air offensive against Britain and in subsequent raids on gray Yarmouth and Lowestoft. However, in December the air pressure on England began to wane. Decreased combat activity Cicogna. Last sortie of the Italians executed on 2 January 1941. Four BR.20 of the 13-th Stormo attacked Ipswich. The two bombers had to turn back from the route due to malfunction of the power plant.
 
January 10, 43rd Stormo returned to Italy at the airbase Lonate Pozzolo, and the 13th arrived at your base a month later.
 
The total loss of BR.20 during the fighting over England amounted to 20 cars.
 
Part Cicogna in operations against Greece is hard to call successful. In the Greek campaign started in October 1940, took part Cicogna 116-th Stormo (part of the 37th Gruppo) and 55-th Stormo, which was rearmed with SM.81 on BR.20 during the fighting. Remaining at the front of the bombers SM.81 was used exclusively for night attacks. To further strengthen its aviation group, the Italians moved to the front 38, the 37th and 13th Stormo. Only in the battle involved about 50 BR.20.
 
The Greek campaign was marked by poor planning, and absolutely bad weather observed at this time in the war zone. In the period between 1 November 1940 and 31 March 1941 meteo conditions on allowed to use the aircraft only for 77 days. The rest of the time the land was covered with heavy clouds, and in the mountains rains or fog.
 
Ultimately, in April, in the course of the fighting had to intervene Germany that was decisive in achieving victory.
 
Released Cicogna Italians involved in operations against Yugoslavia.
 
In March 1941 BR.20M 98th Gruppo participated in the fighting in Libya. At this time, the bombers operated mainly at night. The main objectives Cicogna was the position of the British forces.
 
From June 1941 to April 1942, the bombers were involved in escorting naval convoys bound for ports in North Africa and were stricken by the English fleet and aircraft based in Malta. To solve this problem, in addition to employ the 13th Stormo.
 
By the end of April 1941 German and Italian aircraft continued to carry out raids on the ports and airfields of Malta, but because of the high losses, the command of the joint aviation group switched to night operations.
 
7 may 1941 to the airfield Gabrini in Sicily from Lonate Pozzolo additionally redeployed bombers BR.20M 99th Gruppo 43rd Stormo under the command of Colonel Sergio Lalata.
 
The Italian bombers had to replace the 10th aviation corps of the Germans (X Fliegerkorps), which was here since the beginning of the year.
 
By 22 may, the Italians were ready to start fighting — and this despite the epidemic of malaria, salissou of the staff of the 43rd Stormo.
In the night of may 23 BR.20M made the first RAID on Malta. On the way back to the English night fighter Beaufighter undetected, was accompanied by Cicogna and boarding procedures to establish where they are based.
 
11 Jun Sicily came the second division armed bombers BR.20M 31st Gruppo from part of the 18th Stormo. Aircraft located at the air base Catania-Fontanarossa. While the airbase Gerbini for some time was able to hide from British aircraft, Catania-Fontanarossa was known, and this was the reason for the frequent raids of bombers from Malta.
 
From may to September 1941 Cicogna made a large number of bombing missions objects that are located in Malta. During air strikes, the Italians suffered considerable damage. Of the 25 bombers BR.20M half were lost in battle or accidents.
 
Thus, on 5 August over Malta was shot down the aircraft of the commander of the 99th Gruppo, considered one of the most experienced pilots of the Italian bombers.
 
By October 1941, the 43-th and 18-th Stormo suffered such high losses that were unfit for action, and the personnel division sent in Milano-Bresso to rest and re-form.
 
Worn part was replaced by the 55th Gruppo, in Gerbini and 116th Gruppo at Catania-Fontanarosa.
 
The results of the actions of the Italians could not satisfy the German high command. German transport ships were constantly attacked by British aircraft based on Malta. To increase pressure on the British, the Germans were forced to send in December 1941 the Mediterranean sea II Fliegerkorps. But it has not reduced the losses of the Italians.
 
Even though the bombers were escorted by German fighters, the number of BR.20M, remained in the ranks, steadily decreased.
 
By October 1942, composed of the 55th and 116th groups had only two serviceable BR.20M.
 
By December, the siege of Malta was lifted, and the bombers only occasionally attacked the facilities of the island.
 
55 Gruppo after replenishment and rest was transferred to the airbase in Milice (Sardinia). The group’s objective was control of the North African coast, exploration of marine communications. This task has gained urgency after landing in November 1942 in Algiers by the Anglo-American troops.
 
