The Reggiane Re 2005 was defined by many as "the most beautiful fighter of the axis".In fact,the Sagittario was a really beautiful airplane, with a clean and fascinating shape,but moreover it had exceptional flying charaterisics ,very powerful armament and exceptional handling.It was "the fighter" but it was limited by a slow production during the war, also due to the american bombing runs over the Reggiane factory.
However the Re 2005 could fight in the most difficult and important scenario of the Italian war ,giving evidence to its good qualities.To evaluate how the Re 2005 was considered from pilots who flew it , it can be used the sentence of General Vittorio Minguzzi :"all the series 5 fighters (Macchi 205,Fiat G55 and Re 2005) were competitive with the best aliies fighters, including Mustang and Spitfire IX,each one getting in evidence for a particular flight character.The Re 2005 in particular is the best in handling at high altitudes".

a side view of the prototype -been recoloured..
The Reggiane Re 2005 Sagittario was the ultimate refinement of a series of fighters which started with the Re 2000 Falco I and continued with the Re 2001 Ariete I and Re 2002 Ariete II.The 2005 was a turn round in the Reggiane airplanes,an occasion offered by the avaiability of the new engine Daimler-Benz DB-605 capable of producing 1475 HP.The Reggiane technical staff leaded by Ing.Alessio and Ing.Longhi devoted itself with much resolve to the realization of the new fighter and the result was of great excellence.The complete d machine had little in common with the other planes of the Reggiane fighter series.The wing structure and the empennages were retained ,while the fuselage,undercarriage,wing profiles and armament were completely new.The construction of the first prototype was started in October 1941 and completed at the end of 1942.After the first flights the prototype was sent to the Experimental Air Force Centre of Guidonia,where some modifications were requested and the Re 2005 proved to have better performance than the others series 5 fighters, with a top speed of 678 km\h at 2000 m.
The Air Force ordered 750 Reggiane, but only few were produced.A series was produced also for the Luftwaffe.

The first Sagittarios consigned to the 362th squadron and inspected by Vittorio Emanuele III,King of Italy

In May of 1943, the first Sagittarios entered service with the Regia Aeronautica. The first prototype and several of the zero series aircraft were used operationally by the 362a Squadriglia, 22o Gruppo at Naples-Capodichino starting in May 1943, being used to defend Rome and Naples. The squadron had developed a rather daring method of attacking Allied B-17s which involved diving head-on with all guns blazing, then flipping the aircraft over on its back and diving away at the last minute.The Reggiane had good behaviour in close dogfight and , according to General Minguzzi, who flew both Re 2005 and Spitfire, was even better than the Spit in tight turns and handling.The operative life of the Sagittario was concluded by the Armistice , that came in the September 1943.

Several Sagittario ready to fly on alarm.

Re 2005 was used also in R.S.I. (Italian fascist Social Republic-costituited in the north of italy after Allies invasion)with good result and by luftwaffe.About Luftwaffe's use of the Sagittario many say that it was used to defend Bucharest and Berlin; their fate thereafter being unknown.At least one Re 2005 was captured by the U.S., and the fuselage of one Re 2005 survives in the Museo Aeronautico Caproni di Taledo in Milano, been restored by GAVS.