G.91 pre-serie

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This page is about the Italian jet fighter G.91 pre-serie. For other versions, see G.91 (Family).
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G.91 pre-serie
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The G.91 pre-serie was a light subsonic fighter developed by Fiat in the late 1950s, it was a great success being introduced in the Italian, German and Portuguese air force. The objective of said fighter was to create a cheap, light fighter-bomber capable of becoming the standard between all NATO nations, this was due to the experience of the US and UN forces in the Korean War, and the introduction of more capable jet engines, that pushed the NATO Command to set a competition for this role. A total of 756 aircraft were built in a span of 19 years. The first preproduction variant of this aircraft was employed to test wing slats and disposable fuel tanks in the wings, and lacked many of the specialized features of future models, like reconnaissance and CAS equipment.

It was introduced in Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica" along with the initial Italian aviation tree. The G.91 pre-serie is a mid 1950s transonic fighter (< Mach 0.98) with ground attack abilities. Very manoeuvrable, but with a light offensive armament, the G.91 with is a difficult starter aircraft into the jet era. Especially as it will fly in fierce competition in the sky, facing both sub- and transonic aircraft and being smack in the middle performance-wise. Since it lacks offensive air-to-air missiles and a powerful enough engine, it should be used in a support role but it can also find very good use on the frontline in the hands of a skilled pilot.

General info

Flight performance

Air brakes
Allows you to dramatically reduce the flight speed by releasing special flaps
Drogue parachute
Reduces braking distance when landing on any runway
Max speed
at 1 200 m1 070 km/h
Turn time26 s
Max altitude11 000 m
EngineBristol Orpheus MK.801
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight6 t

The G.91 was intended to replace the F-86A Sabre in German, Portuguese and Italian service and it shows. With an empty weight of only 3,100 kg (6,800 lbs) and a take-off weight of 5,500 kg (12,100 lbs), the Gina is in the same weight class as the P-51D and MiG-9, yet severely lighter than most other jets and losing about one and a half tonnes compared to the Sabre A.

Although only outputting a meagre 22 kN of thrust this first look disadvantage is literally outweighed by the high thrust to weight ratio of 0.73 empty (0.41 full). This makes the Gina an excellent dogfighter as jet fighters maintain both their top speed, climb and sustained turn-rate by their engine power rather than other flight characteristics. It can easily reach its own terminal speed (1,011 km/h, 921 ft/s) and self-destruct in level flight.

Lacking in straight wings and leading wing slats the stall speed for the G.91 is quite higher than the low weight lets one assume. One should hence be wary of many older jet types with said features, as after bleeding too much speed they can easily outmanoeuvre the Gina.

Starting with 20 min of fuel, gaining the climb speed of 800 km/h IAS (sustainable @ 7-8°; 730 ft/s) takes a mere ~80 seconds with 20 predicated for taking off at 230 km/h or 210 ft/s IAS. An Immelmann at 800 km/h will gain 1,000 m and lose 300 km/h. A hard 180° turn at the same speed takes >100 km/h and may lose up to 60 m.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 1,200 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 1,043 1,014 11000 27.4 28.0 31 29.9 850
Upgraded 1,084 1,070 24.9 26.0 47.9 39.0


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
Combat Take-off Landing + -
1011 345 589 550 345 ~11 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 800 < 650 < 660 N/A

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Empty mass Wing loading (full fuel)
Bristol Orpheus MK.801 1 3,340 kg 281 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight (each) Type 9m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 32m fuel
400 kg Axial-flow turbojet 3,700 kg 4,132 kg 4,525 kg 4,603 kg 5,800 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB / SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (100%)
Condition 100% WEP 9m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 32m fuel MTOW
Stationary 2,161 kgf N/A 0.58 0.52 0.48 0.47 0.37
Optimal 2,161 kgf
(0 km/h)
N/A 0.58 0.52 0.48 0.47 0.37

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural1 011 km/h
Gear345 km/h
  • 6.5 mm Steel - Behind, below and in front of the pilot
  • 6.5 mm Steel - under central fuel tanks.
  • 40 mm bulletproof glass - Armoured windshield

