The Macchi M.C.205V Veltro (Greyhound) was an interim design for a fighter produced by matching the fuselage of the M.C.202 with the Daimler Benz DB 605A engine.
The Macchi M.C.202 Folgore had been a great improvement on the underpowered M.C.200 Saetta, but by 1942 it was becoming increasingly underpowered itself. The Italian aircraft industry had failed to produce its own powerful engines, and so Italy was forced to look to Germany for assistance. The obvious choice of engine was the Daimler Benz DB 605, itself an up-rated version of the DB 601 engine used in the M.C.202.
Two different approaches were taken to getting the DB 605 into service in a frontline fighter. The quickest approach was the one that produced the M.C.205V, and saw the new engine installed in a standard M.C.202. The composite aircraft made its maiden flight on 19 April 1942, by which time it had already been ordered into production. This faith in the new design was justified, for the new aircraft kept most of the manoeuvrability of the M.C.200 and M.C.202 while gaining performance from the new engine.
The second approach was to order the design of a whole series of new aircraft based on the DB 605, the Serie 5 fighters. These aircraft included the Reggiane Re.2005, Fiat G.55 and Macchi C.205N Orione.
The M.C.205V was ordered into production with Macchi and Fiat. None of the Fiat aircraft (Serie II) were ever completed, as the factory was flattened by Allied bombing in December 1942. The Macchi built Serie I aircraft were armed with two 12.7mm machine guns in the nose and two 7.7mm machine guns in the nose, while the Serie III replaced the 7.7mm guns with 20mm cannon.
The DB605 was placed into production in Italy as the Fiat RA 1050 R.C.58 Tifone (Typhoon), but production of the new engine was fairly slow. The M.C.205 made its combat debut in early July 1943, and by the time of the Italian armistice only 66 had reached the Italian Air Force. Of these aircraft six reached the Allies after the armistice, while most of the rest were used by the new Italian Fascist air force in Northern Italy. Production continued in the north of Italy after the Armistice, and eventually 262 M.C.205Vs were completed. The M.C.205V was good enough to be used by the Luftwaffe, equipping a single fighter Gruppe, and was the best Italian fighter aircraft designed during the Second World War to be produced in any numbers.
Engine: Fiat RA 1050 R.C.58 Tifone (Typhoon), licence built DB605A
Wing span: 34ft 8.5in
Length: 29ft 0.5in
Height: 9ft 11.5in
Empty Weight: 5,691lb
Maximum take-off Weight: 7,154lb
Max Speed: 399mph at 23,620ft
Service Ceiling: 37,090ft
Range: 646 miles
Armament: Two 12.7mm machine guns in nose; wing guns were two 7.7mm machine guns in Series I, two 20mm cannon in Series II.