The brightest page in the “biography” of the aircraft FIAT became their participation in the fighting in Spain on the side of the rebel General Franco. There has been a fighter almost all of the modifications, a CR-32 was the most popular aviation units of the rebels. To Spain brought 380 of this type of aircraft, the armament of both the Italian and the Spanish fighter and assault squadrons.
The first 12 fighters FIAT CR-32 arrived in the port of Melilla (Spanish Morocco) unassembled August 13, 1936. On Board of the steamer which transported them were pilots, mechanics, gunsmiths, and factory representatives to provide technical assistance in the Assembly of fighters. Five days later, after the flight of the collected fighters, the group was flown to airfields Kardoba and in Tablada in Seville. 21 August (according to others, the 20th) Lieutenant Cockerill scored the first aerial victory by shooting down over Córdoba Republican fighter HISPANO-NIEUPORT NiD-52. 25 Aug Sergeant Magistrini over the Guadix knocks Republican DEWOITINI D-372. After 11 days in a dogfight over Oropesa (suburb of Madrid) came together three CR-32 and three Republican D-372. During the brief battle, the Republican pilots managed to shoot down two fighters FIAT, killing the Lieutenant and Sergeant Monico Castellani, who opened the casualty list of Italian pilots. The third FIAT was severely damaged and crashed during landing (the pilot survived). The Spaniards dubbed the Italian a fighter “Chirri” (“Cricket”). With this name the plane and entered the history of world aviation.
August 24, three fighters were transferred to the fee Balearic Islands to protect the airfields and ports from attacks by Republican aircraft. 29 Aug these aircraft took part in repelling attempts by Republican troops to seize the island of Mallorca. It was shot down or damaged several government flying boats SM-62.
On the mainland at that time there were only six CR-32, which is clearly not enough to perform all the tasks facing fighter aircraft. To strengthen its fighter aircraft, the Italians brought from Vigo to Seville nineteen CR-32. All arriving aircraft were divided into two squadrons. The first was commanded by captain Vicente Decal, the second captain Dante Oliver. The overall command of the fighters were led by Lieutenant Colonel Bono-mi, who insisted that the squadron didn’t spray across the front, and used in the region of Madrid, where he developed the offensive of Franco. A place-based squadrons at the time were base in Casares, Salamanca and Talavera. CR-32 flying in groups of six aircraft. When escorting bombers, the fighters were divided into three links. One went directly to the bombers, and the other two flew exceeding 1,000 m, making it possible if necessary to carry out the timely interception of enemy fighters.
Fighter biplane FIAT CR-32:
1 —two-bladed metal screw FIAT; 2— visor of the first instance of the prototype; 3 — Kok sleeve screw; 4 — extension pipe gun; 5—wind turbine generator; 6— cone generator; 7 — wing of ANO; 8 — tube drainage of the fuel system; 9 — aerodynamic compensator Aileron; 10— optical sight (first series); 11 — cable the radio antenna; 12 — operational access control system; 13 — Kiel; 14 — rudder; 15 — keel ANO; 16 — fairing tail wheel; 17—the tail wheel; 18—rigging knot; 19 — removable access panel in the outside compartment; 20 — footboard; 21 — handrail; 22 — rear brace strut main wheel; 23 — removable cover fairing main wheel; 24 — fairing main wheel; 25— front brace strut main wheel; 26— blinds additional oil cooler (on the planes of the first series and pilot car); 27— a removable panel in the engine compartment; 28 — additional water heater (for tropical versions); 29 — brace stabilizer; 30 — samolovnye the fairing; 31 — standard visor production aircraft; 32 — advanced sight; 33 — the rocking Aileron; 34 — traction control Aileron; 35 — fairing for additional fuel tank; 36— blinds additional oil cooler; a 37 — bomb caliber: 45 kg; 38 — fuselage bomb rack; 39—Pitot tube; 40 — brace stabilizer; 41 —”gills” of the coolant; a 42—removable battery cover; 43 — extension of the collector tube; 44— flash suppressor; 45 — fixing clamps on the extension tube; 46 — removable panel access to the cartridge boxes; 47—wing 7,69-mm machine gun Breda-SAFAT (only for FIAT CR 32bis); 48 — wheel main landing gear; 49— front of the main chassis; 50 — fairing wing-mounted machine gun; 51 — maintenance hatch; 52 — housing of gear motor; 53 — oil tank; 54 — engine mount; 55 — engine FIAT A. 30 RA bis; 56 — wind turbine generator; a 57 — additional fuel tank; 58 — water tank; 59— 12.7-mm machine gun Breda-SAFAT; the 60 — gun carriage; 61 — battery; 62 — handle engine control; 63 — unit radio; 64 — headrest; 65 — battery; 66 farm power set of the fuselage; 67 — the mechanism of transposition of the angle of the stabilizer; 68 root rib of the stabilizer; 69—hinge of the rudder; 70 — power set of the rudder; 71 — absorber strut tail wheel; 72 — fork tail wheel; 73 — strut tail wheel; 74 — pull rudder; 75 cable harness steering direction; 76—unit radio RA-80-1 (at the same place could set the camera AGR-90 AGR-61); 77— oxygen tank; 78 — seat pilot; 79 — helm rudder stabilizer; 80 — handle; 81 — pedal foot control; 82— ammunition cases; 83 the root rib of the lower wing; 84, the main fuel tank; 85 — air tank; 86 — water radiator; 87 — oil cooler; 88 — propeller hub; 89 — air intake; 90— armoured glass visor; 91 — absorber of the main landing gear; 92 — shutters oil cooler; 93 — Aileron; 94 — fuselage brace the upper wing; 95 — brace wing; a 96 — LDPE; 97 — detachable panel engine; 98 — braces; 99 — pull rudder; 100 —straps harness system; 101 — stabilizer; 102 — the steering wheel height; 103 — filler neck of the tank; 104 — filler neck water tank; 105 — window camera; 106 — point drain the oil from the oil cooler; 107 — point draining the water from the water cooler; 108 rocking of the rudder; 109,110— machine guns with the right and left feeding belts; 111 — arm overcharge; 112 — cartridge ribbon; 113 — oil-pressure indicator; 114,125 — arm control synchronizers machine guns; 115 pointer fuel pressure; 116 — alarm fire; 117,123 — handle reloading machine guns; 118 rangefinder sight; 119 — sight; 120 — emphasis of the head when aiming; 121 — the binding of the visor; 122—compass; 124 — handle turn on the camera; 126—the fuel gauge; 127 pointer speed (above 460 km/h); 128 — altimeter; 129 — variometer; 130 — attitude indicator, 131 pointer speed (up to 460 km/h); 132 — pointer angle of attack; 133 — grip hand fuel pump; 134—crank magneto; 135 — light indication of the availability of fuel
During the first three months of the war the advantage in the air, remained for an Italian CR-32 and is-51. The Republican air force suffered heavy losses. When meeting with CR-32 obsolete NIEUPORT fighters were doomed. Had the Republicans a single specimen is quite modern FURY and OSPREY was able to correct the situation. The situation improved slightly with the start of the supply of French fighters, but the training of Republican pilots left much to be desired, and for the development of new airplanes needed time, and it somehow just not there.
By the end of 1936 in Spain, consisting of two squadrons, there were 36 fighters FIAT CR-32. 31 December 1936, Mussolini legalized by the Italian air force in the Spanish war, announcing the creation of the Aviazione Legionaria, the Italian aviation Legion in Spain. There was a reorganization of fighter aircraft. On the basis of the 1st and 2nd squadrons was formed on the 24th, 25th and 26th squadrons, organizational summarized in the XVI group “La Cucaracha” (“Cockroach”), the name of a popular song of the time. Command puppey took Brigadier General Velardi. The formation includes the famous link of the Spanish pilots in the composition of G. Morato, J. Salvador B. de Castro, called “La Patrul Azul” (“Blue patrol”). On the keels of aircraft of this level is depicted a special emblem, Buzzard, Falcon, and Blackbird in the blue circle and the ancient motto of the toreadors “Vista, Suerte at al.”
