Fiat developed the G.91 as a light ground attack aircraft in the 1950s. However, only Italy, Germany and Portugal opted for the all-rounder. Nevertheless, the pattern made an important contribution to the development of the Italian and German aviation industries.
Against a lot of competition, the small but robust “Gina”, as she was called by her pilots, prevailed in a NATO competition for a light ground attack aircraft. Based on experiences from the Korean War, in the specification of the Lightweight Strike Fighter program of March 18, 1954, the Alliance’s strategists called for a kind of multi-talented jet that should take off from unsurfaced places, have a large weapon load and ensure short ground times in action. A maximum take-off weight of 4700 kilograms, an operational range of 280 kilometers and a top speed of Mach 0.95 were required.
When designing the Fiat, the designers under the direction of Giuseppe Gabrielli, the technical director of the Fiat factory, attached great importance to simplicity and robustness. The fuselage consisted of two half-shells and could be separated in the rear area for engine maintenance.
When Riccardo Bignamini took off for the first flight with the G.91 on August 9, 1956 in Turin-Caselle, 27 pre-series aircraft were being built - they were later used by the 103 ° Gruppo Caccia Tattici Leggeri in Pratica di Mare - despite the uncertainty about the The outcome of the NATO competition has already been decided. The crash of the prototype still equipped with an Orpheus 1 due to a failure of the horizontal stabilizer during a high-speed flight on February 20, 1957 did nothing to change this. Bignamini was able to save himself with the ejection seat. The second prototype already had the more powerful Orpheus 3 and, due to the results of the accident investigation, received an additional keel fin, an enlarged tail unit and a raised cockpit canopy. It first flew on July 26, 1957.
The Italian jet particularly impressed the Commission with its ability to operate from grass runways. This was thanks to the Messier chassis with low-pressure tires. An 825 meter long track was sufficient for the start. Fiat’s attempt to combine compact dimensions and lightweight construction with high-quality equipment and good flight characteristics with easy maintenance and usability seemed to have been successful.
Fiat built four G.91 prototypes and 27 pre-series machines. Some of the latter served as G.91PAN (for Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale) in the Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team. The G.91A (enlarged wing with slats) remained a one-off and was later converted to a G.91R / 1. This variant received the characteristic scout nose for three Vinten cameras.
Fiat produced 22 copies of the G.91R/1 as well as 25 G.91R/1A (with improved navigation equipment) and 50 G.91R/1B (with modified chassis and reinforced cell). Next came the G.91R/3 because France had canceled the G.91R/2 it had ordered. In Turin, 50 aircraft rolled off the assembly line, while Dornier built 295. The R/3 had two 30 mm cannons instead of the four machine guns and modified avionics. Fiat produced 50 units of the G.91R/4. It was essentially a G.91R/3 with the armament of the G.91R/1. The G.91R/5, equipped with an enlarged wing, was not realized for Norway. Two prototypes of the two-seater G.91T were made, 101 G.91T/1 and 66 G.91T/3 (44 from Fiat, 22 from Dornier). The last variant of the “Gina” was the twin-engine G.91Y, of the 67 copies originated. The model flew in Italy until November 26, 1994.
Side notes: “Riccardo Bignamini carried out the first flight of the G.91. The test pilot later died when his “Gina” crashed in Fort Rucker.”
The G91R1B was built and intended to be a CAS/Reconnaissance plane for the AMI to carry a wide variety of Armaments including the air to ground missiles AS-30L to hit armored ground targets. The G91R1B was shown with its full loadouts together with the G91 pre-series at the air shows, but only the G91R1B with its improved reinforced wings was suited better to carry a variety of armaments to fulfill its role as a better support/fighter plane.
The G91 R/1B is a CAS/Reconnaissance version for the AMI with strengthened improved wings, tubeless tires, improved navigation and minor changes to the instrumentation. It could carry two AS-30L air to ground missiles with a vide variety of rockets and bombs, but it could only carry 4 × 250 bullets instead of 4 × 300 bullets from the G91 PAN, R/1, R/1A.
Base Armaments on the G91 PAN, R/1, R/1A, R/1B
- BROWNING COLT M3 CAL. 0.50 with 4 × 300 bullets (PAN, R/1, R/A) and 4 × 250 bullets (R/1B)
Additional Armaments on the G91 PAN, R/1, R/1A, R/1B
- 2 × AS-30L air to ground missiles
- 2 × 260lbs bombs
- 2 × 500lbs bombs
- 2 × 500lbs Napalm containers
- 4 × HVAR 5" rockets
- 4 × SCAR 2,25" rockets
- 2 × rockets pods each with 19 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
Only on the G91 R/1B
- 8 × HVAR 5" rockets 4 on each wing
- 12 × SCAR 2,25" rockets 6 on each wing
- 1 × 1000lbs bomb mounted on the the left wing
- 6 × rock ets pods each with 19 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets 3 on each wing
Manufacturer: Fiat Aviazione, Turin, Italy
Use: single-seat, light fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft
Engine: 1 Bristol Siddeley Orpheus 803 with 22.22 KN power
Span: 8.56 m
Length: 10.30 m
Height: 4.00 m
wing area: 16.42 m2
Wing load: 346kg/m2
empty weight: 3100 kg
max. take-off weight: 5670 kg
max. speed: 1080 km/h at 1520 m altitude
transfer range: 1840 km
operational radius: around 320 km
armament: four 12.7 mm machine guns, various External Armaments
max.load: ~1000 kg*
Pictures R1B :
Picture information R1B:
The G91R/1B used the AS30L => leger and not the fully laser guided. The G91Y used the AS30L leger too.
If you look at the missiles on the picture next to the G91R/1B it’s not the laser guided one, but on the flight manuals for the G91R/1B it is written as AS30L - Quite confusing. It is an improvement of the normal AS30.
Fiat used the designation AS30L, but meant the improved AS30, you can see the difference on the nose part of the missile and the length of the missile. That’s because I never wrote explicite “Laser guided”.
Here you can read about what kind of the A30L were used for the G91R1B
Why you want to see it in game:
The G91R1B would make a great addition as a CAS plane for the Italian TT because it is easy to make(it is very similar to the G91R1) and Italy needs a good CAS that everyone can get in the TT. Especially with its waste variety of Armaments, that the G91R1B has, would help a lot in ground RB and in air RB as as a agile and well armed CAS plane.
- MINISTERO DELLA DIFESA DIREZIONE GENERALE DELLE COSTRUZIONI E DEGLI APPROVVIGIONAMENTI AERONAUTICA CATALOGO NOMENCLATORE ILLUSTRATO VELIVOLO FIAT 691R/1B
- Fiat G91-G91R1-R1A-R3-R4 1964 Indice Numerico Vol I (CA11G914) CN
- Fiat G91-G91R1-R1A-R3-R4 1964 Indice Numerico Vol II (CA11G914) CN
- Fiat G91-G91R1-R1A-R3-R4 1964 Indice Numerico Vol III (CA11G914) CN
- Fiat G91R-1B 1966 (CA11G91R1B4) CN
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- STORIA MILITARE BRIEFING FIAT G91