|This page is about the Italian fighter C.202EC. For other versions, see C.202 and C.202 (Germany).|
The C.202EC is a rank II Italian fighter with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/SB) and 3.3 (RB). It was introduced in Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica" alongside the initial Italian aviation tree. The "EC" in the name stands for Esperimento Cannoni or Experimental Cannons.
The Folgore (Lightning) is a solid plane for its battle rating, especially in AB where its performance is exaggerated. With a decent climb rate when spaded, high top speed, good roll rate, solid energy retention, and two powerful MG 151's that have access to the dreaded German Minengeschoß round, this plane is devastating in the right hands.
However, one major issue the Folgore has is that it is hard to use for inexperienced players. The Folgore is a plane that does not allow for any mistakes. If you let its good performance get to your head, the only thing you'll get out of it is a burning Italian fighter. This is a plane that requires a high skill ceiling and a smart pilot to unlock its full potential.
The second major issue the Folgore has is that the twin Breda SAFAT's have low damage output. It needs quite an extended burst of fire to deal decent amount of damage. Furthermore, the Breda SAFAT's damage potential drops off when fired at ranges further than 300 meters. This poor secondary armament also makes it less then optimal at engaging bombers and heavy fighters. The consensus by the community is that the best belts are Anti-Air, Tracer or Stealth for the 12.7 mm's, and Stealth or Air Targets for the 20 mm MG 151/20s. These tend to do the most damage.
While neither of these are crippling, they are something to keep in mind, especially due to the punishing nature of the plane.
In AB, the Folgore truly shines. A boosted flight model and increased performance make it a monster of a plane that any player should watch out for.
In essence very similar to the Bf 109 F with gunpods: Great climb rate and acceleration and with good top speed and turn rate. Yet the 20 mm gunpods dampen all positive aspects, performance was definitively traded in for firepower. Dive performance is great, yet the control surfaces lock up hard above 600 km/h IAS. So leave plenty of space to pull out of a dive, it reaches said speeds rather quickly! Even so the locked controls prevent G-force failure of wings - a blessing in disguise for many new inexperienced RB/SB pilots. Energy retention in Zooms is good, too. This however, is mostly due to the aforementioned climb rate which is engine enabled. A damaged engine guts and severely hinders most flight characteristics.
Like its German brother in heart the Folgore also features several downsides: The engine torque is significant and will roll the aircraft to the side when performing any kind of manoeuvre. Note the slightly longer left wing to at least neuter this effect in level flight, unlike the Bf 109 pilots who will have to permanently trim their ailerons on the runway. Further aiming and aligning yourself to the target can thusly be rather difficult, as the craft will twitch and shift significantly. As usual lead in deflection shots are the easiest approach. The control lock up was already mentioned and must always be considered.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear||Drogue chute|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 400||< 270||< 550||> 350|
|Compressor||Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|Setting 1||4,500 m||1,084 hp||1,218 hp|
Survivability and armour
Quite vulnerable to all weapons fire. The engine and water coolers lack any protection and are often the first to go under fire. The pilot is not much better. While the windscreen is quite thick it is also very small and the 8 mm of steel will only stop a sneeze. Any calibre past 7 mm will kiss your pilot's cheek.
Ace Tip #1 applies: Don't get shot at!
- 8 mm Steel - Armoured headrest
- 50 mm Bulletproof glass - Armoured windscreen
The C.202EC is armed with:
- 2 x 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons, wing-mounted (250 rpg = 500 total)
- 2 x 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns, nose-mounted (400 rpg = 800 total)
Usage in battles
The first most important thing the Folgore needs is Speed, and Altitude. It's generally a good idea to climb to at least 5000 - 6000 meters before levelling out and gaining speed. From there on, it's Boom and Zoom, working your way from top to bottom. Priority should be given to P-39 Airacobra's, F6F Hellcats and the early Spitfire, as these are hard to beat if they are allowed to engage on their terms. The Hellcat is a considerable problem for the Folgore, due to the fact its considerably faster and climbs only slightly worse. The best way of dealing with them is to fight them at speeds above 400 km/h, where the Hellcat begins to stiffen up, but you retain your very good roll rate, which you can use to spoil his gun solution by constantly changing direction.
While diving on your chosen target, be mindful of your speed: the Folgore's rate of roll becomes considerably worse when you hit 600 km/h, so its a good idea to cut throttle at the final part of your dive slowing your acceleration down by a bit. Also when trying to lead an enemy plane that is making a hard break turn, try to prevent making high G turns or turns that burn a lot of speed, this mostly happens when you dive in at a shallow angle, as it kills all the speed you have, forcing you to engage in a dogfight, where the turn rate offers an advantage to the enemy. While it's doable, it's generally better to run, by going into a shallow dive and retreating. Alternatively, engage in a shallow climb, the rate of climb is one of the best at its tier, meaning that if you have a small speed advantage you can get some separation and climb away.
The guns make it unsuited to effectively engage bombers, especially the well defended bombers such as the B-25 and the A-20. It's better to team up with your teammates than try to attack them on your own. It is best to aim for the engines and wings, basically engaging them the same way as you would engage fighters. Furthermore, the Folgore can't carry any bombs, so its useless in ground attack role.