March 30, 1937, in the structure of aviation of Franco began forming two squadrons armed with fighters FIAT CR-32. The squadron joined the group 2-G-3, the command which was headed by G. Morato. In March began the formation of two new Italian groups: VI fighter group “Gamba di Ferro” (“Iron leg”), named in honor of captain E. Botti, flying with a prosthetic after being injured of leg, received in the first battle, and XXIII of the group “Asso di Bostoni” (ACE of clubs). The latter supported the offensive of the rebels in the North of Spain in Asturias and the Basque region (Bilbao and Santader).
In early June, the battle broke out in the area of Brunete. “Crickets” took an active part in repelling the Republican offensive. Dogfights broke out with renewed vigor. The most successful for the Italians began June 13. On this day they stated about the destruction of eight Republican SB-2, four I-16 And one I-15 (national data did not confirm this fact.) For the first time in the course of operation was established coordination between the Italian air force, units of the Legion Condor and parts of Franco. These measures have increased the efficiency of Franco’s aviation and allowed to say about the destruction during the fighting, the Republican Brunete 50 aircraft with the loss of 25 of its (also highly questionable). In turn, the black day Italian aircraft in Spain 15 October 1937, when in the course of the RAID on the airbase in Garrapinillos Republicans killed or badly injured on the ground more than 70 aircraft, including 11 FIAT CR-32 from part VI fighter group “Gamba di Ferro”.
At the same time, the Republican air force received new Soviet aircraft I-16 type 10 and later I-15bis (I-152). In fights with these fighters “the crickets” had little chance of success. More advanced equipment and new tactics applied by the Republican pilots, led to a sharp increase in the losses the Italians. CR-32 began to fight only at numerical advantage over Republicans.
In early January 1938, completed the formation of a new Spanish group 3-G-3, armed with, in addition to CR-32, did chetyrehpolozyj CR-32bis. These aircraft were in service with the Italian Sguadrigla Autonomo Mitragliamento “Frecce” (special assault squadron).
Fee Balearic Islands at that time was a separate X fighter group “Baleari” (“Bolyartsi”), also flew the CR-32bis.
Summer offensive of Franco’s troops on the Aragon front were supported and had 155 “crickets”. In a large number of used CR-32 and in the air battles over the river Ebro. About the ferocity of the battles from this period can be judged by one of the air battles in which both sides agreed about 250 aircraft! Among them was 72 and CR-32.
In August 1938 disbanded VI fighter group “Gamba di Ferro”, and serviceable aircraft were transferred to the Spanish squadron 8-E-W, the formation of which was completed in Extremadura.
The end of 1938 was marked by heavy fighting in Catalonia. Active role this period played a squadron nationalists 2-G-3 and 8-E-W, the arms of which were “crickets”. Despite the numerical advantage in the air, units of the CR-32 was continued to incur heavy losses. Then on January 23 the Republicans have shot down FIAT of the third performance of the Franco pilot M. Sagastizabal (21 wins). The pilot was killed. On CR-32 died and first as the nationalist G. Morato. He counted out 40 wins 36 he won, flying a CR-32. The second performance as the Franco was also flying the FIAT CR-32, D. Salvador (24 wins). The air battles continued until March 31, 1939.
In the Italian parts simply counting individual victories were not conducted. The victory was credited to the entire unit. All aces were “unofficial”. First among the Italians is considered Bonzano M. and A. Mantelli, which were listed at 15 wins. Ricky K. and G. Nobili had ten wins.
At the end of the conflict, the Spanish squadron consisted of about 90 “crickets”, 96 were registered for the Italian fighter units, another 14 were operated in flight school Escuea de Caca in Reu. After the war, the company the Spanish company Hispano-Suiza in Tablada restored 49 cars and issued 100 licence “sortuv”, which received the Spanish designation HA-132-L. They were armed with four fighter units based in the outskirts of Madrid (of Getafe), in Seville (Tabpage), Mallorca (San Guan) and Gandu in the Canary Islands. V1942 year the Spaniards remade 40 CR-32 in a double training aircraft, which received the designation AT-132-s-1. Double car was used in the flight school Escuea de Caca in the Reu and later in Mogapi de la Frontera. There are photographs of flying samples IN Spanish-132-s-1 in 1957.
