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|The first Ro.57 prototype, MM-407|
|Manufacturer||Industrie Meccaniche e Aeronautiche Meridionali (IMAM)|
|Primary user||Regia Aeronautica|
|Number built||50 + 1 prototype|
|Developed into||IMAM Ro.58|
The IMAM Ro.57 was an Italian twin-engined, single-seat monoplane fighter of the Regia Aeronautica. Based on a 1939 design by Giovanni Galasso the aircraft did not enter production until 1943. By the time it entered service it was considered obsolete.
Design and development
The Ro.57 was preceded by another twin engine fighter design, the Ro.53, which never entered production. The Ro.57 consisted of an all-metal, semi-monocoque fuselage with a steel skeleton and Duralumin structure. The wings were also Duralumin.
Powered by two 840 hp (630 kW) Fiat A.74 radial engines giving a maximum speed of 516 km/h, which in 1939 was better than that of the main Italian fighter, the Macchi C.200 (504 km/h). After testing at Guidonia it was proposed by IMAM for use as a dive bomber. This transformation, which involved the addition of dive brakes, provision for 500 kg bombs and an improved forward firing armament (adding two 20 mm cannon), took time and delayed production. The resulting aircraft was designated the Ro.57bis. Performance dropped to 457 km/h maximum speed and to 350 km/h at cruise speed. The Ro.57bis was ordered into production in 1942 and entered service with the 97° Gruppo in 1943. About 50–60 aircraft were delivered.
It is said that the Ro.57 could have been the long range interceptor that Italy lacked throughout the war. It proved to be too costly for the limited weapons it carried and it never was assigned a clear role. A better-armed version with more powerful engines was developed as the Ro.58.
- Single-seat fighter with Fiat A.74 radial engines, and two 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns
- The dive bombing variant, designated Ro 57bis, was fitted with dive brakes, two 20-mm. cannon in addition to the 12.7-mm. guns, and a crutch for bombs up to 1100 lb. under the fuselage
Data from Warplanes of the Second World War, Fighters Volume 2 
- Crew: One
- Length: 8.80 m (28 ft 10½ in)
- Wingspan: 12.50 m (41 ft 0 in)
- Height: 2.90 m (9 ft 6⅛ in)
- Wing area: 23.0 m² (248 ft²)
- Empty weight: 3,497 kg (7,694 lb)
- Loaded weight: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Fiat A.74 R.C.38 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, 627 kW (840 hp) each
- Maximum speed: 501 km/h (270 kts, 311 mph) at 5,000 m (16,400 ft)
- Cruise speed: 390 km/h (210 kts, 242 mph)
- Range: 1,200 km (648 nm, 745 mi)
- Service ceiling: 7,800 m (25,590 ft)
- Wing loading: 217 kg/m² (44.4 lb/ft²)
- Power/mass: 0.25 kW/kg (0.15 hp/lb)
- Climb to 6,000 m (19,700 ft): 9 min 30 sec
- 2 × 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- List of aircraft of World War II
- List of fighter aircraft
- List of Regia Aeronautica aircraft used in World War II
- IMAM Ro.57
- Angelucci, Enzo (2001). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft 1914 to the Present. Edison, NJ: Chartwell books. pp. 232–233. ISBN 0-7858-1359-4.
- Green, William (1961). Warplanes of the Second World War, Fighters Volume 2. London: Macdonald. pp. 153–154.
- Green, W; Swanborough, G (1994). The Complete Book of Fighters. Smithmark. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
- Lembo, Daniele Officine Ferroviarie Meridionali IMAM, Aerei nella Storia magazine n.34 Nov 2003, Delta editions, Parma. (in Italian)
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