Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino was founded in 1899. It built its first airplane, a license built Farman, in 1914, as part of the Societa Italiana Aviazione. The Societa Anomina Aeronautica Ansaldo (builder of the SVA series in WWI) become the main FIAT subsidiary in 1926 and was one of the few Italian aircraft companies to survive WWII. One of the two principal designers working for them during the Regia Aeronautica period was ing. Celestino Rosatelli. This page concentrates on his aircraft.

The FIAT Br.1 is the first biplane Rosatelli worked on. It featured the Warren truss strut arrangement favoured by FIAT. Choroszy Modelbud have recently added this aircraft to their ever expanding range of 1/72 scale aircraft.

The FIAT Cr.20 is another one of Rosatelli’s early designs. The Choroszy Modelbud kits are good examples of resin kit production, being accurate and highly detailed. All four versions can be highly recommended. Aeroclub produced a mixed media kit, but is OOP. Kora have released a 1/72 injection moulded kit of the Cr.20 bis. There are 10 boxings but only two cover Italian subjects.

The FIAT Cr.32 is rightly regarded as the pinnacle of Italian biplane design. The 1/32 Silver Wings resin kit is perhaps the ultimate choice. As shown with previous kits, this is a very good looking model in the box, but probably needs a good modeller to get the best out of it. The original Classic Airframe kit was re-issued in three separate boxings (Export, Spanish and Regia Aeronautica) with a few notable improvements, such as a solid cast resin piece for the front section of the fuselage and the CMK resin detail set, which has parts for trainer, bomber & desert variants. Has since reappeared in a Special Hobby boxing. It makes into a nice looking model but care is needed with the Warren struts. Other injection moulded kits still kicking around are the SMER 1/48 kit and Italeri’s re-issued Supermodel 1/72 kit, which does suffer from rather crude detailing but is dimensionally accurate. A better choice in 1/72 scale would be AZ Models all-new 1/72 injection moulded kit which has more refined detail.

The FIAT Cr.42 continued the fine heritage of Italian biplane design, but was obsolete when it entered service. Until both Pavla and Italeri's 1/72 kits arrived on the scene, Misterkits Cr.42 was the only 1/72 kit worth considering. The Pavla multi-media kits require some "above average" skill, but the Italeri kits should suit most modellers. Now OOP, AlphaFlight produced 3 interesting conversion sets to build the biposto trainer, the Daimler Benz prototype and the idrovolante prototype. Italiankits have a 1/72 DB conversion set now. One of Classic Airframe earliest releases was a 1/48 model that was rather inaccurate, so much so that Italian Classic produced an excellent, comprehensive and highly detailed upgrade set that vastly improved it's accuracy. The same CA kit did re-appear briefly as a Flashback kit, retaining all the original faults, but then Classic Airframe released a series of all new Cr.42 kits, covering nearly all types (apart from the D-Benz engined prototype). In my opinion, the rear fuselage cross section is not quite correct. Italeri produced their own series of 1/48 Cr.42 kits to complement their 1/72 kit. Although these kits are accurate, the do suffer from crude detailing, the fabric detail in particular. Silver Wings produced a good looking 1/32 resin kit, so this surely makes the Fiat Cr.42 one of the more widely available Italian WWII aircraft in kit form.

FIAT Br.20. This was Italy's principal bomber but it quickly became obsolete at the start of WWII. Alphaflight issued two excellent, highly detailed 1/48th resin kits covering both the early and "M" series but were very limited in supply. The Br.20 is also available in 1/48 injection moulded form, with Classic Airframe and Special Hobby sharing the tooling for the early version and SH covering the ‘M’ variant as well. Various online builds hint at them being difficult to build. Italeri's elderly 1/72 injection moulded kit is OK, considering its age, and here the modeller can choose to build it as either the early version or the 'M'. Removal of all the rivets & crude fabric effect on all control surfaces will improve it to some degree, as well as re-scribing panels lines and improving the appearance of the crudely moulded engine cowlings.

FIAT Cr.25. Similarities between this and the Br.20 are noteworthy. Although it drew highly favourable comments from all who flew it, the Cr.25 was inexplicably sidelined in favour of the disastrous Breda Ba.88. Although the Cr.25 was produced in very limited numbers (only enough to equip one squadron), it did have an exemplary safety record. Special Hobby's two 1/72 injection moulded kits are an easier modelling choice over the Airmodel kit, but the cowlings and undercarriage will need to be worked on. RCR produced a 1/48 resin kit, but is OOP. Both Alitaliane & Italiankits have produced a variety of upgrade sets for the Special Hobby Cr.25 and there is a 'mini' Ali d'Italia of the Cr.25, which is a useful reference source.