Fiat CR.32 – an Italian biplane fighter

The Fiat CR.32 was an Italian biplane fighter used in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Designed by the aeronautical engineer Celestino Rosatelli, it was a compact, robust and highly manoeuvrable aircraft for its era, leading to it being a relatively popular fighter during the 1930s.

The CR.32 fought in North and East Africa, in Albania, and in the Mediterranean theatre. It was extensively used in the Spanish Civil War, where it gained a reputation as one of the most outstanding fighter biplanes of all time. It also saw service in the air forces of China, Austria, Hungary, Paraguay and Venezuela. Furthermore, it frequently performed impressive displays all over Europe in the hands of the Italian Pattuglie Acrobatiche. During the late 1930s, the CR.32 was overtaken subsequently by more advanced monoplane designs; by the start of the Second World War, it was considered to be obsolete. While it had been superseded by a number of newer Italian fighters, including the newer Fiat CR.42 that had been derived from the CR.32, the type continued to be flown throughout the conflict.

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