Piaggio P.23R

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Piaggio P.23R
Piaggio P.23R.jpg
Role Commercial transport aircraft prototype
National origin Italy
Manufacturer Piaggio
First flight 1936
Number built 1

The Piaggio P.23R, also known as the Piaggio P.123 for propaganda purposes, was an Italian commercial transport aircraft prototype designed and built by Piaggio.

Design and development[edit]

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 later was re-engined with three 746-kilowatt (1,001-horsepower) Piaggio P.XI RC.40 radial engines and its landing gear was modified. In addition, both cockpits were enclosed with canopies.

Operational history[edit]

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.


 Kingdom of Italy

Specifications (P.23R - Piaggio engines)[edit]

Piaggio P 23R early version

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

General characteristics

  • 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)


  1. ^ Thompson, Jonathan W. (1963). Italian Civil and Military aircraft 1930-1945. New York. pp. 220–221. ISBN 0-8168-6500-0. 


  • Thompson, Jonathan W. (1963). Italian Civil and Military aircraft 1930-1945. New York. pp. 220–221. ISBN 0-8168-6500-0. 

External links[edit]