CR.42 (Germany)

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▀CR.42 Falco
fiat_cr42.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
1.3/1.3/1.3BR
1 personCrew
2.4 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
Fiat A74Engine
RadialType
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
578 km/hStructural
580 km/hGear
Offensive armament
Economy
Sl icon.png290 / 363/200 / 251/100 / 125Repair
200 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
20 Ge icon.pngAces
× (100) % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
× 1.2 Sl icon.png× 0.4 Sl icon.png× 0.1 Sl icon.png
This page is about the fighter CR.42 (Germany). For the Italian version, see CR.42. For other uses, see C.R.42 (Family).

Description

GarageImage CR.42.jpg


The ▀CR.42 Falco is a rank I German biplane fighter with a battle rating of 1.3 (AB/RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27 in the German aviation tree. In Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica", the CR.42, as well as the other Italian planes in the German tree, were moved to the new Italian tree, although it still exists in the German tree for those who unlocked it prior to the update.

The CR.42 is a rank I biplane in the "German" Italian line of fighters. It possesses exceptional manoeuvrability, speed, and durability, especially for a biplane. Armament is quite good as well, due to the Breda-SAFAT .50 calibre MGs. Due to its BR, the CR.42 gets thrown with the likes of P-36's and LaGG-3's. As such, the majority of aircraft the CR.42 will engage are faster, and more heavily armed. The best bet for survival, and securing kills, is to climb to about medium altitude and lure fighters into turning combat. An overwhelming majority of pilots are unwilling to run from a lowly biplane, allowing you to score critical damage before they realise that they have expended all their energy and must extend away from you. By that time, the damage is usually severe enough that they cannot accelerate away from you quickly enough to escape further damage.

For the armament, the same applies to all other Italian aircraft; generally, you want to use Tracers, Anti-air or Stealth since they are the belts that deal the most damage. Shell velocity is low, hence they suffer above 300 meters, so only fire at or below that range for best effects. Furthermore, much like the other Italian fighters, the armament is woefully inadequate to deal with bombers, hence it is best to avoid them entirely, or focus on taking out the engines. The only exceptions are the very early biplane bombers, such as Swordfish, Po-2 and the likes.

General info

Flight performance

As one of the last generations of biplane fighters, the Falco incorporates many advantages , but also disadvantages of said built. Notably a low stall speed, predicating it for Turn Fights. Climb speed is good to great, but cannot compare to many later fighters (Rank II). Another advantage gained is the relatively high break speeds of ~570 km/h IAS and the late lock up speed of 450 IAS for the elevator. The top speed is good for Rank I, but only reached after a short dive and quickly dwindles with damage received.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 5,200 m)
Max altitude
(meters)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(meters/second)
Take-off run
(meters)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 413 402 20.0 20.6 14.2 294
Upgraded 447 429 18.5 19.2 21.1 17.2

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
X X X X X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
N/A N/A N/A ~13 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 280 < 240 < 450 > 250
Compressor Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
Setting 1 4,300 m 828 hp 973 hp

Survivability and armour

Biplanes by design have a lot of surface and consequently have plenty of aircraft to be shot at. This makes them feel more vulnerable than they really are, although again: They are fairly big, hard to miss targets, so the feeling is justified. Even more so as the fabric skin is easily damaged by small arms fire. The change to a aluminium monocoque fuselage design was linked with an increase in armament size for a reason. However, here lies a great advantage: Many explosive triggers and fuses have their detonation sensitivies set to metall skins, not fabric ones, so they may just whizzle through your craft, leaving only two 20 mm sized holes.

The CR.42 in itself features no armour. Only the air cooled rotary engines is rather durable due to lacking any water-cooling and by design.

Ace tip: Don't get shot!

Armaments

Offensive armament

Main article: Breda-SAFAT (12.7 mm)

The CR.42 (Germany) is armed with:

  • 2 x 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns, nose-mounted (400 rpg = 800 total)

The two machine guns are both mounted on the upper fuselage just in front of the pilot and fire through the propeller arc. Each is armed with the same amount of ammunition, which means that all guns will fire together until empty.

The center lined armament is always a great advantage. However compared to other nation's fighter crafts with their fast firing 7.7 mm machine guns, the BREDA's slower rate of fire offsets the gained advantage in calibre size and explosive ammunition (IAI).

Usage in battles

In AB, the CR.42 is nothing more than a point-and-shoot arcade-style plane. There is little skill involved at these early rank matches. Therefore turning is the most appropriate tactic. However, due to the high climb rate, Boom & Zoom can be effective, as most monoplanes cannot nearly climb as fast.