For belts use Tracers, Anti-air or Stealth as they deal the most damage, with a good mix of incendiary and shrapnel. Breda-SAFAT's, focus on taking out the engines.
Specific enemies worth noting
- Bf 109 - The Messerschmitts you will encounter at this rank have a higher climb rate and better energy retention. While uncommon, you can encounter the Bf 109 F-4 at this BR, which outclasses the Folgore in every way. Don't engage them unless you have an advantage.
- Spitfire - The legendary British fighters have a higher climb rate than the Folgore does and have a turning circle that would make many aircraft but the A6M Zero blush. However they are terrible at altitude and worse in the vertical, where the Folgore performs the best. Do not take them lightly.
- F6F-5 Hellcat - A considerable problem for the Folgore. The Hellcat is faster than the Folgore and climbs only slightly worse. With its six .50 cal Browning M2's, it can tear the Folgore to shreds in one pass.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
|I||Fuselage repair||Radiator||Offensive 12 mm|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||New 12 mm MGs|
|III||Wings repair||Engine||Offensive 20 mm|
|IV||Engine injection||Cover||New 20 mm cannons|
- The Folgore's focus on energy fighting should be reflected in the desired grind strategy. Compressor & Engine are the top priority, boosting the acceleration and climb to the maximum needed for most situations. The next upgrades are free to choose. New belts are always nice, but the default ones are decent. Engine throttle as of now has no impact on performance.
Pros and cons
- Good rate of roll under 600 km/h
- Decent cockpit visibility, especially to the rear
- Decent energy retention in horizontal turns
- Great firepower (2 x MG 151/20 cannons with Minengeschoß rounds and 2 x 12.7 Breda-SAFAT machine guns)
- Very good BR considering that it has the firepower of a Fw 190 A-1
- Large turn radius, the C.202EC is clearly not as agile as its predecessor
- Thick canopy frame can make spotting hard from cockpit view
- Bad climb rate compared to the original C.202
- Locks up at speeds above 600 km/h (don't dive at 90° angle at a victim that is lower than 1.5 km above ground!)
- Very vulnerable engine (take care with head-ons and rear gunners)
The famed Italian ace Maggiore Adriano Visconti flew the Folgore, as well as the predecessor Macchi C.200 Saetta and the successor Macchi C.205 Veltro.
In late 1941 the newer and deadlier Macchi MC.202 Folgore (Thunderbolt) began to equip units of 7° Gruppo, and in early 1942 Visconti began flying the sleek, new fighter on photo reconnaissance sorties over Malta. Throughout these early years of the war, a near constant trickle of supplies was required to keep the strategically vital island of Malta alive and in allied hands: mid-June 1942 saw two of these convoys simultaneously attempt to resupply the island from different directions. Operation Harpoon – a convoy from Gibraltar – was coordinated with Operation Vigorous from Alexandria. Both convoys were opposed by axis forces and on June 15th, in the air battle above Operation Harpoon which would become known as the Battle of Pantelleria, Visconti shot down a Bristol Blenheim. On August 13th, whilst on a two aircraft reconnaissance sortie, Visconti and his wingman were jumped by four RAF Spitfires. Visconti engaged and shot down two Spitfires, allowing the second M.C.202 to complete the sortie. He was awarded another Medaglie d’Argento for his skill and courage.
Visconti served in Greece before being promoted to Capitano and taking command of 76a Squadriglia as 54° Stormo was deployed in Tunisia in March 1943. In the brief weeks of fighting which led up to the axis surrender in May, Visconti was credited with two Spitfires and a P-40, as well as several other probable victories. Sharing a cramped cockpit with a fellow pilot, Visconti escaped the allied advance by flying to Sicily. Given his wealth of experience carrying out high speed, daylight reconnaissance flights over Malta, Visconti was given command of 310a Squadriglia Caccia Aerofotografica, a newly formed reconnaissance squadron equipped with modified Macchi C.205 Veltros (Greyhounds) which were based east of Rome.
Visconti remains a controversial figure due to his political alignment with Mussolini's Italian Social Republic.
- Skins and camouflages for the M.C. 202 from live.warthunder.com.
- Custom skin - plane close up screenshot
- [Profile] Ace of the Month - January - Maggiore Adriano Visconti from the War Thunder official forum.
- An excerpt from Ace of the Month - January - Maggiore Adriano Visconti, written by Mark Barber, War Thunder Historical Consultant alias Wafu Vasco.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
- other literature.
|Fiat||CR.32 · CR.32 bis · CR.32 quater · CR.42 Falco · Marcolin's C.R.42 CN|
|G.50 Freccia serie 2 · G.50 Freccia AS serie 7 · G.55 sottoserie 0 · G.55 Centauro serie 1 · G.55S · G.56|
|Reggiane||Re.2000 serie 1 · Re.2000 G.A. · Re.2001 serie 1 · Re.2001 CB · Re.2001 CN · Re.2002 Early · Re.2005 serie 0|
|Macchi||C.200 Saetta serie 3 · C.200 Saetta serie 7 · C.202 Folgore · C.202EC · C.205 serie 1 · C.205 serie 3 · C.205N2|
|Other countries||IAR-81C · ▄Spitfire Mk Vb/trop · ▄Bf 109 G-14/AS|