Macchi M.B.323: Fiery Italian Teacher

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Introduction: The MB.323 is a trainer that was relatively well armed, thus making it a good contender as a low-tier ground attack aircraft for the Italian tree.

image

Background: In the post-War years, it became clear that it was necessary to rebuild the Italian Airforce in order to help secure NATO’s southern flank against any possible Communist incursion during a potential conflict. In order to help build up the ranks of the fledgling Aeronautica Militare (AMI), trainer aircraft were a necessity. This meant that a large number of North American T-6 Texans and Harvards were given to the Italians. This helped the Italians to begin training new recruits. However, they also sought a local alternative, that could eventually replace the Texan in AMI service. Thus, a competition emerged between a number of Italian aircraft companies, with Piaggio, Fiat and Macchi being chosen to build prototypes.

image

Description: The Macchi M.B.323 was a conventional design, quite similar in overall appearance to the Texan it was designed to replace. Though it used a similar shape, the aircraft used modern construction techniques in its design. The aircraft was of all-metal construction, with a cantilevered wing, mounted at a slight dihedral. Of particular note is the canopy, which presented much greater visibility than that of the T-6, which was heavily braced. This is one notable improvement over the Texan. The aircraft was completed in 1952, and was handed over the RSV for tests and evaluation against the T-6, and its stablemates the P.150 and G.49. Although all three aircraft met the requirements, none offered any particular improvements over the Texan that would warrant its production and entry into service. Performance was basically the same, especially when taking into account the fact they both used the same engine. Apart from that, the Texans were available in much larger quantities, for a much smaller pricetag, with spares being widely available and the aircraft being simple to maintain. Thus, no aircraft were ordered by the AMI. The MB.323 lasted for some time at the RSV as a chase plane and observation aircraft, before being stored. The aircraft eventually found its way into the Museo Storico dell’Aeronautica Militare at Vigna di Valle, where it can be seen on display.

Performance:

Spoiler

General characteristics

· Crew: 2

· Length: 9.80 m (32 ft 2 in)

· Wingspan: 12.40 m (40 ft 8 in)

· Height: 4.04 m (13 ft 3 in)

· Wing area: 22.0 m 2 (237 sq ft)

· Empty weight: 1,690 kg (3,726 lb)

· Gross weight: 2,250 kg (4,960 lb)

· Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 Wasp nine-cylinder radial engine , 450 kW (610 hp)

Performance

· Maximum speed: 374 km/h (232 mph, 202 kn) at 2,900 m (9,500 ft)

· Cruise speed: 326 km/h (203 mph, 176 kn) at 2,000 m (6,600 ft) (70% power)

· Range: 1,080 km (670 mi, 580 nmi)

· Service ceiling: 7,500 m (24,600 ft)

· Time to altitude: 2 min 2 s to 1,000 m (3,300 ft)

Armament

· Guns: 1 × 7.9 mm machine gun in port wing

· Weapons: Various bombs and rockets
image

image

Conclusion: I believe that this would be a good low-tier addition to the Italian tree that would help bolster up the ground attack line, with a potent, nimble aircraft. As always, I thank @Nicho for the help he gave me on this suggestion.

Sources:

Spoiler

Macchi Designations (Aermacchi / Alenia-Aermacchi) | Secret Projects Forum

Italian Trainers: Fiat G.49-2, Macchi M.B.323, Piaggio P.150. | Secret Projects Forum

SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM: Ermanno Bazzocchi (1914 – 2005) ingegnere, dirigente d'azienda e politico italiano: lavorò principalmente presso l'Aeronautica Macchi

https://www.aeronautica.difesa.it/storia/museostorico/Pagine/MacchiMB323.aspx

( EN ) The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985) , Orbis Publishing, 1985.

Giorgio Apostolo, Guide to the Airplanes of Italy from its origins to today , Milan, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1981.

Leonard Bridgman ( ed .), Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 1953-54 , Jane’s, 1953.

M. Gueli, F. D’Amico; R. Rovere, Guide to Italian historical aircraft , Rome, Edizioni dell’Ateneo & Bizzarri, 1978.

( EN ) Michael John H. Taylor, Jane’s encyclopedia of aviation , 2nd Edition, London, Studio Editions Ltd., 1989, ISBN 0-517-10316-8 .

MB.323 Brochure

8 Likes

I always enjoy armed trainers/light attack/COIN aircraft, and Italy has quite a lot of them! +1

1 Like

+1

1 Like

+1

1 Like

Beautiful plane. Would love it.

1 Like

+1 i would love to play it !

1 Like

+1

absolutely not needed, better to focus on other attackers, the M.B. 336/339 are ok for the tree but i belive this plane would be not a good option for the tree, piston engined attackers at the moment are not a great option saddly, i cannot vote for this positively

+1

1 Like