During the war, in the hands of the Republicans were eight fighters CR-32 in various degrees of serviceability (in the memoirs of the volunteers mentions six). Some of them were used in battle in the Republican squadrons and carried identification that begins with FF. Several sorties on the Italian aircraft performed and Soviet pilots. So, flying captured fighter I. kopec, G. Zakharov, P. Shevtsov, Agusev. Two of which fell into the hands of the Republicans of the CR-32 was delivered to the Soviet Union. The first of the arriving aircraft (April 1937) could not be restored. The second came in July 1937 in flying condition and was sent to the air force Institute of flight testing.
The report, based on the results of comparative tests of Soviet fighters and the Italian “prisoner” pilots ispytatelei and pilots who used the PATA CR-32 in air battles, have differences. In the reports of the investigators said that the plane “…significantly inferior to the modern single fighter… Takeoff characteristics of the aircraft are bad… Inferior in agility to the Soviet fighter I-15…”. Positive test pilots the air force Institute celebrated cushioning of the landing gear, the installation of effective fire and a good sight.
Soviet “Spaniards” who had to see this aircraft in air combat and fly on the trophy, was not so categorical. Drill the pilots were obiecali mostly positive qualities “Cricket”, to which they attributed the presence of brongespeense and windshield glass, stronger weapons (CR-32 retains the advantage in weaponry over the Soviet fighters until the end of the fighting), the presence of the outside of the cargo compartment, the stability of the aircraft when firing, installation radio and equipment, the strength of all-metal construction, ease of placement of instrumentation in the cockpit. At the same time, they underscored the severity of the aircraft on takeoff (the plane wanted to turn right) and differences in the management plane. So, the Gaza strip acted on the contrary, the increase of thrust of the engine has occurred when moving the arm backwards instead of forward, like on our aircraft. Engine power was considered insufficient and, as a consequence, the rate of climb of the aircraft left much to be desired.
By the beginning of the Second world war, the CR-32 was still the most numerous fighter aircraft, the Italian fighter aircraft. In combat squadrons, there were 292 aircraft of this type. But to replace him was already more modern fighters. Since 1940, the aircraft started to be excreted from the part of the combatant units. The remaining cars were transferred to flight school, where they are, taking a well-deserved popularity, has served to the end of the war. Design fighter FIAT CR-32
FIAT CR-32 Freccia (“Arrow” or, as it was called in Spain Chirri “Cricket”) was a single-seater single polutoraplan all-metal construction with fabric covering and fixed landing gear. Initially the aircraft was a fighter, but later modifications were used as light bombers and attack aircraft for direct support of ground units.
The fuselage truss, the frame was assembled from steel and duralumin tubes, which formed four power spar, and twelve frames. On the first power of the frames had mounts: engine mounts beams (four), struts of the upper wing, landing gear and bottom planes. Semi-circular shape attached to the fuselage stringers 11-shaped, located in the area between the first and twelfth ribs, and the side of the fuselage of such stringers were five on each side, and the bottom seven. A large part of the fuselage was covered with canvas. Of duralumin sheets were bonnets of the engine, side panels covering the fuselage fuel tank, ammo boxes and the upper part of the fuselage up to the cockpit. Duralumin panels were closed and the lower part of the fuselage to the trailing edge of the wing, where there was a compartment for installing the camera.
The cockpit of the open type placed between the fourth and sixth frames. The pilot’s seat had adjustable height, and had a depression (the Cup) under the parachute. The pilot’s head in the front was covered by a transparent visor made of three flat panels of plexiglass center section of the canopy was made of armored glass. Behind the headrest has a small fairing clean aerodynamic shape. Before the visor was the optical sight tube type. The instrument panel had illuminated, which gave the opportunity to fly in bad weather and at night. On the left behind the pilot’s seat was fixed oxygen cylinder. In the outside compartment can fit the radio to the camera or to conduct photo-reconnaissance. On the ninth frame (right and left) were steel panels with lifting holes.
