Reggiane Re.2001 Falco II (Falcon II) Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft
Development and production of the Reggiane Re.2001 series proved slow, yielding just 237 examples in all.
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While the other major global participant of World War 2 found tremendous successes with their various and numerous wartime fighter mounts, the Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) operated a rather contained collection of fighter types - many of which were quite good designs and only limited by protracted development periods, Italian industry, and limited production numbers. Such was the case with the capable Reggiane Re.2001 "Falco" series which was introduced in 1941 and saw just 237 aircraft delivered by war's end. As such, they left a very limited footprint on the Italian war effort - despite having fought with both Axis and Allied sides in the war
The Reggiane concern ("Officine Meccaniche Reggiane SpA") operated under the banner of parent company Caproni and was headquartered out of Reggio Emilia in north-central Italy. Founded in 1901, it still maintains operations in the machinery field today (though as "Reggiane Cranes and Plants SpA").
Reggiane Engineers Roberto Longhi and Antonio Alessio were credited with the work that brought about an earlier form of the Reggiane Re.2001 known as the Reggiane "Re.2000". This low-wing monoplane aircraft with enclosed cockpit first flew in May of 1939 and was introduced in 1940 while being produced in over 180 examples. However, the aircraft was deemed unsatisfactory for use by the Regia Aeronautica and therefore originally sold through as export products to both Hungary and Sweden.