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G.55 Centauro

G.55 Centaur, Italian WWII fighter

The Fiat G.55 Centauro, the Centaur, is a single-seat Italian WWII fighter designed by the Fiat Design Bureau under the direction of Giuseppe Gabrielli.

The aircraft belongs to the fifth generation of Italian fighters. Like the Re.2005 and MC.205, it was equipped with a powerful German DB-605 engine, but unlike the last two, the G.55 was not an upgraded version of the old model, but was designed from scratch, using the most advanced technologies. In comparative tests, the "Centaur" not only surpassed both competitors, but also demonstrated certain advantages over the German Bf 109G and FW 190A fighters.

A wing of high aspect ratio, sufficient structural strength, excellent maneuverability and high speed, coupled with powerful weapons, allowed him to confidently fight any enemy from the ground to the practical ceiling. However, his fighting career cannot be compared to most opponents, each of whom he could challenge.

The political and military crisis in Italy that emerged in the summer of 1943 led to a split in the country at the end of the same year. While the southern part of the Apennine Peninsula, under the control of the Anglo-American troops, formally withdrew from the war on September 8, in the north, where the Germans ruled, a new state arose under the protectorate of Germany - the Italian Socialist Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiano) For the newly created country, its own state symbols were developed. The Air Force did not stand aside in early January 1944 for all aircraft that were part of the ANR. new identification marks were adopted.

The combat career of the G.55 in the Italian Air Force was quite short. The first fighters entered the ANR (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicano) squadrons in the second half of 1943, and by the spring of 1945 none of them remained in service. Despite this, the G.55 became one of the main fighters of the ANR Air Force and was considered the best aircraft ever adopted in Italy during the Second World War.

Before Italy's surrender, the Centaurs managed to arm only two divisions.

After the end of the war, "Centaurs" quickly passed into the category of training machines and once again changed color, becoming dull silver. This is, in fact, the end of the story of the Italian G.55 fighter, which, despite its excellent characteristics, was clearly late with the appearance in the Italian Air Force. A year earlier, he could have caused much more trouble for the British and Americans ...

A total of 105 aircraft were built.

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

G.55 Centauro Specification
Crew 1
Wing span, m 11.85
Wing area, m² 21.11
Length, m 9.37
Height, m 3.13
1 PE Fiat (Daimler-Benz) RA 1050 RC 58 Tifone (DB.605A), power, h.p. 1475
Weight, kg:
Empty 2630
Loaded weight 3718
Maximum speed, km/h 630
Rate of climb, m/min 835
Service ceiling, m 12700

Armament. One 20-mm Mauser MG 151/20 cannon on the engine, 2 x 20-mm cannons in the wing, and 2 x 12.7-mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns in the fuselage, 2 х 160kg bombs.


  • G.55 is the main modification.
  • G.55S - in March 1945 at the Venegono airfield, in the Varese region, the G.55S was tested, adapted for delivering torpedo strikes. Only one aircraft was built.
  • G.55A is a single-seat fighter and training aircraft for increasing flight training. The prototype took off for the first time on September 5, 1946. It differed from the G.55 only in its instruments and weapons. The armament could consist either of two 12.7 mm caliber machine guns installed in the wing and two fuselage machine guns, or two 20 mm Hispano-Suiza cannons installed in the wing and two 12.7 mm fuselage machine guns. The Italian Air Force received 19 G.55A aircraft and 30 were delivered to Argentina, 17 of which were returned in 1948 for resale to Egypt. These aircraft were armed with four 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns.
  • G.55B is a two-seater training aircraft for increasing flight training. The prototype took off on February 12, 1946; 10 aircraft were used by Aeronautics Militair and 15 were sold to Argentina in 1948
Photo Description
Fighter FIAT G.55 Centauro

Fighter FIAT G.55 Centauro, "Centaur" with a FIAT D.B. engine 605 1944, view 3/4

Fighter FIAT G. 55 Centauro, 3/4 front and rear views.

Fighter FIAT G.55 Centauro, cockpit.

Fighter FIAT G.55 Centauro, cockpit layout.

Fighter FIAT G.55 Centauro, cockpit left panel.

Fighter FIAT G.55 Centauro, cockpit right panel.

Fighter FIAT G. 55 Centauro, aircraft layout.

Fighter FIAT G. 55 Centauro, aircraft control.

Fighter FIAT G.55 Centauro, armament.

Fighter FIAT G.55 Centauro, main landin gear.

Fighter FIAT G.55 Centauro, tail wheel.


Fiat G.55S silurante
  • Light torpedo bomber
  • First flight: 1945
  • Fiat

G.55S (silurante - Italian torpedo). In 1942, the Italian Air Force Command became interested in the construction of light torpedo bombers that could be used from aircraft carriers. This requirement was included in the Organizzazione Roma program for the construction of an aircraft carrier. Designing a completely new aircraft required too much time, so they decided to convert the fighter into a torpedo bomber. For these purposes, the most advanced Italian fighters at that time were chosen - Fiat G.55 and Re.2005, while the modernization of the G.55 was considered a priority. Fiat gave the project the designation G.57 and began its development in 1943. However, the capitulation of Italy in 1943 prevented the continuation of work.


In 1944, work was resumed at the request of the ANR. The project was led by engineer Sergio Stefanutti. For conversion, a serial G.55 (MM.91086) was taken. The aircraft, designated G.55S, had its engine radiator and tail section redesigned and two 12.7 mm machine guns removed from the fuselage. The work was completed in early 1945 and the aircraft was handed over to pilot Adriano Manteli for testing. For testing, a mock-up of a torpedo was made, equal to the weight of a real torpedo. The aircraft's first flight took place in March 1945. For the plane to take off, a 750-meter long runway was required. The flight was completed by the successful uncoupling of the torpedo mock-up over the Gulf of Ticchino. Successful testing of the aircraft prompted ANR to order a pre-production batch of 10 aircraft. However, Fiat itself was no longer eager to develop this aircraft. By this time the war had ended and the need for a torpedo bomber had disappeared. Until 1949, the aircraft was used in various tests, and then was converted to the G.55-1A standard (receiving the new number MM.53037) and transferred to the company.

G.55S Specification
Crew 1
Wing span, m 11.85
Wing area, m² 21.11
Length, m 9.37
Height, m 3.20
1 × PE Fiat (Daimler-Benz) RA 1050 RC 58 Tifone (DB.605A), power hp. 1 × 1475
Weights, kg
Empty weight 2,706
Loaded weight 4,410
Maximum speed, km/h 570
Cruise speed, km/h 502
Service range, km 1,000
Service ceiling, m 10,800
3 × 20 mm cannon Mauser MG 151/20, torpedo, kg 1 × 987
Photo Description
G.55S silurante Torpedo suspension for G.55S (MM.91086)


  • Encyclopedia of Military Equipment / Aerospace Publising /
  • Skin "Centaur" / Mikhail Larinov, Sergey Samusenko /
  • Catalogo Nomenclatore "G.55-serie I" motore FIAT D.B. 605 /Ministero dell' Aeronautica/
  • Manuale. Aeroplane Fiat "G.55" motore FIAT D.B. 605 /Ministero dell' Aeronautica Roma 1943/