This single-seat biplane fighter of the Regia Aeronautica was the only one of the Italian aircraft shot down in the Battle of Britain to be repaired and made airworthy for test purposes. Coded '95-13', it belonged to the 95 Squadriglia Caccia Terrestre (of the 18 Gruppo, 56 Stormo), the Squadriglia being indicated by the '95' in the code of the aircraft. This unit was attached to the Corpo Aereo Italiano (Italian Air Corps) which was the overall title of the Regia Aeronautica units, under the command of the Luftwaffe's Luftflotte 2, which took part in the Battle of Britain. It was based at Maldegen in Belgium and was shot down by RAF Hurricanes from Martlesham Heath on 11th November 1940, force -landing near Orfordness with a fractured oil-pipe but otherwise undamaged. It was taken by road to Martlesham Heath and then, on 27th November, to Farnborough. The CR.42 was subsequently allotted the RAF serial BT474. Only limited flights were made at RAE by S/Ldr L.D. Wilson before it was flown to the AFDU at Duxford by W/Cdr I.R.Campbell-Orde on 28th April 1941, to enable that unit to develop tactics against the type, which was the standard Italian fighter in use in the Middle East theatre, by mock combat with various types of fighter in service with the RAF. During 1943 the AFDU lost interest in the type because of its obsolescence and the aircraft was selected as potential museum material. In 1979 the CR.42 was transferred to Hendon for display in the battle of Britain Hall of the RAF museum and it's currently there.
United Kingdom | Military