Wing purely expressed polutorapolnoy schemes, straight, rounded in terms of endings. The upper and lower wings are identical in design and made with the dvuhlonzheronnoe scheme, wherein the upper wing forward relative to the lower 300 mm of the tubular Spars. Longitudinal power set of each wing was rib and polonaruwa. Additional rigidity to the wing provided internal cables-braces. Ailerons were located only on the upper wing; their chord was 310 mm and breadth is 2350 mm. Control cable Aileron. The ailerons had aerodynamic compensation (balancing) of the type of Benshi, which was a delivered on steel racks profiled aerodynamic surfaces. In the Central part of the upper wing, in acting the fairing, placed additional fuel tank. On the first series aircraft in front of the fairing housed a wind generator contained in the action by a two-blade fan from the incoming flow. The rigidity of the biplane box wing provided four pairs of profiled struts-struts-type farms of Warren. To the fuselage, the upper wing is attached to a short N-shaped struts-a struts. Brace tied the top and bottom of the wing only between the outermost pairs of racks. Angle transverse V, the upper wing was 1.8°. Console bottom of the wing, fastened to the fuselage at two nodes, installed with transverse V 1.5°. The angle of attack of the upper wing is 0.4°. The lower wing had zero angle of attack. The wing skin fabric.
Tail with duralumin frame and fabric covering. Structurally, the horizontal tail consisted of a stabiliser with adjustable angle setting and elevators horn compensation. The control mechanism of changing the installation angle of the stabilizer cable from the knob on the left side of the cockpit. The Elevator control is hard, from the control stick. The vertical tail consisted of a keel and rudder. The latter, as well as the elevators, had a horn compensation. Control of the rudder cable from the pedals. To ensure greater rigidity of the stabilizer and fin massed rope braces.
The undercarriage is fixed, truss-type with independent wheels, closed fairing. Profiled main landing gear had a hydraulic damper. Each main landing gear was supported by two struts, which are mounted to the bottom of the first frame and to the bottom of the tubes motor. The tail wheel is enclosed by the fairing, svobodnozhivushchie, with rubber cushioning.
The power plant of the aircraft consisted of a geared V-shaped 12-cylinder in-line engine liquid-cooled FIAT A-30 RA capacity (altitude 3050 m) 591 HP at 2600 rpm On some CR-32 of the first series and all subsequent modifications to install the engine FIAT A-30 RA bis that during takeoff short-term (up to three minutes) could give power of 789 HP at 2900 rpm On the aircraft used both versions of the engine (provided their interchangeability).
Screw FIAT two-bladed, metallic, with the ability to change the pitch on the ground. To compensate the moment unfold from the rotating propeller aircraft engine on a plane was mounted at an angle of 0°55″ to the left of the axis plane and an angle of 0°30″ down. But to fend off the turning point and failed.
A motor housed radiators: oil followed by the water. The cooling air can reach them through the tunnel round shape. Air flow was regulated through a louver controllable from the cockpit. Was given air through a slot located behind a water radiator over the surface of the lower wing.
Technical characteristics of modifications of the aircraft CR-32
As fuel was used a mixture of gasoline, benzene and alcohol. All modifications CR-32 had two fuel tanks: the main capacity 340 litres placed between the engine and the cockpit, and an additional 25-litre — in the Central part of the upper wing. From the main tank the fuel supplied to the engine by the pump, and an additional gravity pipeline, held inside the left brace of the upper wing. A water tank with a capacity of 4.73 l stood between the guns in the upper fuselage in the area of the first power frame. The oil tank capacity of 24 l was over the motor gear.
On the plane in the outside compartment would be installed, the radio RA-80-1, or camera type AGR-90 AGR-61. The first series aircraft were equipped with an optical sight with a CR-32ter raised the sights are reflex type.
Over the fuselage fuel tank on a special mount with angle +1°30” with respect to the axis of the aircraft equipped with two synchronised 12.7 mm machine gun Bredra-SAFAT. On the first series of machines were standing 7,69-mm machine guns. On the modification of CR-32bis on top of the lower wing outside of the rotor swept, installed two additional 7,69-mm machine gun. Aircraft modifications CR-32ter and CR-32quater were only two fuselage mounted 12.7-mm machine gun with ammunition 350 rounds each. These modifications could carry on the ventral hardpoints up to 12 pieces of 2.25-kg bombs or two 45-kg bombs, or one 90-kg bomb.
N. Food reserve was, A. CHECHIN, Kharkov