The Campini Caproni Project

The Campini-Caproni was the first italian jet plane, flown mid 1940. Two examples were built and one survived WWII being presently hosted at the IAF museum at "Vigna di Valle" (Rome).

Technical description

The Campini-Caproni was surely a beautiful plane with an elegant and "techie" look. The fuselage was of round shape coupled with a short elliptical wing. The two-seat pressurized cabin and some innovative solutions surely gave it a certain appeal.

The motor-jet

The CC engine arrangement was a particular one being much different from contemporary and later (turbo)jet planes. It can be called a motor-jet to underline similarities and differences with a usual turbo-jet.
While a usual turbojet has roughly the following arrangement: air intake, compressor, burning chamber, turbine, exhaust
the CC engine system can be subdivided in this way: air intake, compressor, piston engine, burners, exhaust

Differently from what happened in a contemporary turbo-jet these sections were phisycally divided, this being a key factor of the modular concept. The CC engine switched the turbine section to a more traditional piston-engine to act the compressor; anyway it must be noted that from the very beginning (1931) the project was fully a modular one, with provision to use a turbine, a piston engine, different kinds of compressor or something else alternatively.
The reason that brought Eng. Campini to choose the piston-engine variant may only be speculated; most likely the industry encountered some probs in developing appropriate high speed turbines. Campini himself designed many different turbines for his naval and/or aeronautical projects.

This arrangement had its own advantages and drawbacks.
On the odd side it was a bit too complex and heavy, with a poor thrust to weight ratio.
Among the plus must be noted the modularity and the ability to run it as a kind of ducted-fan for economical cruise; in fact the burners were not strictly needed, say as happened in a Jumo 004, and the plane could fly turning them off.


Power Plant: Campini motor-jet
Thrust: 730 kg
Dimensions: Wing Span: 14.6 m; Length: 12.1 (12.9) m
Maximum Speed: 375 km/h
Cruise speed: 217 km/h
Take-off weight: 4200 kg
Payload: 769 kg
Total Production: 2 prototypes
First flown: 27 august 1940

The Campini-Caproni compared

Planefirst flightweightthrustspeednotes

Heinkel 17828 august 19391998 kg450 kg700 km/hfirst turbojet ever flown
Campini-Caproni27 august 19404400 kg730 kg375 km/htwo seater
Gloster E.28/3915 may 19411678 kg390 kg544 km/hfirst british jet

Me 26219446400 kg2x900 kg869 km/hver A-1a
Gloster Meteor19456200 kg2x905 kg793 km/hmk III
Campini-Caproni mk II ? 1945 ? 3500 kg 1200 kg 810 km/hproposed single seat fighter, never built

CC Home