Jane's All The World Aircraft 1913
CALDERARA. Navy hydro-monoplane.
Model 1912-13. "Hydro vol"
Length................feet(m.) 54 (16.50)
Span..................feet(m.) 61 (18.50)
Area.............sq. feet(m?.) 753 (70)
Weight, total.......lbs.(kgs.) 2644 (1200)
Motor....................h.p. 150 (formerly 100 Gnome)
Speed, max.........m.p.h.(km.) 62 (100)
min.........m.p.h.(km.) 50 (80)
Number Built during 1912..... 1
Lieut. Calderara's floats consist of a plurality of w.t. compartments with internal lattice frame, well braced. Hull is formed of three skins of wood, sail-cloth between each. Distance between outer floats, 21 feet (6.30 m.) Centre of gravity is only 4? feet (1.40 m.) above water. If necessary wings can be cut away and the central hull used as a boat with emergency sail.
Flight, November 23, 1912.
Jules Nardini, too, is intending to go abroad, and in all probability will be in Venice by the time these lines appear in print. It is to test a new hydro-monoplane that has been designed and built by Lieut. Calderara, that he is going there. In its design, so I learnt during a chat with Nardini on Tuesday last, it is unlike any machine flying to-day, in that a platform is provided, so that the four passengers the machine has been designed to carry may promenade to their heart's content. For its wings, they are not merely coupled up to the body of the machine by steel cable triangulation, but are braced on the open girder system that characterized the Bleriot test aerobus that the late Lemartin flew at Pau last year. A 100-h.p. Gnome is fitted which can be started by a mechanic on board the machine. Already some considerable amount of success has been met with during tests that have been carried out at Spezzia, where the machine was built. It has remained in the air for periods up to one and a half hours.
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Lieut. Calderara is the most experienced flying man Italy possesses. His acquaintance with the art dates back to the early part of 1909, when he was learning to fly under the tuition of the late Wilbur Wright. He was that pioneer's first Italian pupil. He had a very serious smash away back in those early days, but fortunately he recovered sufficiently to enable him to compete in the Brescia meeting in the September of 1909, where he won L1,440 in prize money, and carried off the King's cup. From the biplane he turned his attention to the speedier single-decker, and did a great deal of flying. He was recently appointed instructor to the hydro-aeroplane pupils undergoing tuition at the Italian Government School at Venice.
Flight, March 1, 1913.
LIEUT. CALDERARA AND HIS HYDROVOL.
AN interesting personality just arrived in England is Lieut. Mario Calderara of the Italian Navy, whose name is well known to all readers of FLIGHT as the pioneer of service aviation in his own country. Among those who flew over the Arab lines when aeroplanes made their debut in warfare, were several of Lieut. Calderara's pupils, and on that occasion Lieut. Calderara's duties were, for the most part, those of organisation and supervision.
Lieut. Calderara has come to England in the interests of his "hydrovol," to which we referred in FLIGHT on November 23rd last, and because he realises that this country is perhaps more interested than many others in rapidly expanding her aerial forces and should, therefore, afford a promising field for the development of a machine that is essentially designed for service work at sea.
The Calderara "hydrovol" is a singularly interesting monoplane and one of the largest in existence, for it has a wing surface of 770 sq. ft., a span of 66 ft. and a carrying capacity for three men in addition to fuel and oil for 6 1/2 hours with a 100-h.p. Gnome. The weight is 2,644 lbs.
That which is of the greatest interest about the "hydrovol" is the design of the substructure by which it is supported on floats. Lieut. Calderara, being an officer of the Italian Navy, looks at the hydroplane from a very practical standpoint and realises some of the essentials that have not perhaps altogether been grasped by those who have less idea of the use that will be required of such machines under actual conditions. In the first place he has succeeded in providing a wide base for his machine on the water, the outside floats being 21 ft. apart.
Secondly, the centre of gravity of the system is only 4 ft, 6 ins. above the water line and is so disposed relatively to the floats as to eliminate any tendency to slew sideways when first striking the water. A considerable portion of the weight is carried on the large tail, which is mounted at the rear extremity of an openwork frame that is more like those used on the Farman biplanes than it is like anything ordinarily employed in monoplane construction.
