Fiat CR 32. Radio control sport-scale Italian biplane fighter model, for .40 power.
Quote: "Roy Bowron presents a 63 inch semi-scale version of this lesser known fighter for .40 four strokes.
THE Fiat CR32 only took my interest when I read 'Combat Over Spain' by Captain Jose Larios. The book is his account as a Nationalist fighter pilot, fighting against the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939. His Commander was the well known Joaquin Garcia Morato, who shot down 40 enemy aircraft, most of them whilst flying CR32s. The Fiat CR32 aircraft were supplied to the Nationalist forces by Italy.
From Captain Larios' words, one gets the impression that the CR32 was an aeroplane well liked by its pilots. It was reputedly a dogfighter par excellence, highly manoeuvrable and strong in construction. It was capable of taking on the Republican Polikarpov I-15 Chato and I-16 Rata fighters supplied by Russia. It built up an impressive loss-to-kill ratio against these enemy fighters. Another advantage was that it had longer range machine guns than most opposing fighters.
The CR32, with its distinctive Warren girder interplane struts, might be thought unattractive from some angles. It certainly looks menacing when diving into the attack!
I decided to attempt it first as a semi-scale model with a simplified construction, but sufficiently close to scale in general appearance as a basis for a later, improved scale version. I had been flying a Super 60 with a Webra T4 .40 four-stroke engine and thought that I might be able to create a biplane of similar proportions to the Super 60 and still be able to use the Webra T4. it was a bit of a trade off in power-to-weight against some advantage in wing loading. Really it meant that there was not much spare power and I had to build light.
Alterations from scale included increased dihedral, and slightly enlarged tail surfaces. The fuselage was made slimmer and the u/c and cabana struts were simplified. Despite all the alterations, it was still a CR32 (from a distance!)
Fuselage. I apologise for the mixed units used in the construction description. You can convert them all to decimal if you wish!
Construction is conventional. It comprises of a framework made from 1/4in square balsa strip for the rear fuselage. The forward fuselage is mainly 1/4in sheet balsa with 1mm ply doublers. The upper forward fuselage and turtle-deck are 1/16in sheet balsa. The main formers are 1/8in ply and the u/c mounting plate is made up from 1/8 in ply parts. The cowling is made from 3/8in sheet balsa.
Make up the fuselage sides and add the ply doublers. Join the sides with the three main formers and add the hard-wood cabane mounting blocks. Do not attempt to pull in the rear fuselage until the cabane bearer joints have had time to set. After pulling together and gluing..."
Fiat CR 32, RCM&E, June 1991.
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Article pages, thanks to RFJ.
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