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
side view of the prototype -been recoloured..
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.
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.
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.