Marcolin's C.R.42 CN (Germany)
|This page is about the premium German fighter Marcolin's C.R.42 CN (Germany). For other uses, see C.R.42 (Family).|
The ▀Marcolin's C.R.42 CN is a premium rank I German fighter with a battle rating of 1.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.31, however it was replaced as a starter premium in the German tree by the Flegel's Bf 109 A in Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica" and has since been moved to the Italian tree, though still available in the German tree for those who unlocked it prior Update 1.69. The plane is painted after the camouflage scheme of Italian pilot Luciano Marcolin, the commanding officer of the 377a Squadriglia Autonoma dedicated in a night fighting role.
The CR.42 possesses exceptional manoeuvrability, speed, and durability, especially for a biplane. Armament is quite good as well, due to the Breda-SAFAT .50 calibre MGs. At 1.7 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. 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 other light bombers.
As one of the last generation 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.
| 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||< 320||> 200|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|4,271 m||856 hp||1,001 hp|
Survivability and armour
Biplanes by design have a lot of surface and consquently 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 fuzes 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!
The Marcolin's C.R.42 CN (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 claibre size and explosive ammunition (IAI).
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, BnZ can be effective, as most monoplanes cannot nearly climb as fast.
As in real-life the Falco faces off against 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-manoeuvre 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 and finally failure 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 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 fire is focused on your opponent's wings or engines. Unfortunately, machine guns 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 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.
- Manoeuvrability 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, home grown 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.
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|Britain||▀Tempest Mk V|
|Italy||▀CR.42 Falco · ▀Marcolin's C.R.42 CN · ▀G.50 Freccia serie 2 · ▀G.50 Freccia AS serie 7 · ▀C.200 Saetta serie 3 · ▀C.200 Saetta serie 7 · ▀C.202 Folgore|
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