While the Allies and the Germans would reorganize some Italian air units to support their efforts in the Mediterranean, the Regia Aeronautica largely collapsed in disorder following the armistice, having been practically shot from the skies by late July 1943.
– Excerpt from Eagles over Husky
The Macchi MC205 Veltro (Greyhound) was a development of the earlier MC202 Folgore (Lightning) fighter. During Operation HUSKY, the MC205 was a relatively new piece of kit, having started operational service in February 1943. Although it was arguably one of the finest single-engine fighters of the war, it arrived too little, too late to make a significant difference for the Italian war effort. By the time of the armistice, the Regia Aeronautica had only accepted approximately 150 of these aircraft. After the armistice, a handful of examples served with the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force while a few dozen served with II Gruppe/Jagdgeschwader 77 as the German fighter wing rebuilt in autumn 1943. The Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana (Italian Social Republic Air Force) also used surviving aircraft and the remaining production run of the Macchi plant in Northern Italy into 1944.
Type: single-seat fighter
Powerplant: one 1100kW (1475hp) Fiat RA.1050 RC.58 Tifone 12-cylinder inverted-Vee engine
Performance: maximum speed 642km/h (399mph); climb to 5000m (16,405ft) in 4 minutes 47 seconds; service ceiling 11,000m (36,090ft); range 1040km (646 miles)
Weights: empty 2581kg (5691lb); normal take-off 3224kg (7108lb); maximum take-off 3408kg (7514lb)
Wingspan: 10.59m (34ft 9in)
Length: 8.85m (29ft)
Height: 3.04m (10ft)
Armament: two 12.7mm (0.5in) fixed forward-firing machine guns in the upper part of the forward fuselage and two 20mm (0.79in) forward-firing cannon in the leading edges of the wing, plus bomb load of 320kg (705lb)
The Macchi MC205 served in limited numbers with the following Regia Aeronautica fighter wing based in Sicily, Calabria (the Italian toe), and Puglia (the heel). These units also flew Macchi MC202s.
- 4 Stormo Caccia Terrestre (CT)
- 9 Gruppo CT
- 73 Squadriglia
- 96 Squadriglia
- 97 Squadriglia
- 10 Gruppo CT
- 84 Squadriglia
- 90 Squadriglia
- 91 Squadriglia
- 9 Gruppo CT