What if – Fiat CR.25

Only 10 Fiat CR.25s were ever built. Originally intended as a reconnaissance-bomber, the ten aircraft ended their days shuttling VIPs between Mussolini’s Italy and Nazi Germany.

First flying in 1937, the aircraft was generally well liked by its pilots but this was not enough to encourage further orders. Despite this, the 10 aircraft were built in three distinct variants excluding the two initial prototypes. The CR.25bis was the main variant and was a strategic reconnaissance and long-range escort fighter aircraft. The 10th aircraft was reworked into the first transport aircraft and redesignated CR.25D. It was primarily used as a transport for the Italian air attaché in Berlin. The most promising variant was the CR.25quater, flown in 1940, which was a more heavily armed version with a slight increase in wing area but it failed to attract anymore orders.


 

Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica Italiana)

Fiat CR.25 Italy


Imperial Japanese Air Force

Not as far fetched as you might think. The Japanese actually flew Fiat BR.20 bombers against the Chinese from 1937. Japan was desperately short of modern long range bombers at the time and Mussolini promised to prioritise any Japanese order for bombers even over his own air force. Although phased out of frontline use by Pearl Harbour, the aircraft still received an Allied codename – “Ruth”.

What if profile Fiat CR.25 Japan


Portuguese Air Force

What if profile Fiat CR.25 Portugal air force


Latvian Naval Aviation

Had Latvia acquired the CR.25 toward the end of the 1930s then they would not have lasted long as they would have been captured by the Soviets when they annexed the small Baltic country in 1940. 

what if profile Fiat CR.25 Latvian naval aviation


Soviet Union

A single example captured by the Soviets from Latvia and pressed in to service as an armed transport.

What if profile Fiat CR.25 soviet union air force

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Author: Tony Wilkins

When Man entered the atomic age, he opened a door into a new world. What we’ll eventually find in that new world, nobody can predict.

4 thoughts on “What if – Fiat CR.25”

    1. I honestly don’t know. Information for the aircraft beyond the basic specs and brief service history is hard to come by. I would suspect that it had a lot to do with the Italian aviation industry in general at the time which was struggling to produce its own modern aircraft at the time in the numbers needed. Possibly, it was dropped to make space on the factory floor for other designs.

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  1. Perhaps we should have taken a look at it ourselves and made sure it wasn’t better than the Blenheim. Some lovely representations of imaginary paint schemes, by the way . Thanks for that.

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    1. Thanks John. Appreciate it. I never considered that. It would be interesting to look at. The question for me would be settled by the CR.25’s armour since the Blenheim was notoriously underprotected.

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