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Fiat Cr.20

Kingdom of Italy (1926)
Picture of Fiat Cr.20 All-Metal Single-Seat Biplane Fighter Aircraft

The Fiat CR.20 marked the first aircraft by engineer Celestino Rosatelli to feature all-metal construction.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Fiat Cr.20 All-Metal Single-Seat Biplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/31/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The original Fiat CR.1 single-seat biplane fighter of 1924 was succeeded, rather quickly, by the CR.20 of 1926. The mark proved a substantial upgrade to the earlier offering in that it was completed in all-metal construction (the CR.1 used fabric-over-wood). Also unlike the CR.1, which had an" inverted" sesquiplane biplane arrangement (the lower element of wider span than the upper), the CR.20 reverted to a more standard sesquiplane where the upper element was of greater span than the lower. First-flight was had on June 19th, 1926 and the aircraft went on to be produced in the hundreds across a handful of variants (detailed below).

The CR.20 marked the first of fighter designs attributed to Celestino Rosatelli to feature all-metal construction during a time when such-a-technique was becoming commonplace for aircraft the world over. Two prototypes were ultimately completed during1926 and both carried the Fiat A.20 V12 engine of 420 horsepower output. Like the CR.1 before it, the CR.20 exhibited strong performance characteristics and excellent handling / maneuverability to the point that the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force) took the type into inventory. The first-order totaled 88 aircraft and these came from Fiat from 1927 into 1929. Nineteen examples arrived from CMASA.

Some 250 of the standard CR.20 fighting biplanes were made. The CR.20B represented a two-seat trainer that appeared in 1927, seating its crew in tandem. The CR.20bis was produced across 235 examples and reflected a modernized form with reduced-area wings and a change to the undercarriage. The CR.20bis was also seen in the CR.20bis "AQ" mark which fitted the Fiat A.20 "AQ" engine of increased power (425 horsepower) - at the cost of reduced operational range. The CR.20bis and CR.20bis AQ variants arrived between 1930 to 1932.
The CR.20 "Asso" carried the Isotta Fraschini "Asso" engine of 450 horsepower mated to the airframe of the CR.20bis. Two-hundred four aircraft were produced to this standard from 1932-1933 (the variant regarded as the definitive CR.20 form). The CR.20 "Idro" marked a twin-float seaplane development of the CR.20 to which 46 aircraft were constructed. The CR.20B became a two-seat trainer / communications aircraft developed in 1927 and appeared in limited numbers.

Ultimately the line was adopted by several air powers of Europe - Austria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, and the Soviet Union (trialled). Paraguay five CR.20bis fighters for South America's part in the CR.20's history.

As finalized, the fighter form was given a length of 6.7 meters, a wingspan of 9.8 meters, and a height of 2.75 meters. Empty weight was 980 kilograms against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 1,400 kilograms. Maximum speed was 270 kmh with a range out to 750 kilometers and a service ceiling up to 7,500 meters.

Armament standardized across all variants was 2 x 7.7mm (0.303") machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades. There was also provision to mount a additional pair of guns, one to each fuselage side, for a more impressive offensive "punch".






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (168mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Fiat Cr.20's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
735
735


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: Kingdom of Italy
Year: 1926
Type: All-Metal Single-Seat Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Fiat - Italy
Production: 735
Global Operators:
Austria; Hungary; Kingdom of Italy; Lithuania; Paraguay; Poland; Spain; Soviet Union
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Fiat Cr.20 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
21.98 ft


Meters
6.7 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
32.15 ft


Meters
9.8 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.02 ft


Meters
2.75 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
2,161 lb


Kilograms
980 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
3,086 lb


Kilograms
1,400 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Fiat A.20 engine developing 420 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
168 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
270 kph


Knots
146 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
466 mi


Kilometers
750 km


Nautical Miles
405 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
24,606 ft


Meters
7,500 m


Miles
4.66 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,200 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
366 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
2 x 7.7mm machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mounts synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

OPTIONAL:
2 x 7.7mm machines gun fitted to fuselage sides, one gun per side.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• CR.20 - Base Series Designation; model of 1926; original production model with Fiat A.20 engine of 420 horsepower; 250 completed.
• CR.20bis - Modernized form of 1929; revised undercarriage and reduced-area wings; 235 completed.
• CR.20bis AQ - CR.20bis models fitting Fiat A.20 AQ engine of 425 horsepower; model of 1930.
• CR.20 "Asso" - Variant fitting Isotta Fraschini Asso engine of 450 horsepower; 204 examples completed.
• CR.20B - Tandem, two-seat training / communications aircraft; limited production; model of 1927.
• CR.20 "Idro" - Floatplane derivative with twin-float arrangement.