August 3, 1942, three BR.20M from the composition of the 38th Squadriglia arrived on the Eastern front. Three Cicogna joined the 71st Gruppo Osservazione, Aegea (air reconnaissance group) and was to act jointly with Salop Sa.311. 5 September arrived, three more BR.20M from the composition of the 43rd Stormo.
 
9 Dec surpassed another five of the bombers. From Cicogna arrived at the airport in Odessa, formed the 38th and 116 th squadron, which urgently sent closer to the front line.
 
The Russian winter has been very hard for newcomers with a warm Apennine Peninsula, the Italian aircraft sometimes had to fly with unharvested “frozen” chassis and non-functional guns, that at a meeting with Soviet fighters made them helpless.
 
By 11 December, continuing to develop the offensive at Stalingrad, Soviet troops reached the main airfields, which are based on the aircraft of the 71st Gruppo Osservazione, Aegea. It began a disorderly withdrawal of the Italian units and the relocation of aviation units on the rear airfields. On April 13, 1943, the date of the return of the Italians in their homeland, consisting of the 71st Gruppo had only six serviceable С1содпа. All the other BR.20M and Salop Sa.311 was lost.
 
By this time, Cicogna began to be transferred to training units. Remained in combat units, the bombers were based mainly in Yugoslavia and Albania. On 31 July 1943 remained in service 74 BR.20 and 151 BR.20M.
 
After the exit of Italy from the war, in September 1943, the country was divided in two. The South of the country occupied by the allied forces in the North formed Republica Sociale. Was divided, and the Italian air force. A small amount of BR.20 remained in the North, on the territory of the Republic and was requisitioned by the Germans, but fighting planes were not used. According to some reports, several cars were transported to Germany, but their fate is unknown.
 
In the South of the country was up to ten serviceable Cicogna, who entered the Raggruppamento Bomardamento Trasporto (transport-bomber group).
 
At least one BR.20 was in flying condition until 7 June 1946 and joined the Italian air force (Aeronatica Militare Italiana).
 
The story of BR.20 would be complete without mention of the attempt of the Italians to extend the life of the bomber. In February 1942, flew the prototype (serial number ММ456) BR.20bis.
 
The plane equipped with new engines FIAT A. 82 power 1250 HP at 4200 meters, changed the nose of the fuselage, increasing the area of glazing. The bomber got a new wing with large scale I. area, improved turret on top of the fuselage and two blisters with a 7.7-mm machine guns on its sides.
 
All of these changes slightly affected the characteristics of the aircraft, though, and increased its ceiling, speed and rate of climb. To complete serial production of the bomber in September 1943 he managed to collect 15 BR.20bis.
 
All in all, it was released 580 Cicogna (no BR.20bis), making it the most mass medium bomber in the Regia Aeronautical composition throughout the Second world war. The fame of BR.20 is second only to his contemporary three-engine Savoia Marchetti S. 79.
 
Description of the design of the aircraft Fiat BR.20
 
Twin-engine medium bomber FIAT BR.20 Cicogna was a cantilever plane-monoplane all-metal construction low wing, partially fabric covering.
 
The crew consisted of 5 — 6 people and include, as a rule, the pilot, the front of the arrow, Navigator, radio operator and also arrow top and bottom turret installations.
 
The fuselage is all-metal truss. His force consisted of steel pipes welded together. The cross section of the fuselage is rectangular in shape with rounded corners formed by the frames. Longitudinal power set consisted of longitudinal and diagonal stringers and spars.
 
The fuselage was assembled from three major sections: front, middle and back. In the front section with a large area of glazing placed nose rifle installation and working place of the Navigator. In the lower part of the front section of the fuselage there was a hatch emergency escape cabin gunner and Navigator, as well as the retractable landing lights. The covering section duralumin. On the cover of the cockpit was assigned to the front Desk of the cable antenna.
 
In the middle section of the fuselage, in the front part of it, was the cockpit, the workplace of the operator with the R. A. 5301 transmitter and receiver A. R. 5. At the bottom of the middle section, almost throughout its length, housed a bomb Bay, designed for horizontal placement of the bombs total weight up to 1600 kg. Sash bombolyuka opened with a turn to the right and to the left. The release gear rotor type is installed in the cabin of the Navigator. There was the bombsight the Jozza type G. 3.
 
The crew entered the plane through a door located on the left side of the fuselage, just behind the rear edge of the wing. In the upper part of the section there was a hatch emergency evacuation of the aircraft crew.
 
On the left (on the flight) side of the middle part of the fuselage housed two fuel tanks. To their right there was a passageway from the front of the fuselage at the rear. On top of the middle section was installed loop antenna of radiolucency P. 3N, back front cable to the antenna and to the left in the Central part of the section were fixed retractable generator.
 
