Initial Climb Rate:
2- 20 mm
4- 12.7 mm
30 ft. 9 in.
38 ft. 10 in.
The Fiat G.55, called the Centauro (Centaur), had the widest flight envelope of any production single seat fighter aircraft used by the Italian Air Force. It was also one of the most heavily armed Italian fighter aircraft, with one version equipped with two 20 mm cannons and four 12.7 mm machine guns. The aircraft was a pilot favorite and considered the best Italian World War II fighter aircraft.
Although the Fiat G.55 shared the same V-12 1,475 h.p. engine used by other Italian aircraft, its light wing loading and larger wing area enabled greater maneuverability, the ability to out turn other aircraft, and a higher ceiling. It could hold its own against the best of Allied fighter aircraft, and had the fire power to bring down large enemy bomber aircraft.
The Fiat G.55 design dates back to the late 1930’s when Italian engineers contemplated new fighter aircraft powered by in-line engines. In 1941 the new Italian built copy of the DB 605 engine was fitted to an improved Italian fighter design that became the G.55. Its first flights in early 1942 showed the proof of design concept to work exceptionally well. When matched against other Italian fighters of the day, the Fiat G.55 proved superior overall. Eventually a total of 2,400 of the aircraft were ordered. However, only 274 were produced before the Italian WW II surrender.
The first record of a Fiat G.55 aircraft to see combat was in mid 1943 over the island of Sardinia. Fiat G.55 aircraft saw action intercepting Allied bombers over mainland Italy soon after. However, the use of the aircraft by Italy was short lived, with the cessation of Italian hostilities in September of 1943. It appears that some Fiat G.55 aircraft were flown by the Luftwaffe, but it is not clear if these ever saw action.
The Luftwaffe considered producing a German version of the Fiat G.55 Centauro after witnessing its excellent performance. However, it was found that production of the aircraft would take nearly double the time of existing Luftwaffe fighter aircraft and the idea was laid to rest.
After the war some 75 Fiat Fiat G.55 Centauro single and two-seat aircraft were produced. These were acquired by Argentina, Egypt, Italy and Syria. Some of these aircraft were equipped with Rolls Royce engines after the DB engines were no longer available.
The good looking RC Fiat G.55 built by Yankee Lady of RC Groups is of all foam construction with a wingspan of 42 1/2 in. and a length of 38 in. Power comes from a brushless motor, and all up weight is around 3 3/4 lbs.
Yankee Lady posted three view drawings of the RC Fiat G.55 at RC Groups.
RC Modeler Magazine has plans for a RC Fiat G.55. It builds to a wingspan of 7 ft. 2 in. Plan no. 134/345.
Aviastar.org has three view drawings of the Fiat G.55.
At You Tube andante17 posted a video of a RC Fiat G.55 slope soarer.
JonN of RC Universe posted pictures and a description of his RC Fiat G.55.