Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 327819 times)

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2085 on: March 26, 2019, 05:46:40 AM »
Thanks folks! For the next bit, I've compressed the RW parts of this story (the suggestion by gen. Ilari actually came in late spring of 1943 and referred specifically to the C.205V. I've backdated developments). The aerosilurante bits are pure whif.

Bifusoliera - The 'Twin Macchi' Fighters

The 'Twin Macchi' concept originated in a recommendation from a mid-1942 by generale Eraldo Ilari, the Regia Aeronautica's new Deputy Chief of Staff for Construction and Procurement (Sottocapo di Stato maggiore per le costruzioni e gli approvvigionamenti). [1] Accordingly, Aeronautica Macchi's design office went through the motions of producing a bifusoliera or twin-fuselaged concept to satisfy generale Ilari.

Initial design work was for a twin-fuselage C.205. However, since the C.205 was just entering production, it was agreed that the first prototype 'Macchi Bifusoliera' would be based upon more readily available C.202 Folgore components. The fuselages were unchanged other the replacement of the portside cockpit with a long-range fuel tank. The two fuselages were joined by a new, constant-chord wing. This concept - known as the C.202Bif - went through three distinct phases. In the first, the original C.202 horizontal tails were retained (this was quickly abandoned in favour of a structurally-stronger, fuselage-joining single surface. In the second phase, the aircraft featured two complete sets of C.202 undercarriages. In the third phase, a new 2-piece main gear with larger tires was incorporated. [2]

Top Unbuilt Macchi C.202Bif concept (shown in its second design phase)

Armament for the C.202Bif in the long-range fighter role was to consist of four 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT guns but there was space for additional fixed guns in the wing centre section. In a caccia bombardiere, the C.202Bif/cb would mount bomb racks on the centre section and both outer wing panels. Bomb loads would consist of three 353 lb bombs or two 220 pounders with a 550 lb bomb on the centre rack. Despite all this design work, Aer.Macchi - and Dott. Ing. Castoldi in particular - made clear that it did not believe that the C.202Bif concept was worth pursuing.

Bifusoliera Aerosilurante - The 'Twin Macchi' Torpedo Fighter

In early spring 1943, generale Ilari reiterated his support for a twin-fuselaged Macchi - this time based on the C.205. This challenge was met by Castoldi's assistant, ing. Ermanno Bazzocchi. Rather than producing a generalized heavy fighter, the intent was to quickly produce an aircraft able to replace the Regia Aeronautica's S.M.79 in the torpedo-dropping role. The trimotored Savoia-Marchetti's were taking unacceptably high losses and a new operational approach was needed. To answer this, the proposed C.205 Bifusoliera would use its higher speed on approach and egress. Nearing his target, the C.205Bif would deploy air-brakes and lift-dumpers to slow his aircraft to a safe torpedo-dropping speed.

The weapon in use by the S.M.79's was a 450 mm diameter Whitehead air-dropped torpedo. [3] The problem was that this aereo siluro was 5.46 m long (without its detachable winglets) and weighed 680 kg. Fortunately for ing. Bazzocchi, the Silurificio Whitehead di Fiume had already begun work on a 'silurotto'. This short torpedo would still be of 450 mm diameter but with its length reduced to only 3.38 m (again, without those detachable winglets). The warhead remained the same but the cost was in range - which would force the C.205Bif to close with its target. Since the C.205Bif would provide enemy anti-aircraft gunners with a much smaller target than the S.M.79, this was considered an acceptable risk. [4]

The airframe of the C.205Bif was to be very similar to the third phase design of the unbuilt C.202Bif. However, wind tunnel testing showed that the Bifusoliera could benefit from a longer rear fuselage. As a result, the C.205Bif prototype fuselages were created primarily from C.205N Orione components. The port cockpit for the navigator/bombardier was set further aft to improve pilot view. The prototype's outer wing panels were standard C.205V components which were not fitted with the planned air-brakes and spoilers. This aircraft was first flown - as the C.205Bif/S (for Silurante) in the middle of August 1943.

Bottom Macchi C.205Bif/S shown in Aeronautica Sannita markings

With the Armistice of 08 September 1943, a Macchi test crew chose to answer Marshal Badoglio's call and flew the sole prototype C.205Bif/S south. In the early morning of 09 September, Allied air traffic control at the USAF's semi-completed Paestum airfield in Salerno, were surprised by the arrival of a previously unknown twin-fuselage fighter - complete with an experimental light weight torpedo. The civilian crew had taken off in the dark and skirted the Tyrrhenian coastline until reaching Allied-occupied territory. At dawn, the crew spotted Paestum's runway and quickly put their aircraft down.

