perjantai 11. elokuuta 2017

Fiat G50 1941 -1942

The G.50 saw its longest and most successful service in the two Finnish wars against the Soviet Union, the Winter War of 1939-1940 and the Continuation War of 1941-1944. At the end of 1939, before the outbreak of hostilities, Finland ordered 35 Fiat G.50s. The first 10 aircraft were to be delivered before February 1940. 
Propeller attachments

                                                       Propeller lubrication

A group of Finnish pilots attended a 10-hour training course at Guidonia airport and later at Fiat Aviazione in Turin. On a training flight, during a dive from 3,500 m (11,500 ft), Lieutenant Tapani Harmaja reached an estimated speed of 780 km/h (480 mph), which was considered excessive for the structural integrity of the aircraft. The windscreen was damaged.

Germany hindered the transit of the aircraft, so they were dismantled and embarked in La Spezia on the Norwegian ship Braga, which set sail for Turku, Finland, on 20 January. Because of this delay, the first G.50s did not reach No. 26 Squadron, Finnish Air Force (HLeLv 26) at Utti until February 1940.

                                                Air pressure compressor test and startup

Fills the Air Pressure Start

                                                        Fuel refueling

The G.50s were numbered from FA-1 to FA-35, but it seems that only 33 were delivered. Squadron No 26 received from material command G.50 fighters according to the table below. A day before the truce after the Winter War, they had received 30 Fiat G.50s of the 35 purchased and 33 not damaged during the procurement.

Fiat G.50 FA-8 was destroyed during take-off when the pilot, a Hungarian volunteer, second lieutenant lieutenant Wilhelm Bekasy, in bad flying weather, lost contact with his countryman, lieutenant Matias Pirity, who turned back. The next day sergeant Asser Wallenius took-off with FA-7, having forgotten to switch on the fuel pump of the main tank and as the extra fuel tanks emptied, FA-7 crashed and was damaged. Wallenius survived but he was injured. Because of technical problems in the Finnish airforce itself, only 33 of the 35 Fiat G.50s were delivered to Finland.
                                                              Cartridge supplement 12,7 mm

                                                              add cartridges

The Italian fighters had arrived too late to affect the course of that year's winter battles, however, most of them were soon sent to the front. The Fiat pilots found themselves involved in the heavy fighting over the bay of Vyborg in late February and early March. According to some sources, the first kill was achieved on 26 February.The following day, Second Lieutenant Malmivuo became the first Finnish pilot to be killed in a G.50, when his fighter FA.12 crashed after a battle with Soviet aircraft. And on 11 March, the Italian volunteer Sergente Dario Manzocchi crashed to his death while returning from a combat sortie.

The Fiat bases were under constant attack. The Utti airfield was bombed by the Soviet airforce. Consequently, the Fiats were transferred two kilometres to the north of Utti proper, onto the ice at Haukkajärvi (Falcon lake). As Haukkajärvi become bombed and attacked by fighters, another lake-side base was established near the city of Lahti, Hollola, also on the ice of Vesijärvi near Pyhäniemi manor. Overall, HLeLv 26 achieved 11 kills, against one loss in combat and another in an accident.

Watering truck (at the airport)

                                                  Rautu airfield
The Finnish G.50 y were taken from the 235 built by CMSA, both Serie I and Serie II, but all but seven had the open cockpit of the Serie II, a feature that Finnish pilots disliked, especially in winter. There were some attempts to improve the aircraft – one was tested with an enclosed cockpit, another with a D.XXI ski-undercarriage – but none of the modifications were put into service. Better protection for the propeller, which had problems at extremely low temperatures, and a few other changes were introduced. The speed of the Finnish G.50s was around 430–450 km/h (270–280 mph), much lower than the standard series could achieve. At this stage, Finnish pilots preferred the Hawker Hurricane, the French Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 and the Brewster Buffalo to the G.50.

                                                Fiat G-50 be on call, 31.8.1942

The first demonstration of the Finnish Air Force's effectiveness came on 25 June 1941, when the G.50s from HLeLv 26 shot down 13 out of 15 Soviet SB bombers.[50] Thirteen aerial victories were achieved altogether.

During the Continuation War, the G.50s were most successful during the Finnish offensive of 1941, after which they became ever less impressive.In 1941, HLeLv 26 claimed 52 victories for the loss of only two fighters. The Soviets brought better, newer types of fighter

Waiting for a start permit

Waiting for a start permit

                                                     Back from home

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