The Reggiane Re 2005 was defined by many as "the most beautiful fighter of the axis".
In fact,the Sagittario was a really beautiful airplane, with a clean and fascinating shape,but moreover it had exceptional flying charaterisics ,very powerful armament and exceptional handling.

It was "the fighter" but it was limited by a slow production during the war, also due to the american bombing runs over the Reggiane factory.
However the Re 2005 could fight in the most difficult and important scenario of the Italian war ,giving evidence to its good qualities.

Main data
One 1,475 hp Daimler-Benz DB 605A-1 V-12 inline liquid-cooled piston.
Span: 36 ft 1 in / 11 m.
Length: 28 ft 7 3/4 in / 8.73 m.
Height: 10 ft 4 in / 3.15 m.
Wing area: 219.58 sq ft / 20.4 m2.
Empty: 5,732 lb / 2,600 kg.
Maximum: 7,960 lb / 3,610 kg.
Max speed:

 390.5 mph at 22,800 ft / 628.5 kph at  6,950 m

Cruise speed:
320 mph / 515 kph
climb rate:
Time to
  6,560 ft / 2,000 m: 1 min 55 sec
                   13,120 ft / 4000 m: 4 min 28 sec
                   19,685 ft / 6,000 m: 6 min 33 sec

Max dive speed
582 mph /988 kph
Service ceiling:
37,730 ft / 11,500 m
 1600 miles / 1000 km with 3 drop tanks   (int. fuel only: 646 miles)

Two 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns with 350 rounds each in upper engine cowling.
One 20 mm Mauser MG 151 cannon with 150 rounds firing through propellor hub.
Two 20 mm Mauser MG 151 cannon with 200 rounds each in wings.
Up to 2,200 lb / 1,000 kg bomb or fuel tank under fuselage.
Two wing hardpoints for 353 lb / 160 kg of bombs.
Or three droptanks,  a single central 240 liter tank and two 100 liter wing tanks.

They said of it:

General Vittorio Minguzzi (RE2005 top ace with 6 victories):
"all the series 5 fighters (Macchi 205,Fiat G55 and Re 2005) were competitive with the best allies fighters.The Re 2005 in particular is the best in handling".
"I longly flew  Spitfires after the armistice* and i can say without any doubt that Re2005 was equal if not superior to them in tight turns dogfight"  
*Spit mkV and mkIX in service with Cobeligerent Italian Airforce  

Tullio De Prato (most celebrated italian test pilot): "The Re2005 diving abilities were astonishing, it could achieve a speed of more than 900 kph in few seconds."
"I was very pleased to note that even with this armamentt it retained the  turning characteristics of the prototype, wich were registered as equal to the Re2001 and mc200"   

EW Bridges of 93 Squadron RAF (whose Spitfire mkVIII was shot down by a RE2005): : "I tried to shake the fighter from my tail: sharp climbing turn, split S, violent downward spyral, no way. I saw tracers running around my head all the time, felt hits several times. The aircraft was badly shoot up,  I barely managed to roll it with loose stick and bale out at low altitude"

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