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Br.20 "Cicogna"

Medium Bomber


Fiat BR.20 from 230-th squadron of 35-th mixed airgroup of the Italian forwarding corps in Spain, 1938.

Fiat BR.20 from 230-th squadron of 35-th mixed airgroup of the Italian forwarding corps in Spain, 1938.

The BR-20 "Cicogna" ("Stork") aircraft became the first Italian modern bomber. The prototype of the aircraft first flew in February 1936, the aircraft was adopted in the autumn of the same year.

When Italy entered World War II, it the was armed with four type B.R. 20. At the end of 1939, the prototype B.R. 20M was assembled: this variant (M - modified) embodied some of the external improvements resulting from the experience of the Spanish Civil War. With the same Fiat A.80 RC41 engines, the M variant had an elongated fuselage with an aerodynamically clean nose and a new defensive point. The un-sized wing has been reinforced to withstand strong vibration from the propulsion system. When the M variant entered service, the early vehicles were gradually modified to the B.R.20M standard or transferred to secondary tasks as training. In 1940, including export vehicles, about 240 standard B.R. 20s were produced, and on 1/11/39, the RA had 148 vehicles in service. By 10.6.40, the B.R.20 fleet was equal to 162 aircraft (slightly more than a third of them were B.R.20M), serving in four storms.

The latest modification was the BR-20bis (15 vehicles) with two 1250-horsepower A-82 RC.42S radial engines, a modified nose compartment, two 7.7-mm machine guns in the side windows and a remotely controlled upper turret. In 1943, Fiat began producing the B.R.20bis at Aeritalia factories. The first prototype B.R.20bis was tested in late 1940. The second prototype took off in 1942 with Fiat A.82 RC32 engines with more streamlined bonnets. The B.R.20bis had the same features as its predecessor, featuring greatly improved aerodynamics of the elongated fuselage and a nose similar to that of the He 111.

The main difference was in the armament: it increased to five machine guns. Three 12.7 mm SAFAT machine guns, one of which was located on the upper fuselage turret, which had a hydraulic drive, supplemented by a pair of 7.7 mm machine guns in two side blisters. In the bomb compartment, 1000 kg of bombs were suspended. Although the aircraft represented a major improvement over the earlier B.R.20, with improved crew protection and aerodynamic performance superior to the B.R.20M, production was hampered by a number of technical and indirect problems.

In the summer of 1943, the Aeritalia plant was bombed. Apparently 12 or 15 vehicles of this type managed to enter the squadrons, which in the second half of 1943 were still armed with the old Fiat aircraft.

FIAT | CR.25 | CR.32 | CR.42 | G.50 | G.55 | G.56 | Br.20 | RS.14 | G.12 | G.18 |

Crew 5
Wing span, m 21.56
Length, m 16.79
Height, m 4.3
2 × A-80RC.41 «Fiat», hp 2×1,030
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 6,850
Maximum takeoff weight 10,450
Maximum speed at altitude 5000 m, km/h 430
Time to 5,000 m, min 18
Service ceiling, m 7,200
Service range, km 2,000
Service range with bombs, 1000kg, km 1,240
12.7mm machine guns in the nose, 2 × 2 × 7.7mm, bombs, kg 1,200
B.R.20 "Cicogna"
Photo Description
Drawing FIAT Br.20M

Drawing FIAT Br.20M

FIAT BR.20M Cicogna

FIAT BR.20M Cicogna

FIAT BR.20M Cicogna

FIAT BR.20M Cicogna

B.R.20 Cicogna", Ministero dell' Aeronautica 1940.

B.R.20 "Cicogna" , 3/4 front and back view.

B.R.20 "Cicogna", hydraulic shock absorbers for the main landing gear.

B.R.20 "Cicogna", rear landing gear shock absorber.

B.R.20 "Cicogna", generator..

B.R.20 "Cicogna", camera.
A - camera,
B - autoexposure meter,
C - electric motor,
D - aperture control.

B.R.20 "Cicogna", cockpit.

B.R.20 "Cicogna", commander's workplace.

B.R.20 "Cicogna", co-pilot's workplace.

B.R.20 "Cicogna", navigator-bombardier workstation.
А - sight U. 3 A. В - nose turret movement handle. C - dashboard indicators. D - bomb drop panel.

B.R.20 "Cicogna", workplace of the radio operator.

B.R.20 "Cicogna" upper firing point, type M1.

B.R.20 "Cicogna" upper firing point, type D, R.

B.R. 20 "Cicogna", bow firing point.

B.R.20 "Cicogna", lower firing point.

B.R. 20 "Cicogna", bomb bay open.

B.R.20M "Cicogna"

B.R.20M "Cicogna", Ministero dell' Aeronautica 1940.

B.R.20M "Cicogna", blister of the upper hemisphere. "NP" - direction of flight.

B.R.20 "Cicogna". Main landing gear pneumatic shock absorbers.

B.R.20M "Cicogna", rear wheel fairing.

B.R.20 "Cicogna", flaps extended.


  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "Monografie Aeronautiche Itliano" /ottobre 1989 # 56/