At its tier there is little which cannot hurt the G.91. This is mostly due to the large calibres and fast firing weapons found in the jet age, although the Gina does not help this issue. The armour is enough to withstand the occasional tank LMG fire, but otherwise will only protect the pilot from shrapnel damage. Even though the centreline arrangement of all components proves to be quite survivable in combat, it does NOT lend itself for head-ons or prolonged chases. The former only leads to functional aircraft with a dead pilot and the latter to the reverse, which was in all likelihood the intended design in real life.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 313 → 4 475 Sl icon.png
RB9 281 → 12 538 Sl icon.png
SB11 364 → 15 352 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications91 300 Rp icon.png
146 600 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 100 Ge icon.png
Crew training86 000 Sl icon.png
Experts300 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 700 Ge icon.png
Research Aces720 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
120 / 370 / 600 % Sl icon.png
196 / 196 / 196 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
4 600 Rp icon.png
7 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods jet compressor.png
4 600 Rp icon.png
7 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
6 800 Rp icon.png
11 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
6 800 Rp icon.png
11 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
7 600 Rp icon.png
12 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods g suit.png
7 600 Rp icon.png
12 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
9 900 Rp icon.png
16 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
9 900 Rp icon.png
16 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
4 600 Rp icon.png
7 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods napalm fire bomb.png
4 600 Rp icon.png
7 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
6 800 Rp icon.png
11 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods weapon.png
7 600 Rp icon.png
12 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
FFAR Mighty Mouse
9 900 Rp icon.png
16 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png

A focus should be made on the engine modules, as the G.91 lives by its T/W ratio. New boosters is a double edged sword, as without the G-Suit one is just black out earlier. This oddly makes the Bomb unlock a tantalizing choice, especially in already won matches for farming on ground units before the game ends. Airframe and cover do little, the weight savings are very minor and without them the G.91 can still easily reach top speeds and rip off its wings...


Suspended armament

The G.91 pre-serie can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4
Hardpoints G.91 pre-serie.png
12.7 mm M3 Browning machine guns (300 rpg) 2 2
500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs 1 1
Aerea 559G1 incendiary bombs 1 1
FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets 19 19
Default weapon presets
  • 4 x 12.7 mm M3 Browning machine guns (300 rpg = 1,200 total)
  • 4 x 12.7 mm M3 Browning machine guns + 38 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
  • 4 x 12.7 mm M3 Browning machine guns + 2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (1,000 lb total)
  • 4 x 12.7 mm M3 Browning machine guns + 2 x Aerea 559G1 incendiary bombs

The M3 Browning is a new weapon in the Italian arsenal at this 5th tier and compared to the previous experiences a let down. The rate of fire is phenomenal, but the small calibre and ammo size put a serious damper to the mood, that is in comparison of course. In practise and with good aim, it can easily shred four fighters. The high bullet velocity and fire rate is quite the advantage in the fast pace world of jet combat, ensuring hits in deflection shots where the lower rate of fire found in the Soviet jet fighters might have failed the pilot. Yet one will always look onto greener pastures, especially as the Gina only has four guns unlike all other Browning armed jets.

The ordnance carried by the G.91 is mediocre. It was designed as a fighter and it shows in the additional payloads. They should only be considered for a quick drop on the way to the combat zone, losing height/speed advantage in doing so, or once aerial dominance has already been established. Even then many other jets are way better suited for ground attacks.

The bombs are standard fare and often not worse the hassle with their low total yield. The FFAR rockets are a far better option allowing to tackle more than one target, even though they only work well against soft target and up to medium tanks.

Usage in battles

Air superiority is the combat objective for the G.91 Gina, anything else is secondary. In team games lure enemy fighters into extensive and excessive dogfights to allow your heavier and less nimble allies to "Boom-and-Zoom" or "Boom-and-Run" them. With their great thrust to weight ratio the G.91 can maintain their energy superiority and in emergencies (such as non-existant teamplay) to disengage. Alternatively standard BnZ is considerable choice. Again the great acceleration allows for more energy expensive manoeuvres and still disengage without much worry from the target. Such follies would be deadly in many other fighters, but the Gina is hence quite forgiving. In fact too forgiving, new pilots to the jet age need to lose old habits and the G.91 does not force one's hand.