Realising that the occupants of aeroplanes used in service work at sea may often be in difficulties through disablement that necessitates their landing on the water in foul weather, the designer has been at some pains to construct the floats and their attachments so as to form a complete unit that can in emergency be used as a raft. With the same object in view it has been sought to make the wings readily detachable, so that under such circumstances if the machine was obviously in danger of founding the wings might be cut adrift. Small sails can be hoisted on the uprights, and a successful experiment of this kind has actually been made.
Lieut. Calderara's present machine has a 100-h.p. Gnome engine, but another is building for the Italian Navy under the supervision of the designer's brother, who is an officer in the Italian Army, and will be fitted with one of the new 160-h.p. Gnome engines. The engine and propeller are situated behind the main wings, the cockpit for the passengers is in front of the engine and the cockpit for the pilot is in front of that for the passengers. In front of the pilot again, the body projects still further to afford space for a gun or other appliance.
As seen in the illustrations, which have very courteously been supplied to us by Lieut. Calderara himself, the wings of the machine have a pronounced dihedral angle, but in future this feature will be abandoned. Hinged balancing planes of 88 sq. ft. surface each, are let in to the trailing edges of the wings, and are operated by the single wheel control, which also works the front and rear elevators and the twin rudders.
We also give diagrams prepared from rough sketches made by the designer, showing the shape of the floats which weigh only 53 lbs. each, and the arrangement of the structure immediately above the floats.
Flight, June 28, 1913.
THE CALDERARA HYDRO-AEROPLANE.
AN interesting function, both socially and scientifically, took place at Lord Blyth's residence, in Portland Place, on Tuesday afternoon last week, when the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Italian Ambassador, the Lord Mayor of London, and many other distinguished guests were invited to meet Lieut. M. Calderara, of the Royal Italian Navy, and to hear a short lecture by Mr. F. Fabbricotti, on the aeroplane that Mr. Calderara built for the Italian navy. The lecture was accompanied by a series of uncommonly interesting kinematograph views, showing the machine in flight.
Our readers are already familiar with the general outlines of the Calderara machine. They will remember that it is an exceedingly large hydro-monoplane, probably, in fact, the largest monoplane in existence. Its other outstanding peculiarity is the raft-like base on which it rides the water, and which permits the mechanics to scramble about the lower part of the machine in comparative safety while it is at sea. Some of the pictures showed the mechanics moving about while the aeroplane was navigating the water, and Lieut. Calderara has actually had mechanics climb from the floats to the body of the machine whilst he was in full flight.
It is always interesting, and frequently instructive, to learn something about the work of other nations in the realm of aviation, and particularly is the opportunity not to be missed when one can hear first hand views on the subject. Moreover, it must further be admitted that the views of any of Wilbur Wright's own pupils on the subject of aeroplane construction, no less than the views of a naval officer on the requirements of a hydro-aeroplane ought to be worthy of consideration.
Mr. Fabricotti made it very clear that Lieut. Calderara did not wish this particular machine to be regarded as an expression of his fixed and inflexible idea of the best type for marine purposes. On the contrary, he had been called upon to design for a specific purpose, and that specific purpose he had fulfilled to the satisfaction of the Italian Navy.
The reason why he chose to build his machine as a monoplane was mainly in order that the wing-tips might be as far removed from the water as possible. The reason why this feature assumed a particular importance on this occasion, was because the wing tips are the most easily damaged of any part of the machine, and the Italian authorities had made a very strong point of securing a hydro-aeroplane that should be as little liable to accidental damage of this character as possible. Indeed, they particularised their views in the matter by limiting the allowance for repairs during the trials to the sum of L20. The size of the machine was, of course, a natural consequence of the weight to be carried in flight, which is always heavier in the case of a hydro-aeroplane.
A portion of the film that was of especial interest was that showing the action of the floats in the water. The floats employed on this machine are those now being built in this country by the Avion Float Co., and the pictures in question were taken at close range with the camera on board the machine. It is, of course, impossible to describe them in detail, but they are certainly of sufficient interest to be seen by those who are directly concerned with hydro-aeroplane development, and we have no doubt that arrangements for seeing the film could be made with Mr. Fabbricotti, who may be addressed at the works of the Avion Float Co., 17, Wharf Road, City Road, London, N.