The Macchi test crew were celebrated but, unfortunately, the Aeronautica Sannita (Co-Belligerent Air Force) had no real operational requirement for a torpedo-fighter. After some trial flights (including the test expediture of the 'silurotto'), the C.205Bif/S was turned over the the Aeronautica Sannita's combined Macchi C.202/C.205V Squadriglia for use as a pilot proficiency trainer. The sole C.205Bif/S was written off in that role in early 1944 as a result of a ground loop.

___________________________

[1] After the end of WW2, gen. Ilari would become a Director at Aeronautica Macchi.

[2] Although the new undercarriage design was much more robust, it was considerably lighter than the 4-legged gear. Twin tailwheels were employed for both phases of the C.202Bif design.

[3] Produced by the Silurificio Whitehead di Fiume, this airborne torpedo was properly designated W 170 x 450/5,46 Whitehead.

[4] The aircraft would retain its Mauser wing guns in the hope that these would help counter defensive gunners.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 02:39:02 AM by apophenia »
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2086 on: March 26, 2019, 07:10:37 AM »
Beautiful and suggestive of some attractive whif models.

One small typo, I believe "...- as the C.205Bif/S (for Silurante) in the middle of August 1945." should be "...- as the C.205Bif/S (for Silurante) in the middle of August 1943."

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2087 on: March 27, 2019, 12:44:09 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2088 on: March 27, 2019, 02:43:06 AM »
Cheers! And thanks Evan, the proofing is much appreciated!

It might be stating the obvious but many of these Macchi posts are for separate, sometime mutually-exclusive scenarios. The next phase will all be whiffier but the whif-designations I've tried to make inter-related.

The next designation sequence starts with the C.210 - last of the radial-engined developments. In this case, the designation refers to a 'next-generation' C.200. Where possible, Aer.Macchi stuck to that pattern but other designations were imposed by Ministero dell'Aeronautica serie numbers. The Macchi 'Teen Series' designations go as following:

C.210 - Super Saetta, BMW 801-powered evolution, developed by Breda

C.211 -  (Unbuilt Project), aka C.210bis, BMW 801-powered C.202 derivative, developed by Aer.Macchi

C.212 - (Unbuilt Project), aka C.212R or FolgoreR, a 1941 fighter project. Essentially a wing-gunned C.202 powered by a Reggiane Re.104 R.C.40 V-12 (I-F Asso L.121 derivative). Re.104 engine development was cancelled and the C.212R concept was eclipsed by the C.202bis/C.205V Veltro.

C.213 - aka C.213Z 'Zeltro', C.210 derivative powered by an Isotta-Fraschini Zeta R.C.21/60 X-24 engine (as in the SAI-Ambrosini 403 Dardo). Intended as a low-altitiude fighter-bomber, the C.213Z eclipsed an earlier project - the C.208Z fighter with a Zeta R.C.25/60 (as per Reggiane Re.2004 (I) and Caproni-Vizzola F.6MZ).

The C.213 designation had been applied earlier - unofficially - to a C.205N study employing an imported Junkers Jumo 213A-1 engine.

C.214 - aka C.214R Leone, C.205V derivative powered by a Reggiane RE.103 R.C.50-I inverted W-18 engine. One prototype (C.205V conversion).

C.215 - Super Forgore, rebuilt Forgore combining C.202 fuselage/R.A.1000 R.C.41-I engine with C.205V serie I wings.

Armament for the C.215 was 2 x synchronized, cowl-mounted 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine guns (400 rpg) and 2 x wing-mounted 7.7 mm Breda-SAFAT guns (500 rpg) firing outside the propeller arc (bringing older Forgore up to late-production C.202 serieIX-XI standards). A projected C.215V ' Veltgore ' to bring older Forgore airframes up to full C.205V standards was not pursued.

C.216 - (Unbuilt Project), aka C.216R Super Pantera, a high-altitude fighter powered by a higher-compression Reggiane Re.103 R.C.57-I engine. The C.216R was to have a hybrid structure - combining the C.206 fuselage with the longer-span wings (and 4-cannon armament) of the  C.207.

