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Caproni Ca.48

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: 1918

Caproni - Ca.53 - 1917 - <– –>Caproni-Coanda - glider - 1908 -


R.Abate,G.Alegi,G.Apostolo Aeroplani Caproni: Gianni Caproni and His Aircraft, 1910-1983


The Ca.4 series triplanes gave life to the Ca.48, 58 and 59, three and five engined giants with up to 2,000 hp installed which could seat 25-30 passengers. The intense promotional use - the Ca.48 flew as far as Holland - was not met by a comparable commercial success. Then disaster struck: on August 2, 1919 a Ca.48 fell near Verona killing the seventeen people on board, the great majority of which were aviation writers. This event sunk all hopes of rapid commercial airline development in Italy: in the wake of the disaster the government even dissolved the General Directorate of Aeronautics which had been formed within the Ministry of Maritime Transports, transferring its duties to the War Ministrys Civil Aviation Office. The inquiry, carried out by medaglia doro holder Ercole Ercole, followed for the first time the method of reconstructing the entire airplane to establish the point and time of impact of every piece. It was thus determined that the disaster had been caused by a camera which, dropped by a passenger, had struck the central engines propeller and been projected against the empennage, severing it. The boards findings were published too late to stave off a wave of diffidence towards bombers converted for airline duty.

R.Abate, G.Alegi, G.Apostolo - Aeroplani Caproni: Gianni Caproni and His Aircraft, 1910-1983
By late 1918 the Ca.4 triplane had already spawned a commercial derivative, later called Ca.48, with a 17 passenger cabin and 1200 hp of total engine output. This aircraft was demonstrated as far away as Holland.
- Flight 1919 .
Caproni Triplane. - A close-up view of the cabin. This extends from the bottom to tne middle plane, and the passengers are enclosed, while the pilot is situated in a smaller cockpit on top of the cabin.
- Flight 1919 .
A CAPRONI PASSENGER TRIPLANE: This machine appears to be a peace-time development of the type CA 4 described in "Flight" of June 19, 1919. The two tractor engines are mounted in the nose of the twin fuselages, while the pusher engine is placed high in the stern of the central nacelle.
R.Abate, G.Alegi, G.Apostolo - Aeroplani Caproni: Gianni Caproni and His Aircraft, 1910-1983
A team of Ca.48 workers poses for a souvenir photo.
R.Abate, G.Alegi, G.Apostolo - Aeroplani Caproni: Gianni Caproni and His Aircraft, 1910-1983
An eloquent dimensional comparison of the Ca.48 and Ca.57 transports. To the right is Taliedos concrete runway, built for the great bombers and inspired by Roman road building techniques.
R.Abate, G.Alegi, G.Apostolo - Aeroplani Caproni: Gianni Caproni and His Aircraft, 1910-1983
A rear view of the cabin of the Ca.48, sporting an immaculate finish. The open upper deck could seat both pilots and up to six passengers, one of whom clearly seen in the photo.
R.Abate, G.Alegi, G.Apostolo - Aeroplani Caproni: Gianni Caproni and His Aircraft, 1910-1983
The cabins interior is shown. The fine woods and velvet create the impression of a turn of the century luxury railroad car. The top engines position can be made out clearly on the ceiling at the back of the cabin.