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MC.200 on display at USAF Museum, 2006. [1]

The Macchi MC.200 Saetta (Lightning) was an Italian fighter plane of the Second World War..



The MC.200 was developed to meet a specification issued by the Regia Aeronautica shortly after the end of the conflict in Ethiopia. Issued as part of 'Programme R', the specification called for a fast, single seat bomber intercepting monoplane, with an endurance of one hour and armament of a single 12.7 mm machine gun.[N 1]

Submitted alongside aircraft from Caproni (Caproni Vizzola F.5), Aeronautica (Umbra T.18), I.M.A.M (I.M.A.M Ro.51), Reggiane (Reggiane RE.2000) and Fiat (Fiat G.50),[2] the prototype MC.200 (MM 336), made its initial flight on 24 December 1937, in the hands of test pilot Giuseppe Burei.[3]

Selected as the winning entry in 1938, Macchi was awarded a production contract for 99 MC.200 aircraft, with serials MM 4495 to MM 4593. Delivered from the Spring of 1939, the first 25 examples were fitted with Fiat-Hamilton constant speed air screws, while the others had Piaggio P.1001 units. Ammunition capacity for the pair of 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns was increased from 310 rounds each to 370 rounds each from the fourteenth example.[4]



  1. The endurance and armament requirements were doubled soon after the specification was issued.[2]


  1. National Museum of the U.S. Air Force via Wikimedia
  2. 2.0 2.1 Green, William. Famous Fighters of the Second World War. Purnell Book Services. 1975. Page 72
  3. Green William - Fighters. Page 71
  4. Green William - Fighters. Page 73

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