C.217 - (Unbuilt Project), aka C.217R Leonessa, another high-altitude fighter - this time powered by a Reggiane Re.103 R.C.100-I engine with a 4-speed supercharger. Based on the C.207 airframe, the wing tips were to be further extended (a la the Ta 152H).

An alternative development was the C.217AQ (for Alta Quota) powered by a Reggiane Re.105 R.C.100-I - essentially an Re.103 engine fitted with a 2-stage, 4-speed centrifugal supercharger.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 02:54:47 AM by apophenia »
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2089 on: March 27, 2019, 06:23:02 AM »
Thanks to GTX for the basis of this concept ...

Super Saetta - The Macchi C.210 Attack-Fighter

The C.210 was the ultimate development of the radial-engined C.200 Saetta. The concept derived from the earlier, Piaggio-powered C.200P and C.200bis. Those prototypes introduced the much larger-diameter Piaggio P.XI and P.XIX radials put available power increases were fairly marginal. [1] No orders followed for a Piaggio-powered derivative but the Regia Aeronautica had realized that even a dedicated fighter-bomber version of the Saetta was going to require more horsepower than available Italian radial engines could provide. And the need for such aircraft for the Corpo di Spedizione Italiano on the Russian Front was becoming critical. As a result, the Ministero dell'Aeronautica made inquiries about the availability of the most powerful German radial engine. [2]

The German BMW 801C engine could deliver 1,560 hp for take-off. Despite having a larger displacement - 41.8 litres vs 38.673 L for the P.XI - the BMW had a smaller frontal area than the Piaggios - with a diameter of 1.29 m versus 1.328 m. Weight was another matter. Whereas dry weight for the P.XI was only 650 kg, the BMW 801 tipped the scales at a hefty 1,012 kg. The trick with a BMW installation was going to be balancing all that extra weight while accommodating the jump in power output. With Aer.Macchi busy with the C.205, design work on the 'BMW Saetta' was handed over to C.200-producer, Breda.

Cavallo Vapore - For Good and for Bad

Design staff at Sesto San Giovanni quickly realized that the standard Saetta airframe could neither balance the BMW nor absorb all that added power. This was no simple re-engining job. Breda's first move was to extend the C.200 rear fuselage in an attempt to counterbalance all that Teutonic iron added up front. A low dorsal addition to the tail fin was also made to help offset propeller torque. Although few finished C.200 fuselage components could be used, such an airframe could be assembled fairly quickly using basic C.200 parts. Work began on assembling what became the C.210 Super Saetta prototype with roll-out occuring in September 1942.

Breda's production of XX serie C.200s was completed in October 1942. Flight testing had just been transferred from the company's Bresso airfield to Guidonia for Regia Aeronautica trials ... but the Ministero dell'Aeronautica was already pushing for a rapid production line turn over to C.210s. As always, flight tests revealed 'bugs' in the design which need attention. Most critically, the production-standard C.210 would have its motor mounts shortened to address balance issues (causing C.210 service pilots to complain of flying with their 'feet in the fire'). Breda designers also draughted a completely new tailplane for the C.210. The fin and rudder closely resembled that of the C.200 but the production Super Saetta's tail was considerably taller.

The flying qualities of the Super Saetta never came close to matching those of its stablemates. Handling was generally 'twitchy' with a tendency to swing dramatically on take-off. Nor did the C.210 quite match its description as a Caccia da Assalto -  with a fixed armament of only two 12.7 mm machine guns and two rather light-weight wing pylons for bombs. Load-carrying was disappointing but, for rapid production, the MdA had rejected Breda's proposal to widen the C.200's wing centre-section for allow a centre-line bomb rack. That said, an unladened C.210 was much faster than its predecessor giving the Super Saetta much better odds at a successful egress once its bombs were gone.

Any disappointment that Regia Aeronautica pilots felt over the Super Saetta were relatively short-lived. After only six months of C.210 production, the MdA decided that Breda's Sesto San Giovanni factory floorspace would be better employed building C.205V Veltro fighters instead.

________________________

[1] The C.200bis' Piaggio P.XIX RC.35 delivered 1,180 hp or 310 hp more than the C.200's Fiat A.74. The C.200P's Piaggio P.XIbis engine put out 1,025, an increase of only 155 hp.

