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IMAM Ro.57

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IMAM Ro.57

Ro.57
The first Ro.57 prototype, MM-407
Role Fighter/Dive bomber
Manufacturer Industrie Meccaniche e Aeronautiche Meridionali (IMAM)
Designer Giovanni Galasso
First flight 1939
Introduction 1943
Primary user Regia Aeronautica
Number built 50-75
Developed into IMAM Ro.58



The IMAM Ro.57 was an Italian twin-engined, single-seat monoplane fighter of the Regia Aeronautica. Based on a 1939 design by Giovanni Galasso the aircraft did not enter production until 1943. By the time it entered service it was considered obsolete.

Two hundred aircraft were ordered, but only 50-75 were produced in two versions, one flown as an interceptor, the other in the role of a ground attack aircraft.[1]

Design and development

The Ro.57 was preceded by another twin engine fighter design, the Ro.53, which never entered production. The Ro.57 consisted of an all-metal, semi-monocoque fuselage with a steel skeleton and Duralumin structure. The wings were also Duralumin.

Powered by two 840 hp (630 kW) Fiat A.74 radial engines giving a maximum speed of 516 km/h, which in 1939 was better than that of the main Italian fighter, the Macchi C.200 (504 km/h). After testing at Guidonia it was proposed by IMAM for use as a dive bomber. This transformation, which involved the addition of dive brakes, provision for 500 kg bombs and an improved forward firing armament (adding two 20 mm cannon),[2] took time and delayed production. The resulting aircraft was designated the Ro.57bis. Performance dropped to 457 km/h maximum speed and to 350 km/h at cruise speed. The Ro.57bis was ordered into production in 1942 and entered service with the 97° Gruppo in 1943. About 50-60 aircraft were delivered.[3]

It is said that the Ro.57 could have been the long range interceptor that Italy lacked throughout the war. It proved to be too costly for the limited weapons it carried and it never was assigned a clear role. A better-armed version with more powerful engines was developed as the Ro.58.

Variants

Ro.57
Single-seat fighter with Fiat A.74 radial engines, and two 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns
Ro.57bis
Single-seat dive bomber version, fitted with two additional 20 mm cannon

Operators

Specifications (Ro.57)

Data from Warplanes of the Second World War, Fighters Volume 2 [2]

General characteristics
  • Crew: One
  • Length: 8.80 m (28 ft 10½ in)
  • Wingspan: 12.50 m (41 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 2.90 m (9 ft 6⅛ in)
  • Wing area: 23.0 m² (248 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 3,497 kg (7,694 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Fiat A.74 R.C.38 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, 627 kW (840 hp) each

Performance

Armament
  • 2 × 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns
  • See also

    Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

    Related lists

    References

    • Lembo, Daniele Officine Ferroviarie Meridionali IMAM, Aerei nella Storia magazine n.34 Nov 2003, Delta editions, Parma. (Italian)

    External links

    • Commando Supremo: IMAM Ro.57
    • IMAM Ro.57 (Russian)
    • Italian Aircraft 1939-45
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