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The Macchi C.202 Folgore (Italian "thunderbolt") was a World War II fighter aircraft built by Macchi Aeronautica and operated mainly by the Regia Aeronautica (RA; Royal (Italian) Air Force). Macchi aircraft designed by Mario Castoldi received the "C" letter in their model designation, hence the Folgore is referred to as the C.202 or MC.202. The C.202 was a development of the earlier C.200 Saetta, with an Italian-built version of the Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa engine and a redesigned, more streamlined fuselage.[1] Considered to be one of the best wartime fighters to serve in large numbers with the Regia Aeronautica,[2] the Folgore operated on all fronts in which Italy was involved.[3]

The Folgore went into service with the Regia Aeronautica in July 1941 and immediately proved to be an effective and deadly dogfighter.[4][5] The Australian ace Clive Caldwell, who fought a wide variety of German, Italian and Japanese fighters during 1941–45, later stated that the C.202 was "one of the best and most undervalued of fighters".[6] The C.202 also had its defects: like its predecessor, the Macchi C.200, it could enter a dangerous spin.[7] It was insufficiently armed, with just two machine guns that easily jammed. The radios were unreliable, forcing the pilots to communicate by waggling wings. The oxygen system was inefficient, causing up to 50/60 per cent of the pilots to break off missions, sometimes even causing fatal accidents.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Angelucci and Matricardi, p. 219.
  2. Mondey, p. 155
  3. Matricardi, pp. 70–71.
  4. Sgarlato, pp. 8-20.
  5. Winchester, p. 172.
  6. Dunning, p. 209.
  7. Duma, pp. 232-233


  • Angelucci, Enzo and Paolo Matricardi. World Aircraft: World War II, Volume I (Sampson Low Guides). Maidenhead, UK: Sampson Low, 1978. ISBN 978-0-528-88170-1.
  • Borgiotti, Alberto and Cesare Gori. Le Macchine e la Storia, Profili 1: Macchi MC 202 Folgore (in Italian). Modena, Italy: STEM-Mucchi, 1970. No ISBN.
  • Caruana, Richard J. Warpaint Books No.78: Folgore-Veltro. Denbigh East: Warpaint Books Ltd. No ISBN.
  • Cattaneo, Gianni. "The Macchi C.202." Aircraft in Profile no.28. Windsor, Berkshire, UK: Profile Publications, 1971. No ISBN.
  • De Marchi, Italo and Pietro Tonizzo. Macchi MC.200/FIAT CR.32 (in Italian). Modena, Italy: Edizioni Stem Mucchi 1994. No ISBN.
  • Duma, Antonio. Quelli del Cavallino Rampante – Storia del 4° Stormo Caccia Francesco Baracca (in Italian). Roma: Aeronautica Militare – Ufficio Storico, 2007. No ISBN.
  • Dunning, Chris. Solo coraggio! La storia completa della Regia Aeronautica dal 1940 al 1943 (in Italian). Parma, Italy: Delta Editrice, 2000. No ISBN.
  • Gentilli, Roberto and Luigi Gorena. Macchi C.202 In Action. Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1980. ISBN 0-89747-100-8.
  • Green, William. "The Macchi-Castoldi Series". Famous Fighters of the Second World War. London: Macdonald, 1976. ISBN 0-356-08334-9.
  • Matricardi, Paolo. Aerei Militari: Caccia e Ricognitori (in Italian). Milan, Italy: Mondadori Electa Editore, 2006. No ISBN.
  • Mondey, David. The Hamlyn Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II. London: Bounty Books, 2006. ISBN 0-7537-1460-4.
  • Nijboer, Donald: "Spitfire V vs C.202 Folgore – Malta 1942 (Osprey Duel ; 60)". Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2014. ISBN 978-1-78200-356-4.
  • Sgarlato, Nico. "Macchi Folgore" (in Italian). Aerei Nella Storia 1998 (8): 8–20. Parma, Italy: West-Ward sas. No ISBN.
  • Skulski, Przemysław. Macchi C.202 Folgore, seria "Pod Lupa" 7(in Polish). Wrocław, Poland: Ace Publications, 1997. ISBN 83-86153-55-5.
  • Skulski, Przemysław. Macchi C.202 Folgore(in English). Redbourn: Mushroom Model Publications, 2012. ISBN 978-83-614-21-66-5.
  • Winchester, Jim. "Macchi M.C.202 and M.C.205V." Aircraft of World War II: The Aviation Factfile. Kent, UK: Grange Books plc, 2004. ISBN 1-84013-639-1.

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