Caproni CA-1

Technical Specifications
Name : CA-1
Family : Pioneering aircraft
Manufacturer : Caproni
Nation : Italy
Production Year : 1910
Length : 9,86 m
Span : 10,50 m
Height : 3,36 m
Wing Area : 38 m²
Empty : 550 kg
Maximum Take-off :  650 kg
Miller four-cylinder fan
Around 30 HP

The Caproni CA-1 is the oldest aircraft conserved in Italy and the first of all time which flew at Gallarate “brughiera” launching the germ of the today’s intercontinental Malpensa airport and creating the aeronautical tradition of the Varese province.
The CA-1 was designed by the aviation pioneer Gianni Caproni (1886-1957), founder of the famous Caproni industrial group merging its experiences acquired in Trento, Belgium and France.
The CA-1 structure was made totally in wood with original plywood tubular spars. Powered by a Miller engine of around 30 HP with unsure functioning, driving a pair of propellers instead of a single directly driven propeller, inspired by the Wright brothers experience, and also to improve the propellers efficiency through the gear down effect of a chain transmission. The building started in Arco near Trento, at this time still in Austrian-Hungarian territory. In 1910 Caproni moved the biplane to the Cascina Malpensata in Gallarate “brughiera”, normally used as cavalry exercise maneuvers, called Malpensata due to the marshy terrain not appropriate for the agriculture at all.
Here Caproni built the first hangar and completed the aircraft assembly, aided by the brother Federico and “Ernestin” Galas and “Erneston” Contrini workers from Trento. On 10th April 1910 the CA-1 entrusted to the car driver Ugo Tabacchi, without any piloting knowledge, was able to take-off and run a few dozen meters in straight line flight before damaging the aircraft trying to land. After repair the CA-1 was used by Tabacchi to improve its ground maneuver skill, waiting for the CA-2 first flight on 12th August 1910. The CA-1 was stored and in 1939 exhibited in Taliedo (future Milan Forlanini airport) Caproni museum. Only in 2007 it left the Caproni family house in Venegono Superiore, where it was moved during the war to save it from the bombing.
During the restoration were found some newspaper cut-out dated 4th June 1908 into the spars confirming the originality of this aircraft.
During the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first flight in Malpensa, held in Volandia on 27th May 2010, some passionate men, organized (and financed) by Giorgio Marangoni, built a CA-1 one-to-one scale replica that, despite the use of modern materials, few modifications due to safety and particularly a considerably powerful engine, performed many roll-out tests, but don’t was able to take-off. The event picture is shown on the wall of the Volandia’s Bistrot.

kids & family
Simulator area
Pic-Nic Area

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