Aeronautica Macchi C.200 - Aircraft handbook (1941)
Aeronautica Macchi C.200 with Fiat A74 engine - Aircraft manual
Ministry of Aeronautics - May 1941
176 pages (missing pages) - in Italian
The Macchi M.C.200 Saetta (lightning bolt or arrow) was the best Italian fighter of the beginning of the Second World War, the only one capable of competing with his opponents.
The M.C.200 was designed by Mario Castoldi, the designer of the Italian seaplanes participating in the prestigious Schneider Cup. The project began in 1937, and Castoldi combined highly sophisticated aerodynamics inspired by his racing models with the massive front end of a radial engine. The prototype, a monoplane with a metal structure and coating, a retractable landing gear and an open cab, flew on December 24, 1937, after a tune-up made difficult by instability problems. The first units came out of the assembly lines in June 1939.
Its first war action took place on the Greek-Albanian front, where the M.C. 200 successfully fought against the British Hawker Hurricane. It then served on the African front as well as in Russia. In both cases, it proved to be robust, safe and able to withstand harsh conditions, and despite its weakness in armament (a defect common to all Italian fighters of that time) and its relative lack of speed, it was a valid opponent. After the appearance of the M.C.202, the Saetta was used as an assault aircraft and interceptor based in Italy.