World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

IMAM Ro.37

Article Id: WHEBN0011105834
Reproduction Date:

Title: IMAM Ro.37  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Italian order of battle for the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, French Somaliland in World War II, Italian Air Force Museum, Afghan Air Force, Uruguayan Air Force
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

IMAM Ro.37

Role Reconnaissance
Manufacturer Meridionali
First flight 6 November 1933
Primary user Regia Aeronautica
Number built 617 [1]
The initial version of the Ro.37 with the Fiat A.30 inline engine.
The main production version of the Ro.37 with the Piaggio IX radial engine.

The Meridionali Ro.37 Lince (Italian: "Lynx") was a two-seater Italian reconnaissance biplane, a product of the Industrie Meccaniche Aeronautiche Meridionali (IMAM) company. It appeared in 1934 and had a composite structure of wood and metal. [2] The aeroplane first saw operational duty in Spanish Civil War, and during the Second World War it saw duty on almost all fronts, except for Russia and the English Channel. [2] It followed the Ro.1 as the main reconnaissance aircraft for the Italian army.

Development and design

A contest was held by the Regia Aeronautica for a light reconnaissance aircraft and a heavier aeroplane. The first should have 350 km/h (190 knots/220 mph) maximum speed, five hours endurance, three machine-guns and a bomblets dispenser, armour, and the capability to operate from improvised airfields. The heavier one should have 325 km/h maximum speed, at least 1,300 km (810 mi) endurance, 7,000 m (22,750 feet) ceiling, climb to 5,000m (16,000) in 19 minutes, three crew, five weapons, high wing and other details.

Limited production of the IMAM Ro.30, an improved Ro.1 with a defensive turret and better engine, resulted. It was rejected by the Regio Esercito and not chosen for production, being only capable of 200 km/h (110 knots), five hours endurance, a climb rate of 4,000 m (13,000 feet) in 20 minutes, and had three weapons.

IMAM did not give up after the modest success of the Ro.30 and so designed a new aircraft, the Ro.37, which first flew in 1933.

This was a biplane aircraft of mixed construction, with two seats, and a 560 hp Fiat A.30 inline engine. It reached 300 km/h (162 knots) and perhaps even more with this engine, the same as that of the Fiat CR.32. The Ro.37 had a 7,000 m ceiling, 3,000 m climb in 11 minutes, over 1,200 km (750 mi) endurance, three machine guns (two in the nose and one dorsal), twelve 15 kg bombs, and good agility. It was similar to the Hawker Hind, rather than a light army aircraft, and its performance was similar to the later Westland Lysander, but the contemporary British design was the Hawker Hector.

The Ro.37 was later fitted with the 600 hp Piaggio P.IX radial engine. The better reliability of this engine was considered more desirable and so this was the main version produced.

Operational service

The Ro. 37 served as standard equipment in observations units, for many years. But during WWII, and particularly on the African front, the aeroplane was used in other roles, including tactical support and fighter duty. [2] 103 Squadron was equipped in mid-1935 and swiftly employed in Ethiopia. In December this unit was sent to Somalia, and eventually another four squadrons went to this theatre: 105, 108, 109, and 110 Squadrons, for a total of ten Ro.37 and forty-one Ro.37Bis.

With the end of operations, 110 Squadron remained in the theatre, deployed in counterinsurgency tasks and serving as reinforcement for isolated garrisons.

In the meantime, the R.37 also served in the Spanish Civil War, with the first ten arriving in late 1936. Another 26 (possibly 58) went to this theatre and were used for many missions and tasks. They were used as assault aircraft, even though they were unarmoured. The results were satisfactory and some were even converted to a single-seat machine for use as attack fighters. The two-seat versions were used as heavy fighters, providing protection for S.81 bombers from Republican I-15s.

It is not known if there were any air-to-air victories.

The Ro.37 was generally liked by pilots, and the only complaint was that aircraft was prone to damage to the undercarriage, and had some engine faults.

The aircraft was produced until 1939 with a total of 569 (237 + 332bis) produced, and as late as 1940 there were provisions to have 17 Squadron equipped with this machine. In fact, the Ro.37 continued to be used as reconnaissance aircraft for years, since its replacement, the Caproni Ca.311, proved unsatisfactory.

