Caproni Vizzola F.5

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F.5
Caproni Vizzola F.5 front quarter view.jpg
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Caproni
First flight 19 February 1939[1]
Introduction ca. 1939-1940[1]
Primary user Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force)
Number built 13[1] plus 1 F.4 prototype
Variants Caproni Vizzola F.4

The Caproni Vizzola F.5 was an Italian fighter aircraft built by Caproni. It was a single-seat, low-wing cantilever monoplane with retractable landing gear.[1]

Development[edit]

The first prototype of the Caproni Vizzola F.5.

The F.5 was developed in parallel with the Caproni Vizzola F.4, with which it shared a common airframe. Design began in late 1937 by a team led by F. Fabrizi. The aircraft had a welded steel-tube fuselage and wooden wing; the fuselage was covered with flush-riveted Duralumin, while the wing had a stressed plywood skin. The F.5 (standing for Fabrizi 5) had a two-row 14-cylinder Fiat A.74 R.C. 38 radial engine, unlike its cousin the F.4, which Fabrizi and his design team intended to be powered by a water-cooled engine. The F.4 project was not pursued immediately because the Italian Air Ministry held its proposed engine in disfavor, but development of the F.5 continued.[2]

The F.5 prototype first flew on 19 February 1939. The aircraft displayed very high maneuverability during official testing, prompting an order for both a second prototype and 12 pre-production models. The last of the pre-production aircraft was selected for use as a prototype in a renewed F.4 program, but the rest of the F.5 order was delivered to the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force).[2]

No F.5 production models were built as Caproni decided to produce the more developed Caproni Vizzola F.6M fighter instead.

Operational history[edit]

A pre-production Caproni Vizzola F.5.

The Regia Aeronautica assigned the 11 pre-production F.5 fighters to the 300° Squadriglia, 51° Stormo for operational use. By 1942, they were serving as night-fighters in the 167° Gruppo.[2]

The F.5 was offered to foreign customers. It has been said that the Aeroplani Caproni subsidiary in Peru acquired the license rights for local manufacture, but no F.5s ever were built in Peru.

Variants[edit]

F.5
Prototype and pre-production aircraft, powered by a Fiat A.74 R.C. 38 radial engine, 13 built, plus a 14th airframe which was completed as the Caproni Vizzola F.4.
F.5bis
One re-engined F.5 powered with an 1175 h.p. Alfa Romeo R.A.I000 R.C.44-la Monsonie (Monsoon) (license-built DB 601A-l) engine.
F.5 Gamma
A one or two-seat advanced trainer powered by a 540 h.p. Isotta-Fraschini Gamma R.C.35 IS alr-cooled engine, armed with one 7.7-mm. Breda-SAFAT machine gun, with an estimated maximum speed of 254 m.p.h. Not proceeded with.

Operators[edit]

 Kingdom of Italy

Specifications (F.5)[edit]

Data from Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945[1]

General characteristics

  • Length: 7.90 m (25 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.3 m (37 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 3 m (9 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 17.6 m2 (189 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,850 kg (4,079 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2,238 kg (4,934 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Fiat A.74 R.C.38 14-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engine, 649 kW (870 hp) at take-off

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 510 km/h (317 mph; 275 kn)
  • Range: 770 km (478 mi; 416 nmi) at 455 km/h (283 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 9,500 m (31,168 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 6,500m (21,325ft) in 6min 30s

Armament

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Caproni Vizzola F.4

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Thompson, Jonathan W. (1963). Italian Civil and Military aircraft 1930-1945. USA: Aero Publishers Inc. ISBN 0-8168-6500-0. 
  2. ^ a b c Green and Swanborough, p. 109

References[edit]

  • Donald, David, ed. (1997). The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Prospero Books. p. 232. ISBN 1-85605-375-X. 
  • 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.