Reconnaissance and Patrol Seaplane
The floatplane RS.14 was created under the guidance of FIAT engineer Manlio Stiavelli in collaboration with engineers Celestino Rosatelli and Lazarrino. The first prototype was flown in May 1939. The corresponding decree was issued in 1940, defining the scope of use of the RS.14 as a reconnaissance and patrol seaplane.
According to the scheme, the seaplane was a cantilever midwing of an all-metal structure sheathed with canvas. The fuselage had a very clean aerodynamic shape. A well-glazed cockpit of the bombardier-observer was placed in its bow, behind it were the cockpits of the pilots and the radio operator. A Lanciani "Delta" E turret with a 12.7 mm machine gun was installed at the top of the fuselage. On the sides in the sides of the fuselage were two machine guns.
The power plant was standard for Italian multi-engine cars of that time - two FIAT A-74 RC.38 engines with three-blade propellers.
The first 12 production vehicles were delivered to the fleet aviation in May-November 1941. Aircraft RS.14 I serie (RS.14A, numbers MM.35386 - MM.35397) were sent to 148 Esq.RM (148th Marine Reconnaissance Squadron) and were intended, for the most part, to familiarize pilots with new technology. On some aircraft, an additional 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine gun was installed in the observer's cockpit.
The second batch of 22 aircraft of the RS.14 II serie modification (unofficial designation RS.14B, numbers ММ.35401 - ММ.35422) was released in April-July 1942. They differed from the first version in enhanced armament - on both sides installed one 7.7-mm machine gun, instead of a bow rifle installation, and also under the fuselage, the aircraft carried a special container for bombs or depth mines. Despite their small numbers, RS.14Bs conducted reconnaissance and patrolling in the Mediterranean, Ionian and Adriatic seas. Some of the aircraft received an AGR-90 photographic installation, which was located in the front of the fuselage and was serviced by an observer.
The most numerous was the third serial modification RS.14 III serie (RS.14C, numbers ММ.35639 - ММ.35788), released in an amount of 150 copies. They differed from the aircraft of the second series by minor changes in the design of the fuselage, and some aircraft were equipped with rescue equipment without the possibility of carrying a bomb load.
The good characteristics of the naval RS.14 allowed the designers to create a coastal-based bomber based on it. The aircraft received the designation AS.14 and was approved for testing in 1942. In general, the design of the car has hardly changed. The floats were removed from the plane, replacing them with a retractable wheeled landing gear. The armament was noticeably strengthened by mounting a 37-mm (according to other sources, 45-mm) guns under the fuselage and replacing the 7.7-mm with 12.7-mm machine guns, the total number of which in some foreign publications is estimated at seven pieces. The AS.14 prototype was tested from 23 August to mid-September 1943, until it was destroyed in a disaster. The data obtained during the tests of the aircraft were encouraging. In terms of maximum speed and ceiling, it surpassed the float version, but after the division of Italy and the actual coming to power of the Germans, work on AS.14 was not resumed.
On September 3, 1943, when the Italian government signed the act of surrender, the Regia Aeronautica included 39 RS.14 seaplanes of various modifications.
With the section of the once common Italian Air Force, the RS.14 were divided roughly equally between the Germans and the Allies. Allied seaplanes operated from the Marinarka base, mainly for reconnaissance purposes. The last RS.14 were written off only in 1948.