[2] Deliveries of German-made engines like the DB 601A to Italy had been slow but it was hoped that German authorities would be more cooperative since the aircraft in question was intended primarily for use on the Russian Front.
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2090 on: March 27, 2019, 10:46:18 AM »
Very nice whif fodder there.  I wonder if someone will try to marry the BMW 801 with the C.202 or other inline airframe, using the Fw-190 as something of a guide?  Much as the Ki-61 was modified into the Ki-100.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 11:25:55 AM by elmayerle »

Offline PantherG

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2091 on: March 27, 2019, 03:33:06 PM »
I think, that Mc-200 is better solution for BMW-801, then Mc-202 ....

Apophenia: Your work is just amazing....  :-*
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Offline PantherG

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2092 on: March 27, 2019, 07:52:34 PM »
I look in my stash..... Mc-200 (Revell) and Fw-190A-8 (Airfix) .... I think, that I try made it .... Mc-210  ;)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 07:57:18 PM by PantherG »
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2093 on: March 28, 2019, 01:47:26 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2094 on: March 28, 2019, 03:58:32 AM »
That's a killer concept and the MC-210CA is a real stunner!

Once again, your rendering of that famous splotchy camo is superb!

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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2095 on: March 28, 2019, 11:24:48 AM »
Well, since I have a couple of spare front ends from a pair of Fw190A-3s, converted to Fw190TLs, and several Mc.202 kits, I'm going to look at blending the two.  Perhaps done as a C.211 prototype, inspired by the C.210?

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2096 on: March 29, 2019, 03:03:02 AM »
Zowie ... it would be too cool to see the C.210 and C.211 both rendered in styrene!  :smiley:

Macchi C.205V Engine Alternatives - The C.214R Leone

Aeronautica Macchi had no manner of luck with modern aero-engines. The DB 601/Monsoni was ideal for the C.202 Folgore but supplies were always limited - from both Alfa Romeo and Daimler-Benz. Then came the more powerful DB 605A-1 and its domestically-built version - the Fiat R.A.1050 R.C.58-I Tifone - for which there was even greater competition among Italian airframe manufacturers. When the serie 6 fighters were announced by the Ministero dell'Aeronautica, the chronic engine shortage problem looked set to be repeated. Alternative high-powered inline aero-engines were needed.

While Dott. Ing. Mario Castoldi tweaked his C.206 and C.207 designs to meet the serie 6 fighter requirements, his assistant ing. Ermanno Bazzocchi prepared the in-production C.205V Veltro for possible alternative engines. The Ministero dell'Aeronautica had mooted a serie 4 fighter contest for in-production aircraft reworked to take a 1,575 hp Reggiane Re.103 R.C.50-I engine. [1] This new OMI Reggiane engine was an 18 Cilindra M - that is, an 18-cylinder 'M' or inverted 'W' powerplant. At 920 kg, the Re.103 falls right between the C.205's Tifone and the C.207's DB 603A in dry weight.

It was quickly concluded that a standard C.205V airframe could just accommodate the bulkier Reggiane engine. So, ing. Bazzocchi oversaw the conversion of a damaged C.205V (which had nosed-over on soft ground). This work was fairly quickly accomplished and the converted C.214R (for Re.103) - as the new serie 4 fighter would be redesignated - was rolled out at Macchi's Varese-Schiranna plant in mid-April 1944. Manufacturer's trials were complete and the C.214R prototype was due to be delivered to the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana. However, the C.214R Leone (Lion) prototype was destroyed in the Macchi experimental assembly shed by Allied bombing on 01 May 1944.

Testing of the C.214R Leone prototype had revealed no major problems (other than some nose-heaviness) by the time of its destruction. Aer.Macchi's enthusiasm for the project had waned somewhat however. The MdA had instructed OMI Reggiane to deliver a pre-production Re.103 to Macchi but Reggiane was anything but co-operative with its Varese rival. [2] In the meantime, ing. Bazzocchi had turned his attention to another engine conversion - the C.213Z.

(To be continued ...)

________________________

[1] The serie 4 grouping may seem anomolous. This designation number was a 'left-over' from an initial plan to use the Re.104 engine - a fuel-injected V-12 derived from the Isotta-Fraschini Asso L.121 R.C.40. The Re.104 was intended to replace DB 601A/Monsoni in Regia Aeronautica service. However, over time, the Re.104 V-12 was seen as underpowered and replaced in planning by the larger, W-18 Re.103.

