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Italian Jet Aircraft of WWII
The Campini Caproni CC. 2
& Reggiane Re 2007

by Tom Conte


Reggiane Re 2007 (left) & Campini Caproni CC. 2 


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During the mid 1930s, the world’s top aerodynamist realized that it might be possible to build an aircraft to break the sound barrier. One thing they quickly figured out though, that it would not be a craft propelled with spinning airfoils, otherwise know as a prop. Secondo Campini took out a US patent in 1935 for a design of an aircraft that might do the job. It described an aircraft that used the basic concept that later became the CC 2.

The major difference of the proposal was that the crew sat in the extreme nose of the aircraft while the incoming air entered an annular intake duct. Like the CC 2, however it had a piston engine driving a compressor to accelerate the air mass that was mixed with fuel and burned. This was thought to provide enough thrust to reach the sound barrier. Building a jet engine that we are familiar with today, that is, one with an axial or centrifugal impeller providing the compressed air for a turbine to burn was very difficult to construct during the 30s. Using a piston engine to do the job instead of an integral compressor was believed to be the quickest was to produce a jet engine.

Needless to say the resulting aircraft was too heavy and inefficient. The CC 2 made what was thought to be the world’s first jet powered flight in May 28, 1940. It was long after WW II ended when it was realized that a He 178 made the first flight with a true turbine engine in August the year before. There were two CC 2s made and they were tested by the officials of the Regia Aeronautica up to the fall of 1942. There were some concepts of a twin engine bomber proposed by the Italians but the next time an engine similar to the Campini appeared in an aircraft was in the Japanese Yokosuka Ohka model 22 in 1945. It used a Hitachi four cylinder piston engine to drive its compressor to produce 200 kg of thrust. At least one CC 2 survived the war intact and is preserved at a museum in Italy

The Reggiane Re 2007 was a good indication that the Italian engineers had talent equal to the rest of the world. While small, the Italian aviation community kept abreast with the development in the world of flight. They did not lack ideas for fast aircraft but they did lack powerplants. They constantly asked their German acquaintances for some of their jet engine because they wanted to build an indigenous jet fighter. Finally the Germans complied and sent two Jumo 004Bs axial flow turbine engines to Reggiane, but they never arrived before the end of the war in Europe. In the meantime, while waiting at the Reggiane aircraft factory, work started on the Re 2007 in 1943. This was a very modern design incorporating swept wings with four 20 mm cannons in the nose using a single jet engine. It was a more refine aircraft then the German’s volksjager , being faster, having more range and twice the firepower at a lower weight. Since the situation in the south of Italy was detiorating, in 1944, the work was moved north to the Caproni factory near Milan.

It is really not clear just how far along the Re 2007 was when the war ended but parts for the fighter were fabricated. The factory where the Re 2007 was under construction was captured by the British. Drawings with performance estimates of the Re 2007 appeared in British publications in the 1960s and this is the information I used to create the model. While the estimates were probably very optimistic, the Re 2007 could have easily filled the role of volksjager that the Luftwaffe so badly desired since it was started long before the He162. Imagine what could have been if the Germans encouraged their Italian counterparts and imported the Re 2007 for their home defense fighter.



The Models


The Campini Caproni CC 2 is produced by Delta Models of Italy. My earliest reference to the model is that it was first offered in 1974. The kit leaves no doubt about how old it is. I picked up the model and started it over 15 years ago. You could have hurt yourself from the raise detail that was molded on. Also, I could not afford enough putty at that time to fill in the seams between the wing and fuselage. Needless to say, I put the model away.

In a recent effort to complete the many models that were started but never completed over the years in order to justify buying new kits, it was the CC 2 turn. I sanded down all of the raise rivets and used plastic stock to fill in the wing/fuselage seam. After everything was blended and sanded smooth the model was primed and check for scratches before the aluminum paint was applied. The model always looked awkward to me so at this point during the construction I took my scale ruler to it. While the dimensions agree with the instructions that came with the model, more recent information suggests that the model should be smaller, as much as a half inch in the span, and we are not talking a scale half inch either!


I average out the differences of the references and removed two thin sections of the fuselage to reduce its length. Thankfully, the fuselage is basically a long tube so after gluing everything back together, it was easy to sand down. The wing was shorten with plastic stock added to fill in the hole created by the surgery around the wing tips. Once again, everything was primed and polished for the final coat of paint.

Testor’s Model Master aluminum plate metalized paint was used. When dried, I masked off the fuselage with tape and sprayed only near one edge to create the look that many different sheets of metal used to make the aircraft. I added a drop of white paint just to make sure the shading would be more pronounce. The fuselage section under the elevators was the hot section and it was sprayed with some Burnt Metal mixed in with the Aluminum.

Even the two canopies had to be reduced by sanding. Once the desired sized was reached, they were polished back to clear and finished with Bare Metal Foil aluminum for the frames. Amazingly, after all these years, the decals went on with no problems. No wonder I did not want to complete this model at first, but I needed it to contrast the Re 2007 so it was dug out and finished.

The Re 2007 was a complete scratchbuilt project. Drawings were made from the references and glued onto a dense polyurethane foam material as templates. It was then carved out creating the fuselage with canopy fairing, and separate pieces for the wings, vertical stabilizer with rudder and two horizontal stabilizers with elevators. They were all glued together, seams filled and sanded. The canopy, as well as the landing gear doors because of their curves, were vacuformed from masters.

Since the aircraft was being made in the northern part of Italy that was still loyal to Mussolini, it would have been flown by the Repubblica Sociale Italiana if it was completed. Therefore it was marked as a fighter in the RSI service. Color finish is Italian Olive green on top and light gray on bottom with dry transfers taken from a Supermodels Macchi 205, which was also used by the RSI.

While this model was not a kit, it took much less time to build than the CC 2! I understand that the Re 2007 is now offered as a resin kit, however I haven’t seen it yet. Seeing these two aircraft side by side in 1/72 scale shows just how much evolution in aircraft technology occurred in five short years.

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Tom Conte
Page Created 09 December, 2004
Last Updated 09 December, 2004

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