|This page is about the Italian jet fighter G.91 R/1. For other versions, see G.91 (Family).|
The G.91 R/1 (nicknamed "Gina") is a rank V Italian jet fighter with a battle rating of 8.3 (AB) and 8.7 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica" along with the initial Italian aviation tree.
A mid 50's Trans-sonic fighter ( < Mach 0.98) with ground attack abilities. Very manoeuvrable, but with a light offensive armament makes the G.91 with its young age a difficult starter aircraft into the jet era. Especially as it will fly in fierce competition in the sky, facing every sub- and trans-sonic aircraft and being smack in the middle performance-wise.
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 takeoff weight of 5,500 kg (12,100 lbs) the Gina is in the 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 f/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 f/s) takes a mere ~80 seconds with 20 predicated for taking off at 230 km/h or 210 f/s IAS. An Immelmann at 800 km/h will gain 1000 m and loose 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 0 m - sea level)
| 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)|
|< 800||< 650||< 660||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Empty mass||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|Bristol Orpheus MK.803||1||3,477 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|
|380 kg||Axial-flow turbojet||3,697 kg||4,129 kg||4,522 kg||4,600 kg||5,800 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (101%)|
|Condition||100%||101%||9m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||32m fuel||MTOW|
|Stationary||2,212 kgf||2,234 kgf||0.60||0.54||0.49||0.49||0.39|
|Optimal|| 2,212 kgf
| 2,234 kgf
Survivability and armour
At its rank 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 centerline 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.
- 6.5 mm Steel - Behind, below and in front of the pilot
- 6.5 mm Steel - under central fuel tanks.
- 40 mm bulletproof glass - Armored windshield
- Critical components located down the midline of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
- Fuel tanks located in the central fuselage.
The M3 Browning is a new weapon in the Italian arsenal at this 5th tier and compared to the previous experiences a letdown. 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 practice and with good aim, it can easily shred four fighters. The high bullet velocity and fire rate is quite the advantage in the fast-paced world of jet combat, ensuring hits in deflection shots were 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.
No matter how you turn it, the armament is only manageable with skill and for a beginner outright bad.
The G.91 R/1 is armed with:
- 4 x 12.7 mm Browning M3 machine guns, nose-mounted (300 rpg = 1,200 total)
Mediocre. The G.91 is 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 accomplished. Even then many other jets are way better suited for ground attacks.
The G.91 R/1 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (1,000 lb total)
- 38 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
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 Boom & Zoom is a 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 necessary firepower 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.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Auto control available
| Not controllable
Auto control available
|Separate|| Not controllable
|I||Fuselage repair||Compressor||Offensive 12 mm|
|III||Wings repair||Engine||New 12 mm MGs|
|IV||G-suit||Cover||FFAR Mighty Mouse|
A focus should be done 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 blackout 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...
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
- It has a slower speed relative to the jets it will encounter
- 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
The first production version of the G.91 was the G.91 R, which was intended for both close support and photo-reconnaissance. The first production aircraft was finished in 1959, and the R/1 entered Italian Air Force service with 14th Gruppe in March 1961. In total 48 of this model would be built, all serving with Italy, while the West Germans used the more powerfully armed R/3 and R/4 variants. These would be followed by another 50 R/1B combat aircraft.
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 1100m, 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 aeroelastic 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 manufactured 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.
|Fiat Aviation (Fiat Aviazione)|
|Fighters||CR.32 · CR.32 bis · CR.32 quater|
|CR.42 · 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 YS|
|Bombers||BR.20 DR · B.R.20M M1|
|▀G.91 R/3 · ▀G.91 R/4 · G.91 R/4|
|Captured||▀CR.42 · ▀Marcolin's C.R.42 CN · ▀G.50 serie 2 · ▀G.50 AS serie 7|
|See also||North American Aviation · Lockheed Martin|
|Italy jet aircraft|
|Fiat||G.91 pre-serie · G.91 R/1 · G.91 R/4 · G.91 YS|
|Foreign||▄F-84G-21-RE · CL-13 Mk.4 · ▄F-86K · F-104S|
|Vampire FB 52A|