[2] OMI Reggiane's priority was to perfect the Re.103 R.C.50-I engine for its own Re.2004 fighter - a serie 4 rival to the C.214R Leone.
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2097 on: March 29, 2019, 03:30:52 AM »
Beautiful and quite plausible.  Ermano Bazzochi was a nice guy, I met him when I was over there in 1972.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2098 on: March 29, 2019, 05:04:09 AM »
Once again those are a real feast for the eyes and I've never seen mottling rendered better!

Extra points for an inverted 'V'. Always extra points for the inverted 'V'!  8)

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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2099 on: March 31, 2019, 03:45:35 AM »
Evan: Wow ... you come up with the coolest anecdotes  :smiley: What a career you've had!

I read somewhere that, after the Armistice, Castoldi tried a re-direction smear campaign, attempting to paint Bazzochi as the Fascisti colloborator. Alas, Mario couldn't anyone who was that gullible!

Brian: "Always extra points for the inverted 'V'!"  A man after my own heart  :D

Does an X-24 qualify as as half an inverted 'V'? ... I'm sucking up for extra points with this post  ;)
_________________________________

Another Stab at the  'Addestramento Caccia' - The Macchi C.209

The Macchi C.209 project has been described as a Isotta-Fraschini Delta-powered C.202 or as a C.203D redesigned for metal construction. It was neither really. But there was a relationship between the C.209 and the earlier C.203D...

When the Ministero dell'Aeronautica transfered the C.203G/C.203D project to SAI Ambrosini, Aeronautica Macchi could not argue with the logic. After all, Macchi was overstretched while SAI was under-employed. However, many at the Varese design office saw a conspiracy brewing. Ambrosini was quick to acknowledge any downsides to its C.203D demonstrator but equally quick to talk-up its own SAI.7 design as a potential replacement. Those in the Varese design office resolved to take back their original concept. The result was the Macchi C.209 'addestramento caccia' (fighter-trainer) proposal.

Best described as a re-design of the C.203D, the C.209 retained a modified version of SAI's wooden wing structure. To save weight, Varese eliminated a rib on either side of the centre line and introduced new, shortened main undercarriage legs. The metal fuselage was based on that of the C.202 but shortened through a forward bay being removed. The cockpit being relocated, retaining the same position relative to the engine bay but moved aft relative to the rear fuselage. The tailplane were standard Folgore components.

Top Macchi's detailed mockup for the proposed C.209 fighter-trainer

Projected performance for the C.209 made it ideal for the needs of the Scuola di Addestramento Bombardamento e Caccia but did not realistically address Italy's crippling shortage of aircraft-quality aluminium. As a result, the MsA could not approve of the C.209 and, in the end, the fighter-trainer contract did go to SAI Ambrosini for a re-engined, 2-seat SAI.7. The Macchi C.209 proposal was quietly abandoned ... for now.

Doppia forma a 'V' - Isotta-Fraschini's X-24 and the Macchi 'Zeltros'

Another, unrelated Macchi project powered by an Isotta-Fraschini engine was the C.208. Dubbed 'Zeltro', this project was to mount Isotta-Fraschini's radical Zeta X-24 engine [1] - in its R.C.25/60 form - in the Macchi C.205V airframe. The difficulties involved in fitting this rather bulky engine to the svelte C.205V fuselage convinced the MdA that the C.208 project was unrealistic. Macchi answered this criticism with a quick redesign employing the 'chunkier' C.210 airframe.

The Ministero dell'Aeronautica responded more positively to this 'C.210Z' proposal and commissioned a prototype conversion. Fortunately, a Breda-built C.210 fuselage had been delivered to Varese for stress testing. Combined with a pair of C.205V wings, the re-designated C.213Z airframe was all but complete. In the meantime, the MdA recommended a change in basic role from straight fighter to fighter-bomber (reasoning that the multi-cylindered Zeta would be more resilient when battle-damaged. Accordingly, the powerplant was changed to the lower-rated R.C.21/60 model. However, I-F's Zeta programme was not going well. An 'empty' engine block was delivered to Varese for installation trials but, in the end, Aer.Macchi never did receive an operational R.C.21/60 Zeta engine.

Bottom Prototype C.213Z 'Zeltro' fighter-bomber conversion with a 'dummy' engine fitted

______________________________________

[1] The Zeta X-24 engine effectively consisted of conjoined Gamma V-12 on a common crankcase. This arrangement was also tried by foreign engine-makers but none with any real success. Isotta-Fraschini also delivered a 'twin Delta in the form of the 52.5 L Sigma X-24 but, by then, Aer.Macchi had lost faith in such complex engines.
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