Caproni Ca.60 Transaero

With his Ca.60 Transaero, Italian designer and manufacturer Gianni
Caproni produced an over-ambitious monster to set alongside Howard Hughes’s notorious “Spruce Goose”. This weird, ungainly craft was inspired by the dream of aeroplanes replacing ocean liners on the world’s major long-distance passenger routes.
An enormous “triple triplane” flying boat, the Ca.60 had no fewer than nine wings, arranged in banks of three. The powerplant was suitably impressive – eight Liberty engines, positioned on the front and rear sets of wings and connected by long, triangular truss-booms. Members of the crew had to crawl through these booms to attend to the engines in flight. The hull was designed to accommodate 100 passengers – a larger payload than was ever commercially carried by flying boats in their heyday in t he 1930s.
Caproni’s cumbersome giant was launched at Lake Maggiore in northern Italy on 21 January 1921; flotation trials began on 4 March. A brief hop showed that the Ca.60 was unstable, and ballast was loaded for the first attempt at full flight. Improbably, test pilot Semprini succeeded in taking off, but at 60ft the Trausaero dipped, plummeted straight into the lake, and disintegrated. Planned repairs were never made, as what remained of the Ca.60 was destroyed by  shortly thereafter.

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