Thursday, February 19, 2015
Fiat G.55A “Post War Service”
Post WWII Fiat re opened production of the G.55 producing single and two seat examples. The type was used by the air forces of Italy, Argentina, Egypt and Syria
Before the armistice of September 1943, G.55s had participated in the defence of Rome with the 353 Squadriglia of the Regia Aeronautica. The post armistice operations were mainly with the Fascist air arm's Squadriglia 'Montefusco' based at Veneria Reale, then with the three Squadriglie which formed the 2nd Gruppo Caccia Terrestre, but losses were heavy, as a result mainly of Allied attacks on the airfields. While the war was still in progress, Fiat flew two prototypes of the G.56, which developed from the G.55 to accept the more powerful Daimler Benz DB 603A engine. Built during the spring of 1944 they incorporated minor structural changes and had the fuselage mounted machine guns deleted. The first prototype survived the war and was used subsequently by Fiat as a testbed.
Fiat reinstalled the G.55 assembly line after the war, using wartime manufactured assemblies and components to produce the G.55A single seat fighter/advanced trainer of which the prototype was first flown on 5 September 1946. If differed from the G.55 only in instrumentation and armament. The armament comprised of either two wing mounted plus two fuselage mounted 12.7 mm (0.50 in) machine guns, or two 20 mm Hispano-Suiza cannon plus two fuselage mounted 12.7 mm (0.50 in) machine guns. The Italian Aeronautica Militaire procured 19 G.55As and 30 were supplied to Argentina, which returned 17 in 1948 for resale to Egypt, these being armed with four 12.7 mm (0.50 in) Breda-SAFAT machine guns. A two seat advanced trainer variant of the G.55 had been flown in prototype form on 12 February 1946 under the designation G.55B. The Italian Aeronautica Militaire aquired 10 of these, and 15 were sold to Argentina in 1948.