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CR.20
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Fiat
Designer Celestino Rosatelli
First flight June 19, 1926
Primary users Regia Aeronautica
Hungarian Air Force
Number built c. 250 CR.20
c. 46 CR.20 Idro
c. 235 CR.20bis
c. 204 CR.20 Asso

The Fiat CR.20 was an Italian biplane fighter used during the 1920s and 1930s. Designed by Celestino Rosatelli, it represented an intermediate step from the early biplane CR.1 and the later, successful series CR.30-CR.32-CR.42. For the new aircraft, Rosatelli used a traditional sesquiplane configuration. The engine was a water-cooled 306 kW (410 hp) Fiat A.20 V-12 enginer.

Major variants were the CR.20 Idro, a pontoon floatplane, and the CR.20 Asso, using a more powerful (336 kW/450 hp) Isotta-Fraschini engine. CR.20bis, produced from 1930, differed from the original version only for the addition of a more advanced landing gear. At its peak in 1933, the CR.20 equipped 27 squadrons of the Italian Regia Aeronautica. The aircraft was used against Libyan rebels and in the early stages of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War in the attack role.[1] The CR.20s remained in service with the Regia Aeronautica in the aerobatics and training until the 1930s. In 1933, Italy sold five CR.20s to Paraguay, which was fighting the Chaco War against Bolivia, these serving as Paraguay's only fighters through to the end of the war.[2]

Variants[edit | edit source]

  • CR.20 Idro : Twin-float seaplane version.
  • CR.20bis : Single-seat fighter biplane, fitted with an advanced landing gear.
  • CR.20bisAQ : CR.20bis aircraft fitted with the Fiat A.20 A.Q. piston engine.
  • CR.20 Asso : Single-seat fighter biplane, powered by a 336 kW (450 hp) Isotta Fraschini Asso Caccia engine.
  • CR.20B : Two-seat trainer, communications aircraft. Built in small numbers.

Operators[edit | edit source]

 Austria
 Hungary
 Italy
Flag of Lithuania (1918–1940).svg Lithuania
File:Flag of Paraguay.svg Paraguay
 Poland
 Spain
 Soviet Union

Specifications (CR.20)[edit | edit source]

Data from The Complete Book of Fighters [3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One, pilot
  • Length: 6.70 m (21 ft 11¾ in)
  • Wingspan: 9.80 m (32 ft 1¾ in)
  • Height: 2.75 m (9 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 25.65 m² (276.1 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 980 kg (2,160 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 1,400 kg (3,068 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Fiat A.20, 331 kW (420 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 270 km/h (146 knots, 168 mph)
  • Range: 750 km[4] (460 m)
  • Endurance: 3 hours
  • Service ceiling: 7,500 m[5] (24,600 ft)
  • Climb to 5,000 m (16,400 ft): 13.62 min

Armament

  • Guns: 2 × 7.7 mm (.303 in) machine guns

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Notes
  1. Taylor 1981, pp. 54–55.
  2. von Rauch 1976, pp. 210–211.
  3. Green and Swanborough 1990, p. 205.
  4. Angelucci 1983, p. 124.
  5. Taylor 1981, p. 54.
Bibliography
  • Angelucci, Enzo. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. San Diego, California: The Military Press, 1983. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
  • Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. New York:Smithmark, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
  • von Rauch, Gerd. "The Green Hell Air War". Air Enthusiast Quarterly, Number Two, 1976, pp. 207–213. Bromley, UK:Pilot Press.
  • Taylor, Michael J.H. Warplanes of the World 1918-1939. London: Ian Allen, 1981. ISBN 0-7110-1078-1.

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