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Fiat G.50 Freccia (Arrow)

Kingdom of Italy (1938)
Picture of Fiat G.50 Freccia (Arrow) Single-Seat Monoplane Fighter Aircraft

The Fiat G.50 Freccia was initially tested on the combat grounds that was the Spanish Civil War.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Fiat G.50 Freccia (Arrow) Single-Seat Monoplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/31/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Fiat G.50 Freccia (meaning "Arrow") series provided the Italian Air Force with a then-modern monoplane fighter featuring a retractable undercarriage, all-metal construction and an enclosed cockpit. During this period in aviation history, these three design features alone were strong distinguishers between older generation 1920/1930-era fighters and the new breed appearing almost monthly across the globe. The G.50 fought on from 1938 through to the end of the war in 1945 - the latter years to a lesser extent - being utilized in a variety of roles and by a handful of very different operators. An impressive total of 791 G.50's were produced.

Design of the G.50 began as soon as 1935 to which the prototype was made available for first flight two years later on February 26th. Despite the aircraft's relatively modern design, it did not prove to be a substantial leap when compared to other previous modern Italian attempts. Despite this, the aircraft was well accepted for her speed and maneuverability and put into production. In its early form as with an enclosed cockpit, the G.50 received its baptism of fire as part of the Italian involvement in the Spanish Civil War. The aircraft - at least by 1938 standards - proved a worthy success and became a mainstay of the modern Italian Air Force, or Regia Aeronautica. Pilot reaction to the aircraft was generally good, though the Italian flyboys were not as fond of her greenhouse framed canopy. As such, the follow-up production models were actually built with an open-air cockpit instead - effectively advancing Italian aviation by a two steps forward, one step back philosophy.
Design-wise, the G.50 was a standard low-wing monoplane with rounded edges, a smooth yet stout-looking fuselage and a conventional empennage. The radial engine was housed in a characteristically Fiat cowl, sporting a three-bladed propeller and conical spinner. Wings were positioned just below and ahead of the cockpit position. The canopy featured a framed forward section and a "razorback" style rear section, integrating into the tail section. The main gear systems of the undercarriage were fully retractable while the tail wheel was not.

The G.50 was pressed into further combat in the coming years, playing a limited role in the Battle of Britain though it saw considerably more action in the skies over North Africa. Finland received at least 35 of the aircraft via export and used them to good effect in the Soviet invasion of the country from 1939 through 1944. By 1944, however, the G.50 had far surpassed its pinnacle and was becoming wholly inadequate against the later Allied and Soviet fighters. Part shortages and the fall of Italy all contributed to the aircraft's fall from any type of grace it had achieved just years earlier.

Compared with her contemporaries, the G.50 lacked firepower to a degree, being armed with two synchronized 12.7mm heavy caliber machine guns provided for by Breda-SAFAT. Beyond this arrangement, the G.50 carried no other armament. Power for the Freccia came in the form of the single Fiat A.74 RC38 series radial engine, delivering upwards of 838 horsepower. Performance specifications were adequate, sporting a top speed of 301 miles per hour, a range of 418 miles and a service ceiling of 32,258 feet. A rate-of-climb of 44.9 feet per second was also reported.

A handful of variants existed beginning with the base G.50 production model. The G.50 bis followed with improved range and was produced to the tune of 421 examples. The G.50ter was a single example model featuring the Fiat A.76 engine of 1,000 horsepower. Similarly, the G.50V existed in a single form, this one being fitted with a German Daimler-Benz DB 601 series engine. A prototype two-seat fighter-bomber was produced as the G.50bis A/N. The G.50B would have been the designation afforded to a two-seat trainer model of the base G.50. Experimentation with the Daimler-Benz DB 601-powered G.50 led to the development of the off-shoot G.55 fighter series fitted with DB 605 engines.

Operators of the aircraft included Germany and Italy along with Croatia, Finland, Spain and Yugoslavia. The G.50 was the design brainchild of Italian engineer Giuseppe Gabrielli.






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: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (293mph).

    Graph average of 225 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 G.50 Freccia (Arrow)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
791
791


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: Kingdom of Italy
Year: 1938
Type: Single-Seat Monoplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Fiat - Italy
Production: 791
Global Operators:
Croatia; Finland; Nazi Germany; Kingdom of Italy; Spain; Yugoslavia
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 G.50 Freccia (Arrow) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
25.56 ft


Meters
7.79 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
35.96 ft


Meters
10.96 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.71 ft


Meters
2.96 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
4,354 lb


Kilograms
1,975 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
5,324 lb


Kilograms
2,415 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Fiat A.74 RC38 14-cylinder radial piston engine developing 838 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
293 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
472 kph


Knots
255 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
416 mi


Kilometers
670 km


Nautical Miles
362 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
32,267 ft


Meters
9,835 m


Miles
6.11 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

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

STANDARD:
2 x 12.7mm synchronized Breda-SAFAT machine guns
Variants: Series Model Variants
• G.50 - Initial Production Model Designation.
• G.50bis - "Improved" G.50 model with increased operational range; 421 examples produced.
• G.50ter - Single Production Example fitted with Fiat A.76 series engine of 1,000 horsepower.
• G.50V - Single Prduction Model Example fitted with Daimler-Benz DB 601 series engine.
• G.50bis A/N - Single Example Prototype Model of two-seat bomber variant.
• G.50B - Two-Seat Conversion Trainer