Fiat G.91Y: Sorry, no dice.

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The G.91Y was Gina‘s ultimate souped up variant. An almost brand new aircraft design, in fact.
This FIAT poster exposed the various qualities of the product and hopes of a promising future. To no effect. In the end, only the Italian Air Force bit the bate and just barely…, just 67 G.91Y’s were produced.

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Caproni Ca.331A Raffica: Che Peccato !!


From the second part of the 1930’s the Caproni Bergamaschi company became renowned by their light twin-engined family of military aircraft. First flown in Aug. 1940, the Raffica (Squall) was a continuation of that family. It was also Bergamaschi’s first all-metal stressed skin aircraft. This light recon-bomber prototype proved during its test to be fast and demonstrated excellent handling qualities. In fact, it was better than expected. Curiously, the Regia Aeronautica did not express any immediate interest. The Germans tested also the Raffica in 1942 with production for the Luftwaffe in mind. In the end that also came to nothing for not clear reasons; possible material shortages or unclear political problems, maybe.
Later the Regia Aeronautica had second thoughts and the basic design was turned into a very modified night-fighter. Two prototypes were built, but to no avail. In Sept. 1943 the Italian armistice put and end to its production plans.

One thing is undeniable, its beauty. That gorgeous fuselage contours and streamlined transparent cockpit, shallow W-wing and those sleek Isotta-Frascini Delta engines. It meant business in an Italian way.

Fiat G.91 PAN: Smart through and through.

In a very clever measure the Italian AF decided in the 1960’s to recycle some of their pre-production “Ginas” after the production models began to take their places. Not a humble destiny for them; they were modified to serve in the glamorous “Frecce Tricolori” aerobatic team. After almost two decades of service (1964-1981), that proved to be a wise and productive decision.

This lavish photo needs no further comments.

Piaggio P.23M: “Uomo avvisato, mezzo salvato”.

The middle 1930’s P.23M was the prototype of a commercial airliner/transport specifically designed to operate above the North Atlantic. A really cool feature of this outstanding push-pull tandem four-engined  (900hp Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI’s) monoplane was its fuselage; shaped like a boat hull to allow it to ditch at sea in case of emergency. As conceived the P.23M was really an ambitious project: 400 km/h maximum speed and a maximum range of 5,100 km while flying at 300 km/h.
All very promising, but first flown in 1935 the aircraft never ever saw the Atlantic Ocean. Besides, no real data is available about its performance or potential. It was soon forgotten.