As in real-life, the Falco faces off advanced mono-wing designs. While a grim view at first the CR.42 is the pinnacle of biplane evolution, only rivalled by the up-gunned Chaika series. Common opponents are faster and have a superior armament. However, the CR.42 has got traits to counter. It is immensely agile, and can easily out-manoeuvre any monoplane in rank I. Turning is thus an appropriate tactic for the CR.42. Due to it being a biplane, the Falco can also be used to effectively rope-a-dope enemy aircraft. Stall fighting is one of the strongest play styles, albeit the slowest and hardest to master.

Even Boom & Zoom is feasible, as altitude can be gained quickly; however, the lack of cannon armament forces the pilot to use significant trigger control as well as aiming when diving and attacking opponents at a lower level. If Boom & Zooming, watch your speed in a dive. The CR.42 does have a limit of around 440 - 480 km/h (274 - 300 mph) before instability sets in.

The Breda SAFAT .50 calibre MGs are actually very effective for their battle rating. Tracers are by far the best belt for these main armaments, due to the presence of entirely API-T rounds, which easily set fire to enemy planes and provide good penetration and damage capability. Due to the MGs being placed in the centre cowl, they provide heavy damage when the fire is focused on your opponent's wings or engines.

Unfortunately, MGs, in general, are ridiculously weak against bombers.

Visibility is normal for a biplane. Rearward vistas are non-existent while frontward vision is hampered by the second strut/wing. The open cockpit does provide decent visibility in general, though.

Specific enemies worth noting

Versus other biplanes, the Falco can rely on its top speed and should combat them in the very same fashion mono-planes use to fight them off. An exception to this rule is the aforementioned Chaika, which is in most aspects on par with the CR.42. Against this Soviet fighter, either scissors or careful turn fights are advised.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Controllable
Not auto controlled
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable

Modules

Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 12 mm
II Compressor Airframe
III Wings repair Engine New 12 mm MGs
IV Engine injection Cover

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • High speed for a biplane
  • Good ammunition count
  • Manoeuvrability is sufficient to out turn nearly all non-biplane opponents
  • Well armed for a biplane
  • Ammo belts use heavy amounts of incendiary ammo

Cons:

  • Poor Energy Retention
  • Lightly armed compared to most of the opposition it faces
  • No options for striking heavy targets
  • Turn rate is worse than of most biplanes
  • Poor armour protection

History

The CR.42 was Fiat's attempt at modernizing their CR.32 design, which was deployed during the Spanish Civil War with great success. The new fighter would be of all metal construction, with Fiat's new, homegrown A.74 supercharged radial engine. The result was a fast, accurate, and manoeuvrable platform, that, while outdated at the onset of World War Two, would be almost the pinnacle of biplane design.

Early in the war, CR.42's were used with some success as escorts, night fighters, and even interceptors. Against the early Hurricanes and Spitfires, Italian and German pilots both were delighted to find that the manoeuvrability of the Falco put it, at the least, on par in a dogfight. However as the war dragged on, and enemy aircraft became faster, the CR.42 was relegated to night harassment, light ground attack, and sparingly used as night fighters.

The CR.42 is also credited with the world's last aerial combat biplane kill. A group of CR.42's based in Croatia under the command of Nachtschlachtgruppe 7 were directed to Grabovica Airfield for a strafing mission. However, the flight was redirected at the last moment to a harassment mission northwest of Sisak, where they were intercepted by P-38's of the 14th Fighter Group. Three Fiats were lost for two P-38's, one of which was claimed by an unknown German pilot.

In-game description

The CR.42 Falco ("Falcon") fighter plane had, for a biplane, excellent speed and handling, and is rightly considered one of the best biplanes of the Second World War.

Despite the fact that it was clear (even at the time of the prototype CR.42) that monoplanes would have an advantage in air battles, the Italian Air Force still gave the go-ahead for development and production of the biplane, which began to enter the service in 1939.

The sheathing of a greater part of the fuselage was made of duralumin, and the frame was built of steel pipes. The plane had smaller control surfaces and fuselage sections between the cab and tail to save weight and had fairings for the fixed main landing gear. An 840-horsepower engine was used for the CR.42. The first production version of the Falco was armed with two synchronous machine guns - one 12.7 mm and the other 7.7 mm.

All in all, 1,781 CR.42 fighters were produced.

Media

Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.


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