The Reggiane Re.2005 was the final entry in the series of fighters that had begun with the Re.2000. Like the Re.2001 it was powered by a German inline engine produced under license in Italy, in this case the DB 605A-1, capable of producing 1,475hp, produced by Fiat as the RA.1050 RC.58 Tifone.
For the Re.2005 Reggiane concentrated on improving the fuselage and wings of the aircraft. The resulting aircraft was one foot longer than the Re.2001, although the re-designed wings had the same span as on the older aircraft. The new fuselage was much cleaner, and when combined with the DB 605A-1 the prototype Re.2005 achieved a top speed of 421mph.
Work on the Re.2005 began during 1941. The prototype made its first flight on 7 May 1942, and went for official testing at Guidonia airfield, near Rome, in July 1942. Despite its impressive performance, the Re.2005 had once again arrived too late to win immediate production contracts, this time having to compete with the Macchi C.205 and Fiat G.55. However, in February 1943 Reggiane received an order for 750 production Re.2005s.
The production aircraft would have been much more heavily armed than the Re.2001, carrying three 20mm MG 151/20 cannons, also imported from Germany, as well as two 7.7mm machine guns. It could also carry either a 1000kg/ 2,204lb or an auxiliary fuel tank under the fuselage.
The production order came too late for the Re.2005 to see significant active service with the Regia Aeronautica before the Italian surrender. The 362nd Squadron of the 22nd Group received the aircraft, and used it against the Allied invasion of Sicily, but in such small numbers as to make no difference.
Twenty nine pre-production aircraft were complete by the time of the Italian surrender of 8 September 1943. The fate of many of these aircraft is unclear. Three fell into the hands of the Co-Belligerent Air Force, but a lack of spare parts kept them grounded. Three more were used by the fascist air force in Northern Italy. The Germans took eleven of the pre-production aircraft, but after that they disappear.
Engine: Fiat RA.1050 RC 58 Tifone 12-cylinder inverted Vee
Horsepower: 1,475 for take of, 1,355 emergency power at 5,700m and 1,250 at continious at 5,800m
Span: 36 ft 1.1in
Length: 28ft 7.7in
Max Speed: 391 mph at 22,800ft (628k at 6950m)
Range: 786 miles (1090-1250k)
Armament: 20mm MG 151/20 through hub plus one 20mm cannon and one 7.7mm machine gun in each wing plus 1000kg/ 2,204lb of bombs