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Macchi M.49 fighter in Finnish service

Macchi M.49 was a monoplane fighter, designed and built by the Italian aircraft company Macchi Aeronautica in 192730. Its design was based on the Macchi M.39T racing landplane. It used the 600-horsepower version of the Fiat AS.2 engine, and a conventional radiator was used instead of the raceplane's more vulnerable surface cooling system. Armament consisted of two fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine guns. To improve visibility, the fairing in front of the cockpit was made lower than on the racers.

The Finnish Aviation Force had acquired 20 Gourdou-Leseurre GL-21 fighters in 1923.  A domestic successor, IVL D.26 "Haukka", was in the works but it would not be put into production without a comparison to other types. In November 1926, a Gloster Gamecock was ordered from Great Britain. As news of the new Macchi landplane fighter were heard, enquiries were also sent to Italy.

Test flights were carried out from May to July 1927. The Macchi monoplane was superior to the biplane contenders in speed and climb rate, visibility from the cockpit was good, and weaponry was up to current standards. The Macchi's range was shorter than what the biplanes could offer but was deemed adequate for a defensive aircraft. Three complete aircraft and a licence to build further 15 were bought. The 15 licence built aircraft were completed at Valtion lentokonetehdas between December 1929 and May 1930.

Finnish Macchi M.49 fighters were operated by the Maalentoeskaaderi (Landplane Squadron), later No. 24 Squadron, from 1930 to early 1939 when the type was relegated to training duties. That period with No. 24 Squadron was essential for honing Finnish fighter tactics under the leadership of Richard Lorenz, Gustaf Magnusson and Kustaa Sihvo.

I've just noticed the 'Boeing Flying Citadel'. LOVE it!  :wub:

Glenn Gilbertson:
An attempt to free my mind of the image - I'll take the tablets now!

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