Ro.37 Lince file photo [5237]

Ro.37 Lince

CountryItaly
ManufacturerIndustrie Meccaniche Aeronautiche Meridionali
Primary RoleReconnaissance Aircraft
Maiden Flight1 January 1933

Contributor:

ww2dbaseThe Ro.37 Lince ("Lynx") biplanes were the results of a 1933 competition hosted by the Italian air force Regia Aeronautica with the goal of acquiring a updated reconnaissance aircraft design. The Regia Aeronautica requirements were a 350-km/h maximum speed, five hours of endurance, three machine guns and capability for a small bomb, light armor, and flexibility to use improvised airfields. Industrie Meccaniche Aeronautiche Meridionali, or IMAM, submitted the winning design Ro.37, which first took flight in 1933. Production of these wood-metal mixed construction aircraft began in 1934. In the summer of 1935, they were deployed to field service, with the 103rd Squadron receiving the first shipment for use in Abyssinia; by Dec 1935, 51 units were deployed in Italian East Africa, serving in the war with Abyssinia in both reconnaissance and light attack roles. Beginning in Oct 1936, 26 to 58 Ro.37 aircraft were sent to Spain to fight under the banner of the Spanish Nationalists; most of them served in similar roles, while others were converted to single-seat fighter aircraft.

ww2dbaseProduction of Ro.37 Lince aircraft ceased in 1939 after 635 were constructed; 160 were the base Ro.37 variant, and 475 were the improved Ro.37bis variant. They remained in service, however, through the duration of WW2 for Italy, largely because no suitable replacement models were found. When Italy entered the European War in 1940, 280 were in service. Although obsolete by this time with their slow speed and inadequate armor against modern fighters and ground-based anti-aircraft weapons, they continued to serve on the front lines in North Africa, the Balkans, and on the Russian Front as the eyes of Italian ground troops. The naval versions of this model, constructed as floatplanes, were designated Ro.43 for the reconnaissance variant and Ro.44 for the single-seat fighter variant.

ww2dbaseOn 10 Dec 1935, an enhanced version of this aircraft, which was given the model name Ro.45, took flight. They performed better than the Ro.37 design, but were never placed into production due to the higher price tag.

ww2dbaseA number of Ro.37 Lince aircraft were export abroad; 10 were sold to Uruguay, 16 to Afghanistan, 14 to Hungary, 8 to Austria, and 1 to Ecuador.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Nov 2007

SPECIFICATIONS

Ro.37
MachineryOne Fiat A.30 inline engine rated at 560hp
Armament2x7.7mm fixed nose Breda-SAFAT machine guns, 1x7.7mm flexible rear seat Breda-SAFAT machine gun, 12x15kg bombs
Crew2
Span11.08 m
Length8.56 m
Height3.15 m
Wing Area31.35 m
Weight, Empty1,585 kg
Weight, Maximum2,420 kg
Speed, Maximum300 km/h
Speed, Cruising250 km/h
Service Ceiling7,000 m
Range, Normal1,200 km

Ro.37bis
MachineryOne Piaggio P.IX RC.40 9-cyl air-cooled radial piston engine rated at 600hp
Armament2x7.7mm fixed nose Breda-SAFAT machine guns, 1x7.7mm flexible rear seat Breda-SAFAT machine gun, 12x15kg bombs
Crew2
Span11.08 m
Length8.62 m
Height3.15 m
Wing Area31.35 m
Weight, Empty2,040 kg
Weight, Maximum2,425 kg
Speed, Maximum330 km/h
Speed, Cruising250 km/h
Service Ceiling7,200 m
Range, Normal1,300 km

Photographs

Ro.37 Lince aircraft aboard a naval vessel, date unknownRo.37 Lince aircraft of the Italian 39th Obervation Squadron in France, circa mid- to late-1940Ro.37 Lince aircraft of the Italian 39th Squadron in Bulgaria, 1942, photo 1 of 2Ro.37 Lince aircraft of the Italian 39th Squadron in Bulgaria, 1942, photo 2 of 2




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Ro.37 Lince aircraft aboard a naval vessel, date unknown
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