Ro.37 were also quite widely exported (ten to Uruguay, sixteen to Afghanistan, fourteen to Hungary, eight to Austria, and one to Ecuador) and around 280 were in service in 1940, in thirty squadrons consisting of 215 aircraft.

Some were in service up to 1943 and perhaps even later. They were very vulnerable, but in the war Italy did not have sufficient resources to produce a better observation aircraft, not even the Ro.63, a superior aircraft, similar to the Storch, but with more endurance.


The last of the classic biplanes made by IMAM was this machine, an enhanced Ro.37. It was 10.37 m length, with a 12.32 m wingspan. First flight was on 10 December 1935.

The 820 hp Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI.RC40 engine boosted maximum speed to 350 km/h, ceiling to 8,000 m, and endurance to 2,250 km. Destined for long-range reconnaissance and light bombing, it remained a single prototype for unknown reasons: perhaps it was rated too costly or the improvements over the Ro.37 were not enough.


Ro.37 - Reconnaissance biplane.
Ro 37bis - Improved version.
Ro.43 - Regia Marina reconnaissance floatplane.
Ro.44 - Regia Marina single-seat fighter floatplane.


 Kingdom of Italy

Specifications (Meridionali Ro.37)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 28 ft 1 in (8.56 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 4 in (11.08 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 4 in (3.15 m)
  • Wing area: 337.46 sq ft (31.35 m²)
  • Empty weight: 3,494 lb (1,585 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 5,335 lb (2,420 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Piaggio P.IX RC.40, 9-cylinder, air-cooled, radial, piston engine, 560 hp (418 kW)


  • Two 7.7mm (0.303in) fixed forward firing Breda-SAFAT machine guns
  • One 7.7mm (0.303in) flexible mount machine gun in rear cockpit
  • 397 lb (180kg) of bombs on underfuselage racks
Engine Length Weight
Speed Climb to 4000 m Ceiling Endurance
A.30 8.62 m 1563 kg / 2425 kg 325 km/h 9 min 15 sec 6,700 m 1,650 km
P.IX 8.57 m 2040 kg / 2425 kg 320 km/h 9 min 30 sec 7,500 m 1,300 km

See also

Related lists


  1. ^ IMAM Ro.37
  2. ^ a b c Angelucci and Matricardi 1978, p. 190.
  • Angelucci, Enzo and Paolo Matricardi. World Aircraft: World War II, Volume I (Sampson Low Guides). Maidenhead, UK: Sampson Low, 1978. ISBN 0-562-00096-8.
  • (Italian) Bignozzi, Giorgio. Aerei d'Italia. Milano, Edizioni E.C.A 2000
  • Cull, Brian with Frederick Galea. 249 at Malta: Malta top-scoring Fighter Squadron 1941-1943. Malta, Wise Owl Publications, 2004. ISBN 978-99932-32-52-0
  • (Italian) De Marchi, Italo - Tonizzo, Pietro. CANT. Z. 506 "airone"- CANT. Z. 1007 "alcione" . Modena, Mucchi Editorr, 1997. NO ISBN.
  • Green, William. War Planes of the Second World War: Volume Six - Floatplanes. London:Macdonald, 1962.
  • (English) Gunston, Bill. Gli aerei della seconda guerra mondiale. Milano, Alberto Peruzzo Editore, 1984
  • Gunston, Bill (2001), The Illustrated Directory of Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Salamander, ISBN 1-84065-092-3
  • Marcon, Tullio L'aviazione per il regio esercito Storia Militare magazine July 1995. (Italian)
  • Mondey, David (1984), The Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II, Chancellor Press, ISBN 1 85152 966 7* Mondey, David. The Hamlyn Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II. London: Bounty Books, 2006. ISBN 0-7537-1460-4.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985), 1985, Orbis Publishing

External links

  • [1]
  • IMAM Ro.37 and its derivatives
  • Comando Supremo
  • Stormo Magazine (on line), IMAM Ro.37
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.