Little known, but impressive: Reggiane R.2005 Sagittario
As efficient and highly advanced as the Italian aviation industry of the 1930s appeared to be, it was not possible to produce powerful in-line engines. When the war broke out, at the latest, the industry had to admit that it had lost ground in this field and could not keep up with its own developments in international comparison.
A solution was hoped to be found in the licensed construction of German DB 601 and DB 605 engines. The former was used as the R.A.1000 R.C. 41-1 Monsone in successful fighter aircraft such as the M.C.202 or the Reggiane Re.2001, while for the DB 605 vulgo Fiat R.A.1050 R.C.58 Tifone, a new generation of high-performance fighters was to be constructed, the so-called Series 5.
Two designs made it to the final round of the selection process for the new Series 5 fighter. Although the Fiat G.55 Centauro was chosen as the winner in May 1942 after a comparative flight, the competitor Reggiane 2005 Sagittario made such a lasting impression with its superior flight performance that it was also put into production in a small series.
A total of 48 Re.2005 were to be delivered until the collapse of fascist Italy, which were used by a single unit, the 362a Squadriglia of the 22nd Gruppo, in the Naples-Rome area.
Sagittarios also flew on the side of the fascist successor state of the so-called "Italian Social Republic". The German Luftwaffe, impressed by the model, finally put the remaining aircraft into service. According to sources, they were still being used in the final battles over Berlin.
My model shows one of the aircraft offered in the kit. Re.2005 MM 092351 was used in the summer of 1943 by the 362a Squadriglia, 22nd Gruppo from Capua to defend against heavy US bombers flying attacks in the Naples area. By the way, the tail of this aircraft is still the only surviving original part of a Re.2005 Sagittario, all other specimens were lost in the course of history.
In 2020 this kit from Special Hobby appeared as one of the rare occasions to build a model of this impressive though not too well known aircraft in this scale. It should be noted that only one year earlier a similar kit had been released by Sword.
Special Hobby's offer includes a solid and well-designed multimedia kit, which gives the term "short run" a further positive charge. The result of 19 steps is an uncomplicated and impressive representation of this shapely aeroplane.
In my case a few resin parts have been used. This concerns both the prominent intake nozzle of the turbocharger and the exhaust system. In the latter case, the replacement of the kit parts is a clearly visible improvement of the appearance, which I would also recommend based on my current experience.
The tyres of the chassis were also exchanged for resin, but all Mg and cannon muzzles, the Pitot tubes and the position lights at the wingtips are homemade. Since they are not included in the kit, the seat belts and a scratched part instrument panel were added to the cockpit.
It is really nice that Special Hobby offers a contemporary and easy to realize kit of this interesting and yet quite rare built fighter. So I would like to say: thank you, keep up the good work!
12 additional images. Click to enlarge.