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"Italian Macchi 205" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A preliminary report on the WWII Italian Macchi 205 single-seat fighter, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 30, July 29, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


A report recently received of the first examination of the Macchi 205, a new Italian single-seat fighter, indicates that this plane is structurally identical with the 202 (see Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 22 p. 1) and not easily distinguishable from it. It is a single engine, low wing monoplane, with a moderately-tapered wing, and camber-changing flaps inter-connected with the ailerons. There is an adjustable stabilizer, and the landing gear retracts hydraulically inward.

As was anticipated, the basic Macchi 202 (see sketch) airframe has been retained, but a somewhat surprising development was the installation of a Daimler-Benz 605 engine similar to that in the Me-109G instead of a reported new Italian Isotta-Fraschini in-line engine, suggesting that the latter may not have been a success. The D.B. 605 A-1 engine fitted in the MC-205 examined was built by Fiat, under license.

Armor protection is the same as on the 202, with the pilot's shaped one-piece bucket seat of the same dimensions and thickness of 8 mm. Also the head piece of 8 mm, which fits the back of the head fairing, is the same. There is a 2 inch laminated, bullet-proof windshield. A semi-circular section of plate, 8-mm thick and 10 inches high by 22 inches wide, is attached to the top of the front end of the gasoline tank, behind the pilot's head, effectively covering and overlapping the 7-inch gap between the seat back and the head piece.

Fuel capacity of the 205 is the same as the 202, there being one tank immediately behind the pilot's head, one beneath his legs, and one small tank in each wing root.

The original armament of the 202, consisting of two 12.7-mm Breda machine guns, on fixed mountings above the motor, with centers 14 inches apart, has been increased in the 205 by the installation of two 7.7-mm Breda light machine guns, one in each wing at a point 11 feet 7 inches from the wing tip, the muzzle being recessed 2 inches behind the leading edge. Ammunition capacity for the 12.7-mm machine guns is the same as for the MC-202, 350 rounds per gun. Each 7.7-mm gun is fed from a container, housed below the skin of the upper surface of each wing, outward towards the wing tips. The container is 2 feet 3 inches long by 8 inches deep by 3 inches wide. Further unconfirmed reports suggest that later models may be equipped with a 20-mm shell-gun.

No bomb carrier or bombing equipment were fitted, but it is reported that two 220 pound bombs can be carried.

All radio equipment had been removed from the aircraft examined, and most of the other instruments, but the cockpit layout appeared identical to that of the MC-202. The control column was marked "202". A control box found, indicated the use of B .30 type radio, but without the direction finder, the relative switch being locked at "off". Racks in the fuselage showed that the transmitter and receiver had been fitted.

[Italian Macchi 205, WWII Single-Seat Fighter Aircraft]

Although the MC-205 has not yet been identified in any substantial numbers, it appears likely that this is due to its resemblance to the 202 and that in fact they are operational in the Mediterranian at the present time. As it is one of the latest Italian fighters, it may well be that the Italians have finally abandoned their concept of a 2-gun fighter, and are making the addition of wing-guns a standard modification.


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