|Role||Commercial transport aircraft prototype|
Design and development
Piaggio designed the P.23R specifically to break speed records for commercial transport aircraft. It was a three-engine low-wing cantilever monoplane with twin tail fins and rudders. The three 671-kilowatt (900-horsepower) Isotta-Fraschini Asso ("Ace") XI R V-12 engines were mounted in aerodynamically clean, sleek cowlings and each drove a three-bladed propeller. The fuselage was pencil-shaped. The crew of two sat side by side in separate open cockpits, each protected by a windscreen.
The P.23R first flew in 1936. On 30 December 1938, it carried a payload of 5000 kilograms (11,023 pounds) at an average speed of 404 kilometers per hour (250.8 miles per hour), setting new world records over both the 1,000-kilometer (620 mi) and 2,000-kilometer (1,200 mi) distances.
The P.23R's development was halted in 1939. During World War II, however, Allied aircraft recognition manuals erroneously identified it as a possible Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) bomber.
Although confusingly numbered as if it were a variant of the Piaggio P.23 commercial transport prototype of 1935, the P.23R was in fact an entirely new design.
Specifications (P.23R - Piaggio engines)
Data from Italian Civil and Military aircraft 1930-1945
- Crew: 4
- Length: 23.7427 m (77 ft 10.75 in)
- Wingspan: 29.41 m (96 ft 6 in)
- Height: 4.93 m (16 ft 2 in)
- Wing area: 91.27 m2 (982.4 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 11,979 kg (26,410 lb)
- Gross weight: 18,986 kg (41,857 lb)
- Powerplant: 3 × Piaggio P.XI R.C.40 14-cyl two-row air-coooled radial piston engines, 750 kW (1,000 hp) each
- Maximum speed: 439 km/h; 237 kn (273 mph)
- Cruise speed: 349 km/h; 189 kn (217 mph)
- Stall speed: 150 km/h; 81 kn (93 mph)
- Range: 3,798 km; 2,051 nmi (2,360 mi)
- Service ceiling: 7,276 m (23,871 ft)
- Thompson, Jonathan W. (1963). Italian Civil and Military aircraft 1930-1945. New York. pp. 220–221. ISBN 0-8168-6500-0.
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