FIAT CR-32 “CHIRRI”
Appearing in 1933 as a derivative of the previous CR-30 design by Claudio Rosatelli, this biplane fighter with a sesquiplane design and a metallic structure with a mixed skin of duraluminium and cotton fabric was the most famous Italian fighter aircraft of the 1930s and the most numerous of those used by the nationalists during the Civil War. With more than 400 aircraft in service, it formed the backbone of the nationalist fighter fleet.
Its success during the conflict —during which it was posed against other biplanes such as the Polikarpov I-15 “Chato” or “Curtiss” and the faster although less manoeuvrable Polikarpov I-16 “Mosca” or “Rata” monoplane— led the Regia Aeronáutica to perpetuate the already obsolete biplane formula with a successor, also designed by Rosatelli, the CR-42. Obviously, during World War II it could not match the impressive service record of the “Chirri” in Spain.
Following the end of the Civil War the 199 surviving CR-32s were incorporated into the new Air Force. 100 new aircraft were built under licence in Seville by the company La Hispano Suiza in calle de San Jacinto in Triana with the initials HS-132L.
As from 1943, following the creation of La Hispano Aviación S.A., they were renamed the HA-132L. Units which used these aircraft included the Fighter Groups 23 and 26 based at Tablada and the Morón Fighter Aircraft Academy, with the last units being withdrawn in 1955.
One-seater sesquiplane biplane fighter.
1 x Fiat A30RAbis V12, 600 hp watercooled engine powering a twin-blade metal propeller with a variable pitch adjustable on the ground.
Synchronised Breda-SAFAT machine guns mounted on the fuselage, 2 x 12.7 mm or 2 x 7.7 mm or one of each, with 400 rounds per gun.
The CR-32 bis version had four guns with two 7.7 mm guns on the lower wings.
It could also carry 100kg of antipersonnel bombs in different combinations.
Wingspan 9.50 m;
length 7.45 m;
height 2.63 m;
wing area 22.10 m2
Empty, 1,380 kg;
fully loaded, 1,905 kg;
wing loading, 70 kg/m2
Maximum speed 356 km/h at 3,000m;
maximum cruising speed, 275 km/h;
landing speed, 105 km/h;
time to climb to 6,000m, 14 min 25 s;
service ceiling, 7,550 m;
maximum ceiling, 7,850 m;
take-off run, 270 m;
landing length, 270 m;
range, 780 km at 4,800 m, 315 km/h and 2,550 rpm without fuel reserve.