Italy's air force during World War 2 (1939-1945) - the Regia Aeronautica -relied on a broad collection of fighter types resulting from a modernization program enacted in the pre-war period. The Aeronautica Umbra Trojani 18, or "AUT.18", was another product of the period designed to the same air service requirement as the FIAT G.50, Macchi C.200, and Reggiane Re.2000. However, it failed to impress and the sole prototype was all that was completed for the series.
Designed by Felice Trojani and ordered for formal evaluation in 1936, the aircraft was of highly conventional design layout with the engine housed at the nose, the cockpit over center, and a single tail fin at the rear. The mainplanes were set forward of midships and low-mounted at the sides of the fuselage. The members tapered towards the rounded tips. The pilot sat under a heavily framed canopy but nonetheless given relatively good vision out-of-the-cockpit. The undercarriage utilized the proven tail-dragger form, being wheeled and retractable into the design. Construction was of all-metal making for an all-modern fighter design.
Power was served through the FIAT A.80 R.C.41 series 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,044 horsepower and driving a three-bladed propeller unit centered on an enlarged spinner.
Armament centered on 2 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns - unlike other Italian fighters of the period, these fitted to the wing mainplanes (one gun to a wing).
A first-flight of the prototype (s/n M.M.363) was recorded on April 22nd, 1939 and enough was seen of the type to request additional modifications (to include a revised cowling) during the early part of 1940. Additional flight testing then followed into November 1940 but the AUT.18 did little to stand out amongst the crowded field of Italian monoplane fighters - two in-production fighters already slated for service with the Regia Aeronautica were the aforementioned FIAT G.50 and Macchi C.200 monoplanes. As such, the AUT.18 was not furthered beyond its prototype form.
As built, the AUT.18 has a running length of 28 feet, wingspan of 37.8 feet, and a height of 9.4 feet. Empty weight reached 5,110lb with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 6,560lb. Maximum speed reached 300 miles-per-hour and range was out to 500 miles. Its service ceiling was 32,800 feet.
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Aeronautica Umbra Trojani - Kingdom of Italy Manufacturer(s)
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represents the most popular modern mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
1 x FIAT A.80 R.C.41 air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,044 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose. Propulsion
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