Against bombers and ground attack craft the G.91 lacks fire power and it will take considerable ammo use to compensate for this. The measly protection against defensive fire makes this a dangerous task anyway and should thusly be left for better equipped allies.

The very same can be said for ground attacks. While being able to mount air-to-ground ordnance, the payload yield is minuscule. The FFAR pods are the only worthwhile consideration, but run against the G.91's intended role of Air Superiority Fighter.

Pros and cons


  • Low weight, High thrust to weight ratio
    • Great turn time for a jet; can give the MiG-15 a run for its money
    • Great acceleration and climb rate
  • 4 x M3 machine guns can be deadly if aimed correctly and used in close range


  • Short burst time due to low ammo count
  • Limited ground attack abilities
  • Bleeds off a lot of speed in a full elevator turn
  • Can rip its wings off if you pull full elevator past 800 km/h


Winner of the 1953 NATO light tactical support aircraft competition, the Fiat "Small Sabre" would be in production for 19 years, with 756 aircraft completed, with the last aircraft produced in 1977. It served in the Italian and West German air forces starting in 1961 and 1962 respectively.

The original competition specifications called for a jet able to carry 450 kg of ordnance with an operational radius of 180 km, assuming 10 minutes over the target, with a maximum speed of at least Mach 0.95 and a takeoff distance of no more than 1,100 m, on unprepared or grass runways. Eight aircraft competed in the first round, including the French Dassault Etendard (then called the Mystere XXVI) and the British Folland Gnat. The Etendard, the G.91 and a Breguet design were selected for the second round beginning in late 1957. Fiat went ahead with pre-production ("pre-serie" in Italian) aircraft, with first flight in August, 1956, seven months ahead of its competitors. The crash of the first prototype due to aeroclastic vibrations in February, 1957, proved a setback, but the G.91 entered the second round as scheduled and was announced as the winner in January, 1958.

Critics said Fiat had just copied the F-86 Sabre, which it was manufacturing under license, but these claims seem unwarranted. Operational service evaluations with the Italian air force's 103 Squadron ran from February to July, 1959, leading to a West German decision to manufacture the aircraft under license.



See also

External links

Fiat Aviation (Fiat Aviazione)
Fighters  CR.32 · CR.32 bis · CR.32 quater
  CR.42 · Marcolin's C.R.42 CN · ▀Marcolin's C.R.42 CN
  G.50 serie 2 · G.50 AS serie 7
  G.55 sottoserie 0 · G.55 serie 1 · G.55S
Jet fighters  G.91 pre-serie · G.91 R/1 · G.91 Y · G.91 YS
  ▄F-104G* · F-104S* · F-104S.ASA* · ▄F-104S TAF*
Strike aircraft  F.C.20 Bis
Bombers  B.R.20DR · B.R.20M M1
Export/Captured  J11 · ▀CR.42
  ▀G.50 serie 2 · ▀G.50 AS serie 7
  ◄G.91 R/3 · ◄G.91 R/4 · G.91 R/4
See also  North American Aviation · Lockheed Martin

Italy jet aircraft
Aerfer  Sagittario 2 · Ariete
Fiat  G.91 pre-serie · G.91 R/1 · G.91 R/4 (Portugal) · G.91 Y · G.91 YS
AMX International  AMX
Panavia  Tornado ADV · ▄Tornado IDS (1995)
Vampire  Vampire FB 52A
F-84  ▄F-84F · ▄F-84G-21-RE
F-86  CL-13 Mk.4 · ▄F-86K
F-104  ▄F-104G · F-104S · ▄F-104S TAF (Turkey) · F-104S.ASA
F-16  ▄F-16A ADF
AV-8  ▄AV-8B Plus
Mikoyan-Gurevich  ◔MiG-15bis · ◔MiG-17PF · ◔MiG-21MF · ◔MiG-21bis-SAU · ◔MiG-23MF · ◔MiG-29
Ilyushin  ◔IL-28
Sukhoi  ◔Su-22M3
Saab  ◔JAS39EBS HU C