Caproni Vizzola F.6

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Caproni Vizzola F.6
Caproni Vizzola F.6M.jpg
The Caproni Vizzola F.6M prototype after replacement of the radiator under its nose with a ventral radiator.
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Caproni
First flight F.6M: September 1941
F.6Z: August 1943
Primary user Regia Aeronautica
Number built 2

The Caproni Vizzola F.6 was a World War II-era Italian fighter aircraft built by Caproni. It was a single-seat, low-wing cantilever monoplane with retractable landing gear. Only two prototypes were built, one designated F.6M and the other designated F.6Z.

Development[edit]

The Caproni Vizzola F.6M prototype as originally built with a deep radiator under the nose. It was later removed and replaced by a ventral radiator in order to reduce aerodynamic drag.

F.6M[edit]

The F.6 design was the result of a project to adapt the airframe of the Italian Caproni Vizzola F.5 fighter with the German Daimler-Benz DB 605A liquid-cooled inverted V-12 engine. To accomplish this, the Caproni company retained the F.5 fuselage but designed metal wings to replace the wood wings of the F.5. The new aircraft was designated F.6M, with "F" standing for Fabrizi, the designer of the F.5, and "M" for Metallico. It was designed to carry twice the offensive armament of the F.5, with four instead of two 12.7-millimeter (0.5-inch) Breda-SAFAT machine guns; the prototype F.6M flew with two of these mounted in the fuselage and provision for two more in the wings, although the wing guns never were mounted.[1]

The F.6M prototype first flew in September 1941, using a large radiator mounted under the propeller. Flight testing showed that this location produced significant aerodynamic drag, and the prototype was reworked to mount the radiator on the belly aft of the pilot position.[1]

The sole F.6M prototype was damaged in a collision at Bresso airfield. After this accident, Caproni decided to end the F.6M project and instead concentrate on the more advanced Caproni Vizzola F.7 fighter.[1]

The Caproni Vizzola F.6Z prototype.

F.6Z[edit]

Shortly after Caproni began to design the F.6M, it began work on a second F.6 prototype, this one designed to use the Isotta-Fraschini Zeta R.C.25/60 24-cylinder X-type engine and designated the F.6Z, with "Z" standing for Zeta. The aircraft was to carry three 12.7-millimeter (0.5-inch) Breda-SAFAT machine guns, one in the fuselage and two in the wings. Problems with engine development greatly delayed the F.6Z, but it finally flew in August 1943.

Testing in August and September 1943 showed that the Zeta engine, although rated at 1,100 kilowatts (1,500 horsepower), was producing only 900 kilowatts (1,200 horsepower), and this problem was not solved before the World War II Italian armistice with the Allies of 8 September 1943 brought the F.6Z project to an end. The sole F.6Z prototype was the only fighter to be powered by the Zeta engine.[2] One other fighter type, the Reggiane Re.2004 was also planned with this engine, but was not realized.[3]

Operators[edit]

 Italy

Variants[edit]

F.6M
First prototype, powered by a German-built Daimler-Benz DB 605A engine
F.6Z
Second prototype, powered by a Isotta-Fraschini Zeta R.C.25/60 engine
F.7
An extensively revised F.6 powered by a 1175 h.p. Alfa Romeo R.A.1000 R.C.44-la Monsonie (Monsoon), (license-built DB 601A-l) engine. Development abandoned with the September 1943 armistice.[4]

Specifications (F.6M)[edit]

Data from [2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One person
  • Length: 9.15 m (30 ft 0 in) (F.6Z 9.01 m (30 ft))
  • Wingspan: 11.35 m (37 ft 3 in) (F.6Z 11.82 m (39 ft))
  • Height: 3.02 m (9 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 18.81 m2 (202.5 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 6.85
  • Empty weight: 2,265 kg (4,993 lb) (F.6Z 3,348 kg (7,381 lb))
  • Gross weight: 2,885 kg (6,360 lb) (F.6Z 4,092 kg (9,021 lb))
  • Powerplant: 1 × Daimler-Benz DB 605A V-12 inverted liquid-cooled piston engine, 1,099 kW (1,474 hp)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 569 km/h (354 mph; 307 kn) at 5,000 m (16,404 ft) (F.6Z 630 km/h (391 mph))
  • Range: 950 km (590 mi; 513 nmi) at 477 kmh (296 mph) (F.6Z 1,370km (851 miles))
  • Wing loading: 155.4 kg/m2 (31.8 lb/sq ft)
  • Power/mass: 2.63 kg/kW

Armament

  • Guns: 3 (F.6Z) or 4 (F.6M) × 12.7 mm (0.5 in) forward-firing Breda-SAFAT machine guns

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Green and Swanborough, p. 109
  2. ^ a b Green and Swanborough, p. 110
  3. ^ Pietro Prato: Caccia Caproni Reggiane 1938-1945, Interconair, Genf, 1971 (Italian)
  4. ^ Thompson, Jonathan W. (1963). Italian Civil and Military aircraft 1930-1945. USA: Aero Publishers Inc. ISBN 0-8168-6500-0. OCLC 63 - 17621. 

References[edit]

  • Green, William, and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Every Fighter Aircraft Built and Flown. New York: SMITHMARK Publishers, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.