In the early 1950s, Gianni Caproni, founder of the aviation museum that bears his name, now in Trento, met the President of the United States Harry Truman. As soon as he entered the Oval Office he widened his eyes in disbelief, as he saw a picture of himself on the wall, next to a portrait of Wilbur Wright. “I found them here”, Truman explained. “President Roosevelt kept them up for the entire war, and I didn’t remove them. You are the founding fathers of aviation, and the United States salute you for it.”
Caproni was traveling in that time of crisis to reorganize the company he had founded in the beginning of the 1900s. His work had quickly risen to global fame, and his airplanes were renown all over the world. But he could not imagine he had a spot on such a prestigious wall.
However, he was well aware and proud of the heights reached by the flying machines he had built. In 1938, his “Ca. 161bis” had soared to 17,083 meters, setting a world record that remains unsurpassed for piston-engine aircrafts.
In the Gianni Caproni Museum in Trento, the wide range of aircrafts – many of them dating back to the earliest years of aviation – tells the story of this man and of his company, as well as a part of the history of world aviation with a selection of unique pieces made in Italy and abroad.