Officine Meccaniche Reggiane SA was a subsidiary of the Caproni
company, for which it built aircraft during World War I, but it had no
direct association with the aircraft industry from the end of that war
until resuming design and manufacture in the mid-1930's. In 1937 the
company began development of a single seat fighter which was based very
closely on the US Seversky Aircraft Corporation's P-35 designed by
Alexander Kartveli. A cantilever low wing monoplane with retractable
landing gear, the Reggiane Re.2000 Falco I prototype, powered by a 870
hp (649 kw) Piaggio P.XI RC.40 radial engine, was flown for the first
time in 1938. Competitive evaluation against the MC.200 resulted in
this latter aircraft being ordered into production for the Regia
Aeronautica, although the Re.2000 had shown itself to be superior in
manoeuvrability, even when flown against the Messerschmitt Bf109E.
However, the Re.2000's deficiencies (primarily structural) did not
deter export customers and the type was built for the Hungarian
government, which also acquired a manufacturing licence. The type was
operated by the Hungarian Air Force as the Hejja (hawk). Re.2000s were
supplied also to Sweden being operated until 1945 by the Flygvapen
under the designation J20. And though the type had been rejected by the
Regia Aeronautica, the Italian navy acquired 12 Re.2000 Serie II
fighters especially strengthened for catapult launching, followed by 24
Re.2000 Serie III aircraft with increased fuel capacity for deployment
as long range fighters.
(Reggiane Re.2000 Serie
III Falco "Falcon")
Type: Single Seat Long Range Fighter
Ingeniere Antonio Alessio and Roberto Longhi of Officine Meccaniche "Reggiane"
S.A. (Caproni) based on Seversky P-35. Roberto Longhi had previously
spent two years working in the United States
Officine Meccaniche "Reggiane" S.A. (Caproni) in Reggio Emilia. Also
built under licence by Mavag and Weiss Manfred in Hungary under the
name Hejja or "Hawk"
870 hp (649 kw) Piaggio P.XI RC.40 14-cylinder radial piston engine
(prototype); 1,025 hp (765 kw) Piaggio P.XIbis RC.40 14-cylinder radial
Maximum speed 325 mph (525 km/h); service ceiling 34,450 ft (10500 m).
Range: 590 miles (950 km) with
internal fuel stores.
Weight: Empty 4,200 lb