C.202 file photo [27]

C.202 Folgore

ManufacturerAeronautica Macchi
Primary RoleFighter
Maiden Flight10 August 1940


ww2dbaseThe C.202 Folgore ("Lightning") fighters were designed due to the obsolescence of their predecessors, the C.200s. The added power with the new Daimler-Benz engine added so much power and torque that the chief designer Mario Castoldi had to extend the left wing by eight inches to counter the rolling during flight. The performance, however, was superb. The new aircraft reached a top speed of 600 km/h while being armed adequately. They entered service in the summer of 1941, and by Nov 1941 they were seen in combat in North Africa, outclassing some of the older British fighters. By the end of the war for Italy in 1943, 1,500 C.202s were produced by Macchi and other licensed manufacturers.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Sep 2006

C.202 Folgore Timeline

25 Nov 1941 The first Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore fighters reached Libya. These Folgores (the most successful Italian fighter to see extensive wartime service) belonging to the 1 Stormo Caccia Terrestre, rapidly established, over the Western Desert, an ascendancy over the opposing RAF Hawker Hurricane and Curtis P-40 fighters.


MachineryOne Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa rated at 1,175hp
Armament2x12.7mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns, 2x7.7mm machine guns, 2x160kg bombs or 2x100 liter drop tank
Span10.58 m
Length8.85 m
Height3.02 m
Wing Area16.80 m
Weight, Empty2,490 kg
Weight, Maximum2,930 kg
Speed, Maximum600 km/h
Rate of Climb18.10 m/s
Service Ceiling11,500 m
Range, Normal765 km


Italian C.202 Folgore fighter on display at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, United States, 26 Dec 2011, photo 1 of 2Italian C.202 Folgore fighter on display at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, United States, 26 Dec 2011, photo 2 of 2; note US P-51 Mustang fighter in background

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
18 Feb 2009 03:07:24 PM

Photo of Series 111 Folgore, with sand filter and desert camouflage. Macchi built series 111 aircraft between June 1941 to April 1942 number built 140
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
12 Nov 2009 05:22:03 PM

You can see a Macchi C.202 Folgore or Lightning today at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Placed on exhibit in the World War II gallery.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
8 Jan 2011 07:51:08 PM

Continued from my previous comment dated 18 Feb 2009 The Macchi MC202 was an improved MC200 Saetta powered by a liquid-cooled DB 601A-1 engine it was faster than the Saetta, the MC202 was undoubtedly the first Italian fighter that could equal any other fighter in its categorty. The Regia Aeronautica received the new MC202 in the summer of 1941 and supported Italian and German troops. About 1,100 were built by the time of Italy's surrender in Sept 1943 53 MC202s were left. After WWII the survivors were used as trainer aircraft as late as 1947, until they were retired. The Macchi MC202 was armed w/2x12.7mm machine guns w/360rpg and 2x20mm MG 151s in the wings w/500rpg. bomb load 2x160Kg During WWII fighter aircraft were improved in both speed and firepower.

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Italian C.202 Folgore fighter on display at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, United States, 26 Dec 2011, photo 1 of 2
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