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whiff FIAT GR.1 Gheppio 1943, by gnomemeansgnome
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 Post subject: whiff FIAT GR.1 Gheppio 1943, by gnomemeansgnome
PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 3:17 am 
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The venerable Airfix FIAT G.50bis......Seemed every time I was looking in the stash for something else one of these would get in my face. Thinking I might treat myself to a relative no-brainer kit to keep the mojo going. Well, you know how it is....having already built this kit many years ago i questioned why I would bother with another especially since I didn't have all the decals I needed, and most of what I had at hand were those dodgy rub-on transfers so favoured by Supermodel and others at one time. Then while I was assembling I wondered how it might look if re-imagined as a biplane. It seemed a suitable candidate with that open cockpit. Anyways this is how it came to be a biplane instead. The top wing was carved and shaped out of plastic card, given struts and posts looking vaguely like cabane struts glued on with white or pva glue as I don't intend to keep it in this configuration for long.

Guiseppe Gabrielli, the FIAT G.50bis' chief designer, was understandably annoyed by the failure of his original G.50 design to redeem itself once war came as a fighter capable of holding its own against the Bf109 or the Spitfire. He and his fellow FIAT engineer Celestino Rosatelli who of course also designed the robust and maneuverable but also manifestly obselete CR.42 Falco set about in early 1940 to attempt to distill the best attributes of their previous designs. The result, dubbed 'Il Gheppio' (kestrel), combined the then-modern aerodynamic feature of a retractable main landing gear and the biplane to maintain an almost balletlike level of maneuverability but at faster speeds then either the Falco or the Freccia. There was brief interest in the type from the Regia Marina who saw it as a potential fighter/scout bomber for their aircraft carriers then under construction, as well as Hungary who fancied its close support potential as well. A second prototype was to be mated to a Daimler-Benz DB-601 for flight testing which would have resulted in the world's fastest biplane fighter. In the end it too was doomed to be conceptually outdated, and one prototype was last seen in this guise shortly after the Armistice. That explains why only the Savoy cross and crest and white ID band are on the airframe; all Fascist badging was obscured or overpainted after the deposition of Mussolini in the summer of 1943. While a failure as a outdated concept, it was the mating of the DB-600 series engine to a G.50bis (FIAT G.50V for Veloce) that helped pave the way for what is often considered to be Italy's best all round single piston engined fighter of the Second World War, the FIAT G.55 Centauro.


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whiff FIAT GR.1 Gheppio 1943, by gnomemeansgnome
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 Post subject: Re: whiff FIAT GR.1 Gheppio 1943, by gnomemeansgnome
PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 9:16 am 
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Excellent!! That looks totally authentic and the camouflage is brilliant

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whiff FIAT GR.1 Gheppio 1943, by gnomemeansgnome
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 Post subject: Re: whiff FIAT GR.1 Gheppio 1941, by gnomemeansgnome
PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 12:08 pm 
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That looks just right. Great idea and execution

David


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whiff FIAT GR.1 Gheppio 1943, by gnomemeansgnome
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 Post subject: Re: whiff FIAT GR.1 Gheppio 1943, by gnomemeansgnome
PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 5:45 pm 
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Cheers, fellas!

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whiff FIAT GR.1 Gheppio 1943, by gnomemeansgnome
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 Post subject: Re: whiff FIAT GR.1 Gheppio 1943, by gnomemeansgnome
PostPosted: November 12th, 2017, 12:10 am 
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Very nice, and the camo is excellent.

Nigel


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