From below, the rear section was located retractable small point (the so-called “jaw”), which, if necessary, fell down.
 
The rear section of the fuselage occupied the space between the front door and tail fairing. On top of it was mounted small glazed turret with two 7.7 mm machine guns, and starting with the 101st aircraft began to be equipped with a machine gun caliber 12.7 mm.
 
Bottom in the rear section housed the swiveling tail wheel covered with a fairing and tail unit.
 
In the first series bomber dural covering took 52,55 m2 of its surface, and plain — 13,41 m2. Starting with BR.20M square duralumin plating increased.
 
The wing is all-metal, two-Longarone, cantilever, low-lying. For technological reasons it was divided into three parts — a center section and two consoles. Wing profile is laminar, PASS, 63.
 
Spars — beam. Rib — truss. Maximum wing chord — 5182 mm.
 
In the center section of the wing housed Proektirovanie fuel tanks that can withstand falling bullets caliber 12.7 mm.
 
Engine mounts and nacelles of the engines mounted on the wing center section. Strut main landing gear was attached to the main spar. To reduce the landing speeds from the bottom of the console parts of the wing, their rear edge, mounted flaps type DAC, which at takeoff had been rejected at 20, and at landing — 45 degrees. The wing ailerons had trim tabs and supplied as the weight and aerodynamic compensation.
 
On the leading edge of the wing tip mounted navigation lights.
 
Tail — free-carrying, dvuhkilevoe. To give the Keeley the necessary rigidity they were also attached to the fuselage by two steel profiled struts.
 
The power range of the stabilizer, keels and rudders — metal, siding — partially aluminum, and partially plain.
 
Elevators and areas were supplied by the trimmers and had as the weight and aerodynamic compensation.
 
Chassis — tricycle, tailwheel. The main landing gear retracted into the engine nacelle with turn ago. In this part of the wheel remained unharvested, which protects the fuselage from damage during a forced landing. System the landing gear is hydraulic. Stand had masaustune suspension system. Main wheels were equipped with air drum brakes. The tail wheel is fixed, closed fairing.
 
The power plant consisted of two radial 18-cylinder engine air-cooled FIAT A. 80 RC41 1000 HP at the altitude of 4100 meters. The engines were equipped with three-blade metal variable-pitch propellers and constant speed of rotation of the FIAT-Hamilton with a diameter of 3.54 meters.
 
The Italian bomber FIAT BR.20 Cicogna
 
Six fuel tanks (two fuselage and four wing) housed 3622 liter of fuel.
 
Oil tanks (separate for each engine) with a capacity of 42 liters installed directly behind the engines in the nacelles.
 
Small arms was represented by three gun emplacements. Front (bow) consisted of a turret of type HI there installed one
 
7.7-mm machine gun Breda SAFAT ammunition 500 rounds (on late series aircraft mounted machine gun Breda SAFAT 12.7 mm).
 
The upper fuselage installation was a turret of type DR with dual 7.7 mm machine guns Breda SAFAT. Bombers starting with the 101st production car, mounted the turret of the type FIAT M. I with one
 
12.7-mm machine gun Breda SAFAT with 350 rounds of ammunition. In the later series and this turret was replaced by the electrified semi-Lanciani Delta with one machine gun Breda SAFAT 12.7 mm.
 
Lower retractable machine gun mount consisted of a 7.7-mm Breda SAFAT machine gun with 500 rounds of ammunition, mounted on the king pin. On some machines instead of a 7.7 mm machine gun was mounted heavy Breda SAFAT 12.7 mm ammunition 350 rounds.
 
Bomber weapons weighing up to 1600 kg placed only in the bomb Bay, and external hardpoints, the aircraft had. Loading of bombs was carried out in the following versions: 2×800 kg kg 2×500, 4×250 kg, 8×150 kg, 16×100 kg. was Used and other options. The bombs in the bomb Bay was located in a horizontal position only.

Noticed mistape? Highlight it and press Ctrl+Enter, to inform us.

Recommend to read

  • HEINKEL He 177 GREIFHEINKEL He 177 GREIF
    The German aircraft manufacturer Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke GmBH was founded in 1922 by E. Heinkel. Its activities started with the design and construction of military hydroaeroplanes,...
  • “ANGELS” IN THE SKY OF SPAIN“ANGELS” IN THE SKY OF SPAIN
    Dive bomber, the Hs-123. After the First world war power aviation enterprises in Germany decreased significantly. The restrictions imposed by the Versailles Treaty, in fact, deprived the...

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: