By the 1950s the Caproni company had collapsed and could not survive the post-war economic problems, one of the few group members to continue working was Aeroplane Caproni Trento based at Gardola in Trento. Originally involved with aircraft maintenance and support the company decided to design and build a small jet trainer in 1951. The F.5 aircraft was designed by Stelio Frati based on his earlier glider work, it was a low-wing all-wood monoplane with a retractable tricycle landing gear. The engine was a small Turbomeca Palas turbojet located in the fuselage, it had two inlet ducts, one either side of the fuselage and the jet efflux was below the rear fuselage. It had an enclosed cabin with tandem seating for an instructor and pupil and was fitted with a jettisonable canopies.
The F.5 made its maiden flight on 20 May 1952. It was the first jet aircraft developed in post-war Italy, although evaluated by the Italian Air Force it gained little interest and was not ordered into production.