The CR.42 Falco ✙ is a Rank I German fighter biplane with a battle rating of 1.3. It was in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.29 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 Update 1.69.
The CR.42 is a Rank 1 biplane in the "German" Italian line of fighters. It possesses exceptional maneuverability, speed, and durability, especially for a biplane. Armament is quite good as well, due to the Breda-SAFAT .50 calibre MGs. At 1.7BR, 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. The overwhelming majority of pilots are unwilling to run from a lowly biplane, allowing you to score critical damage before they realize 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. Only exception are the very early biplane bombers, such as Swordfish, Po-2 and the likes.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,200 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,200 m)
|Max altitude (meters)||Turn time (seconds)|| Rate of climb
|Take-off run (meters)|
|Combat flap||Take-off flap||Landing flap||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
| Combat flap
|Max Static G|
|< 380||< 420||< 420||> 200|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|4,271 m||856 hp||1,001 hp|
Survivability and armour
- No armour plating
- No armour glazing
- Critical components located at front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
- More fuel tanks located in wings near fuselage
The CR.42 (Germany) is armed with:
- 2 x 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns, nose-mounted (400 rpg = 800 total)
Usage in the 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 tier 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 rivaled by the up-gunned Chaika series. Common opponents are faster and have superior armament. However, the CR.42 has got traits to counter. It is immensely agile, and can easily out-maneuver any monoplane in Tier 1. 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 and 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 BR. Tracers are by far the best belt for these main armament, due to the presence of entirely APIT 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 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 nonexistent 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 they very same fashion mono-planes use to fight them off. 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
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not ontrollable||Not controllable|
|I||Fuselage Repair, Radiator||Offensive 12 mm|
|III||Wing Repair, Engine||New 12 mm MGs|
Pros and cons
- High speed for a biplane
- Good ammunition count
- Maneuverability is sufficient to out turn nearly all non biplane opponents
- Well armed for a biplane
- Ammo belts use heavy amounts of incendiary ammo
- Poor Energy Retention
- Lightly armed compared to most of the opposition it is faced with
- No options for striking heavy targets
- Turn rate is worse than of most biplanes
- Poor armour protection
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 maneuverable 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 maneuverability 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.
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