The Officine Meccaniche Reggiane S.p.A, based in Reggio Emilia, was founded in 1904 by the Caproni company. They started aircraft production in 1937, working on the Piaggio P.32bis with ing. Giovanni Pegna. In the same year, ing. Roberto Longhi and ing. Antonio Alessio joined Reggiane to start work on the RE.2000, which was inspired by the Seversky P-35. It was the first in a series of notable fighter aircraft that culminated with the RE.2005, considered by many as the finest fighter aircraft of WWII. The company exists to this day as Reggiane Cranes and Plants S.p.A.
Reggaine RE.2000 Falco. Despite being a fine aircraft design only a few entered service with the Regia Aeronautica as the air ministry did not trust its 'wet-wing' fuel tank system. First flown in 1939, the majority of the 186 airframes built were exported to Sweden and Hungary. Hungary also built a considerable number of MAVAG RE.2000 'Heja's' under license. The Regia Marina had a few RE.2000's on their warships but saw little action. All operators found it to be high maintenance. Most RE.2000 kits are now discontinued. This includes the rather basic 1/72 Supermodel kit, which reappeared as an Italeri kit and formed the basis of the Alitaliane resin kits. Special Hobby's range of quite nicely detailed 1/72 kits are in short supply, but the Sword 1/72 kit is a worthwhile purchase. The best 1/48 option is Special Hobby's updated release of the Classic Airframe kit, which has a new fuselage & improved detail parts. The wings have been left unchanged though and will need to be re-scribed to correct the wet-wing panel detail. There is a very useful Aviolibri guide (IBN Editore No.6) on how to get the most out of this kit. Silver Wings produce a pair of 1/32 resin kits, covering the two main types. It is a nicely detailed kit but checking the parts against various plans indicates dimensional and shape errors to the cowling and wing.
Reggiane RE.2001 Falco II. This aircraft was a re-design of the RE.2000 powered by a license built DB601 engine. The wing structure was revised to have self-sealing tanks, but limited engine supply meant only 252 were built. Despite being delivered a year behind schedule it proved to be a very capable machine and was a good match to Allied aircraft of the time, including the Spitfire. Kits of this aircraft are rare though. Only Swords 1/72 kits, including the Caccia Notturna version, are current although they have announced a 1/48 kit as a future release. All other kits have been discontinued. This includes the Alitaliane range, all based around Supermodels vintage 1/72 kit (their Delta engined prototype is shown in the third image) and the 1/48 E.P. Originals resin and Classic Airframes 1/48 multi-media kits.
Reggiane RE.2002 Ariete. Due to limited engine supply for the RE.2001, the decision was taken to revisit the RE.2000. It had a modified and strengthened RE.2000 fusealge fitted to a modified RE.2001 wing. It also had an uprated Piaggio radial engine. Its first flight was in 1940 and 225 were built. The Luftwaffe took about 60 of them after the Armistice. Only the Sword 1/72 kits are current. All others are discontinued, such as the 1/72 Supermodel kit, the 1/48 E.P. Originals resin kit and Italeri's poor 1/48th scale kit, although this is due for a re-issue. Both Quickboost & Vector Resin released 1/48 RE.2002 correction sets, which makes it entirely possible to convert the Classic Airframe RE.2000 to get a more accurate RE.2002.
Reggaine RE.2003. This was intended for the reconnaissance role. Two prototypes were built, the first one was a modified RE.2000 fitted with a tandem cockpit and the second prototype was based on the RE.2002. All known kits of this type, all 1/72, are now discontinued.
Reggaine RE.2004. This prototype was to be powered by the air-cooled Isotta Fraschini RC24/60 24 cylinder X engine. The project was quickly abandoned when it became clear that the RE.2005 was a far better design. Was once available as an Italian Wings 1/72 resin kit.
Reggaine RE.2005 Sagittario. The fuselage of this aircraft was designed to be as streamlined and compact as possible and when combined with the DB605 engine, it proved to be the fastest aircraft Italy had at the time, easily outperforming almost all rival aircraft. Due to its complexity and expense, however, only 49 were built. Its nearest rival, the FIAT G.55, was cheaper and built in greater numbers (274). Being such an appealing design has made the RE.2005 a very popular modelling subject over the years and numerous kits were produced. Most of the older kits are now discontinued, such as the 1/72 KPL, Pegasus, Pavla and Dujin kits and the 1/48 Falcon vacuform/injection moulded kit. The Flying Machines 1/48 may also be discontinued, now that both the Sword & Special Hobby 1/48 kits have been released. RS Models & Sword also have good quality 1/72 kits in their range. The now discontinued 1/32 Pacific Coast Models kit was moulded by Sword and is a fine model.
Reggaine RE.2006. This was a highly secret prototype of a RE.2005 fitted with the powerful DB 603 engine. The fuselage was lengthened to maintain C of G and the undercarriage was also strengthened, which is the only surviving part of the airframe. It never got a chance to fly before being scrapped. Available only in 1/72 as an RS Models limited edition injection kit. I used a 1/48 Falcon kit as a basis for an RE.2006 conversion project.
Model images are links to a build article