Altaya AB24 Italian Fiat BR.20 Cicogna Medium Bomber (1:144 Scale)
"Neutrals never dominate events. They always sink. Blood alone moves the wheels of history."
- Italian Dictator, Benito Mussolini
The Fiat BR.20 Cicogna (Italian: "stork") was a twin-engined bomber of the Italian Regia Aeronautica which saw service in the Spanish Civil War, Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. Although the BR.20 was Italy's standard medium bomber in the mid-1930s and had proven effective in the Spanish Civil War, it was already obsolescent by the time Italy entered the war.
In 1934, when the Regia Aeronautica requested Italian aviation manufacturers to submit proposals for a new medium bomber; the specifications called for speeds of 330 km/h (205 mph) at 4,500 m (15,000 ft) and 385 km/h (239 mph) at 5,000 m (16,500 ft), a 1,000 km (620 mi) range and 1,200 kg (2,600 lb) bombload. Although Piaggio, Macchi, Breda, Caproni and Fiat offered aircraft that mainly exceeded the speed requirements (but not range), not all exhibited satisfactory flight characteristics or reliability. Accepted among the successful proposals, together with the tri-motor Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 and Cant Z.1007, was the BR.20 Cicogna designed by Celestino Rosatelli, thus gaining the prefix BR, (for "Bombardiere Rosatelli").
The BR.20 was designed and developed quickly, with the design being finalized in 1935 and the first prototype (serial number M.M.274) flown at Turin on February 10th, 1936. Production orders were quickly placed, initial deliveries being made to the Regia Aeronautica in September 1936.
Pictured here is a 1:144 scale replica of an Italian Fiat BR.20 Cicogna Medium Bomber. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 6 inches
Length: 4-1/2 inches
Release Date: September 2013
Historical Account: "The Other Rising Sun" - At the beginning of the twentieth century, Italy was at the forefront of aerial warfare. During the colonization of Libya in 1911, it made the first reconnaissance flight in history on October 23rd, and the first ever bombing raid on November 1st.
During World War I the Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare, then still part of the army, operated a mix of French fighters and locally-built bombers, notably the gigantic Caproni aircraft. The Regia Marina (the navy) had its own air arm, operating locally-built flying boats.
The Italian air force became an independent service - the Regia Aeronautica - on March 28th, 1923. The Fascist regime of Mussolini turned it into an impressive propaganda machine, with its aircraft, featuring red-and-buff "rising sun" livery on the wings, making numerous record-breaking flights. It reached its zenith when two fleets of flying boats, led by General Italo Balbo, crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1931 and 1933 respectively. During the latter half of the 1930s, the Regia Aeronautica participated in the Spanish Civil War, as well as the invasion of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia).
When World War II began in 1939, Italy had the smallest air force among the three major Axis powers. With a paper strength of 3,296 machines, only 2,000 were fit for operations, of which just 166 were modern fighters, the Macchi MC.200 and Fiat G.50, although still slower than their potential Allied opponents. While numerically still a force to be reckoned with, it was hampered by an inadequate local aircraft industry; technical assistance by its German ally did little to improve the situation.
The last mission of the Italian Regia Aeronautica was the defense of USAF bombing on Frascati - Rome in September 8th 1943. The Regia Aeronautica officially ceased to exist when Italy became a republic on June 2, 1946, succeeded by the Aeronautica Militare.