Air Enthusiast 1994-09
D.Nicolle - Arab-Italian Fighters
Fiat G55 of the Syrian Air Force, 1950. Small white Arabic numerals on the fin are believed to be 110.
Another Fiat G.55 of 5 Squadron REAF, probably photographed at Al Ballah early in 1949 when the RAF was providing intensive training courses for Egyptian pilots in the wake of the Palestine War.
The first batch of Fiat G.55 fighters delivered to the Syrian Air Force in 1950. Although all the aircraft have light earth and green upper surface, and sky-blue undersides, at least two still lack SAF roundels. The serial number of the closest machine, in small white Arab numerals near the tip of the tail fin, appears to be 110.
One of the Fiat G.55B two-seater conversion trainers sold to Egypt. Like the Macchis, the Fiats were delivered to Egypt in an overall silver finish with the crescent and stars missing from the central discs of their roundels. The serial numbers allocated to REAF Fiats are unknown but are believed to have run from 1260.
Fiat G.55 of 5 Squadron REAF after it had landed short of fuel at RAF Faid in the Suez Canal Zone in the last week of 1948. Like the Macchi MC.205 which was similarly obliged to land at Faid, this Fiat has RAF Desert Air Force camouflage, a black-outlined white fuselage band, and black and white wingtip stripes. The latter went around both the upper and lower surfaces. The serial number barely visible on the fuselage band is 1260 in Arab numerals.
Fiat and SAF pilots and technicians in front of the first batch of Fiat G.55 fighters delivered to Syria, photographed at Al Mezze outside Damascus. From the left: Col Tozzi, technician Pratesi, technician Brusa, S/L Cumani, technician Giaretti and technician Landucci.
Another view of the Fiat G.55 that 'visited' Faid during December 1948.
REAF Fiat G.55 1260 at the RAF airbase of Faid in the Canal Zone towards the end of the Palestine War.
The G.55/I Centauro which saw some considerable service with Italy's Aviazione Nazionale Repubblicana which continued the war on the side of Germany after the armistice between Italy and the Allies.
Macchi MC ,205V of 2 Squadron, January 1949. Note the black-outlined fuselage band, with the Arabic serial 1213 on it. The individual code letter ‘K’ was relatively crudely painted on.
Former Egyptian Macchi MC.205V re-purchased by Italy and now in the Italian Air Force Museum. It originally carried the REAF serial number 1243. Most REAF Macchis with serial numbers from 1201 to 1224 were delivered late in 1948 or early 1949. Those with higher serial numbers were delivered later and probably retained their silver finish.
Появление в Египте итальянских истребителей MC-205 со временем вызвало стойкое убеждение, что ВВС этой страны заодно получили и куда более мощные "Фиаты" G-55.
Истребитель "Макки" MC.205V ВВС Египта
MC.205 1214 of 2 Squadron landed at the RAF air base of Paid, short of fuel, during the last days of December 1948.
After re-assembly at Almaza outside Cairo, the REAF’s first batch of Macchi MC.205V fighters were given RAF Desert Air Force-style camouflage using paint from ex-RAF stocks. They also carried the black-outlined white rear fuselage band and black and white wingtip stripes applied to all REAF fighters during the latter part of the Palestine War. Illustrated is a 2 Squadron aircraft with the serial number 1214 in black Arab numerals on the fuselage band which was photographed after it had landed short of fuel at RAF Faid in the Suez Canal Zone in the last week of 1948.
The first batch of Macchi MC.205V fighters sold to Egypt, some of which were damaged by a Zionist terrorist attack at Venegono in Italy prior to delivery to Egypt. These aircraft had an overall silver finish with a black anti-dazzle panel in front of the cockpit. Green and white REAF roundels were applied but lacked the central crescent and stars until they were re-assembled in Egypt.
Macchi MC.205V.
One of the two Macchi MB 308 ‘tourist aircraft’ given to Egypt in the wake of the MC.205V deal.