The Fiat CR.42 Falco (“Falcon”) fighter plane had, for a biplane, excellent speed and handling, and is rightly considered one of the best biplanes of the Second World War.
Despite the fact that it was clear (even at the time of the prototype CR.42) that monoplanes would have an advantage in air battles, the Italian Air Force still gave the go-ahead for development and production of the biplane, which began to enter the service in 1939.
The sheathing of a greater part of the fuselage was made of duralumin, and the frame was built of steel pipes. The plane had smaller control surfaces and fuselage sections between the cab and tail to save weight and had fairings for the fixed main landing gear. An 840-horsepower engine was used for the CR.42. The first production version of the Falco was armed with two synchronous machine guns - one 12.7 mm and the other 7.7 mm.
All in all, 1,781 CR.42 fighters were produced.