Thursday, March 12, 2015

Caproni Campini Ca.183bis

In 1942 Caproni began construction on a high-altitude fighter using prop and jet thrust. The Caproni CA 183bis had a DB 605 of 1,250 HP in the nose driving two three-blade contra-rotating props with a 700 HP Fiat A.30 radial behind the cockpit driving a Campini compressor expected to furnish a 60 MPH boost of jet thrust for an optimistic maximum speed of 460 MPH with a range of 1242 miles. One 20 mm was to be in the prop hub with four more in the wings. Weight was to be 16,538 lbs. with a 48-foot wingspan.

The CA 183 was not all that complicated though performance expectations seems optimistic.

Engine: 1x Alfa-Romeo "Tifone"(Daimler-Benz DB-605) making 1,250 hp driving a six blade contrarotating propellor.
1x FIAT A.30 radial piston engine making 700 hp driving the Campini engine
Weight: Loaded 16.538 lb
Maximum Speed: 460 mph / 520 mph with "Thermojet"
Range: 1,242 miles
Crew: 1
Armament: 4x 20 mm cannons in the wings and 1x 30 mm cannon between the cylinder banks of the engine.

The Italians already had knowledge of the German jets through their Rome-Berlin pact and worked together at Riva del Garda (Re- named the Hermann Goering Institute) on advanced jet designs that included a Turboproietti Jet Round Bomb (Italian V-1 type unmanned weapon) and a disc aircraft with two slung turbojets, various rim intakes for another internal engine, a domed canopy, and two canted tailfins. This was only discovered recently after the designer died and the plans were discovered in his apt. Apparently, this is probably what Mussolini referred to as the "Piastra di Volo" (Flying Plate) design.

The Germans for their part provided Italy with DB engines that improved their fighter and bomber designs of Fiat, Macchi, and Savoia- Marchetti. Jumos were on order for the Re.2007 and Piaggio's chief designer D'Ascanio requested information on the BMW 003 for a radical jet helicopter he was designing.

But the war ended for Italy and a lot of documents went missing or destroyed. D-Ascanio postwar experimented with a turbine helicopter, but is better known as the inventor of the Vespa moto-scooter! Most of the other manufacturers either went under or became merged in jet manufacture.

Might Have Beens: Italian Twin-Engined Fighters, 1943

1 comment:

  1. Upon further research and a check of the provided technical drawings, I must say that the engine driving the Campini motorjet is not of a radial design as stated in the 'Might Have Beens' article, but rather an inline engine of the same A.30 designation. Also, would you be able to tell me how you acquired the beautiful artwork used in this blogspot?