THE CAPRONI-STIPA

The Caproni-Stipa looks like something out of Fernando Botero’s hyperbolic paintings, or Benito Jacovitti’s brilliantly crazy comics. In fact, it was a real experimental Italian airplane, designed in the 1930s.

Dubbed “the barrel-shaped plane” or “the cask plane”, this forerunner of jet airplanes was designed by engineer Luigi Stipa, and built as a prototype by Caproni di Milano-Taliedo. It featured a large cylindrical fuselage that enclosed the engine and propeller, so that the air thrust in the metal tube by the rotating blades could make the propelling system more dynamic. However, the craft’s shape increased its drag and counteracted the benefits of the engine’s heightened efficiency.

The Caproni-Stipa took off only for a brief series of test flights, and was demolished in 1933. However, a 3/5-scale replica of it was recently built in Australia, with full-color photographs attesting to some successful flights in October 2001.

How lovely it would be to see it soar in our skies again, like a flying cartoon.

Photos via:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/orarossa/5523706296
http://www.flickr.com/photos/qvag/4620171085
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38049473@N00/490852661/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27862259@N02/5982877152/
http://www.pixdaus.com

WEEKLY POSTCARD

Most Read

Rococo luxury at the Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi

The Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi, near Turin, was designed by Filippo Juvarra and built in 1729; between the 18th and 19th...

Pietro Piffetti: the king of fine cabinetry

by Barbara Palladino His creations sum up every magnificence of 18th-century Baroque style: Pietro Piffetti was one of the most famous and...

Gabinetto del Segreto Maneggio degli Affari di Stato: a triumph of decorative art

by Barbara Palladino Inside Turin’s Royal Palace is one of the gems of 18th-century Baroque art: the Gabinetto del Segreto Maneggio degli...

Antonio Stradivari: the legend and myth of perfect sound

by Barbara Palladino The Stradivarius violin is renowned as the perfect musical instrument. Playing one is a dream come true for any...