Caproni Vizzola F.4
National origin:- Italy Role:- Fighter Manufacturer:- Caproni Designer:= F. Fabrizi (design team leader) First flight:- July 1940 Introduction:- 1942 Retired:- 1945 Primary users:- Regia Aeronautica Number built:- 1 Variants:- Caproni Vizzola F.5
The Caproni Vizzola F.4 was an Italian fighter aircraft prototype built by Caproni. It was a single-seat, low-wing cantilever monoplane with retractable landing gear.
Design and Development
Photo's 01-02: Caproni Vizzola F 4 was an Italian fighter aircraft prototype built by Caproni 167 Gruppe 303ª Squadriglia MM5932
The F.4 was developed in parallel with the Caproni Vizzola F.5, with which it shared a common airframe. Design began in late 1937 by a team led by F. Fabrizi. The aircraft had a welded steel-tube fuselage and wooden wing; the fuselage was covered with flush-riveted duralumin, while the wing had a stressed plywood skin. Fabrizi and his design team intended the F.4 (standing for Fabrizi 4) to be powered by a 12-cylinder Isotta-Fraschini Asso ("Ace") 121 R.C.40 water-cooled engine rated at 715 kilowatts at 4,000 meters (960 horsepower at 13,125 feet), but the Italian Air Ministry preferred that the Asso not be used in fighters; the F.4 project therefore was halted prior to construction of a prototype in favor of continued development of the F.5, which employed a radial engine.
In the summer of 1939, Italy received its first Daimler-Benz DB 601A -- a liquid-cooled inverted V12 engine rated at 876 kilowatts (1,175 horsepower) -- from Germany. This gave the F.4 project a new lease on life, as the Air Ministry approved of its use in fighters. The last of 12 pre-production F.5 aircraft ordered for the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) was selected for conversion into the F.4 prototype powered by the DB 601A. It flew for the first time in July 1940.
No further F.4s were ordered, and a proposal to build a production model powered by an Alfa Romeo-built DB 601A as the F.5bis was dropped in favor of pursuing development of the more advanced Caproni Vizzola F.6M.
Editor for Asisbiz: Matthew Laird Acred
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